News Apr 14, 2014
Nov 7, 2008
If there is a first-family of U.S. women’s soccer, it might have to be the DiMartino clan of Massapequa Park.
Sure, the Mewis family of Hanson, Mass., has two sisters on the 2008 U.S. U-17 Women’s World Cup Team, but we’re pretty sure no one else can claim three daughters who have or will be playing for the United States in a FIFA Women’s World Cup at the youth level. Calls to the DiMartino home from U.S. Youth National Team administrators can get confusing.
“Which DiMartino are you calling for?”
A roll call:
Tina is 21-year-old midfielder who played for the U.S. at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Russia. She is a star at UCLA, where the senior has helped the Bruins to an unbeaten season so far. She has five goals and six assists this fall, including a game-winning goal in a recent 1-0 win over previously undefeated Stanford. She also has one cap for the senior Women’s National Team.
Gina is a 19-year-old junior forward at Boston College who will be playing for the U.S. in the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile that starts in a few weeks. She has scored two goals and notched five assists for the Eagles this season.
Vicki is a 17-year-old forward for the U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team and has scored three goals in the tournament in New Zealand to lead the team. She’s heading to BC next fall and will play one season with her older sis.
Let’s not forget Rosie either. She’s 13-year-old midfielder who will soon be the tallest sister.
“Rosie is a mini-me of Christina,” said Vicki “Not by her looks though because she’s so tall, she’s only a little shorter than me, and has dirty blonde hair and blue eyes and fair skin. But right now, every time I turn around, she’s in the backyard playing soccer. She tells her friends, ‘You’ll be goalie, ok?’ And she nails them with the ball. She could be the best of all of us.”
The three older sisters are all fast-talkers with New York accents, making any sisterly conversations potentially wrought with humor. And with four soccer-playing sisters in one house, three of whom have played for their country, you might think there would be a little competition at the DiMartino homestead. You’d be correct.
“I feel like all of us sisters have a really strong bond with each other,” said Vicki, who also has an older brother Danny (24) who, like their dad, is a fire-fighter. “We do all sorts of things together, but there’s always competition in anything we do.”
And sometimes, yes, there are consequences that may not please mom Patty and dad Danny, the “referees” of this close-knit Italian-American family from Long Island.
Vicki tells of a recent neighborhood bike ride that turned into a sprint a la the 20th stage of the Tour de France.
In her rush to be first, Vicki crashed her bike into a ditch, totaling the two-wheeler, then flew over the handlebars and almost hit her head on a tree.
“I didn’t win that one,” said Vicki, who also races to be first at the dinner table. And we won’t even go there with what happens if one sister takes someone else’s regular seat.
Then there are the knock-down drag-out back-yard brawls also know as two-v-two soccer games.
“It is always Christina and Rosie vs. me and Gina,” said Vicki. “Sometimes it just gets too out of hand and my dad says ‘enough!’ There are slide tackles and shoulder charges and it gets nuts physically.”
They still play today when all are back in the house during the summers, but the wagers have gotten more serious. Sometimes the loser has to wash the dishes and do other household chores.
“One time I bet that if I lost, my sisters could shave my eyebrows,” said Vicki. “I lost, but I cried, so they never followed through.”
Needless to say, the sisters are extremely close. Growing up, there were numerous makeovers done on each other, many movies watched together, beach trips and sisterly jogs to work on their fitness. They still share the single same room in which they grew up, which has a triple-bunk bed and a single for Rosie. But they certainly have their differences as well.
“Christina just keeps to herself. When I annoy her, and I do that a lot, she just lets it go. She doesn’t even bother telling me to knock it off. But then I’ll do something so little and she goes nuts, so I have to be careful to push her to the edge and not over it.”
Vicki played one high school season with Gina and they won the New York state title. She’s very much looking forward to the one college season they will share next fall when Vicki is a freshman and Gina is a senior.
“Gina is crazy like me, except older,” said Vicki. “I guess I’d say I follow her actions a lot. I copy her. She’s also the most Italian. She actually speaks Italian and she’s definitely the most sarcastic sister. She tries to act like our mom. Well, Tina does too.”
And how does Vicki see herself?
“I like to stir the pot,” she admitted. “I’m a rabble-rouser. I’m the nut of the house. I just say what’s on my mind and I don’t hold back. The problem is that I don’t know the difference between what’s good to say and what I shouldn’t so that gets me into trouble.”
On the field, perhaps the sisters have more in common. They are all skillful, hard workers and all have a little dash of craft in their games. Vicki is the tallest at 5-5. Gina is 5-foot-3 and Tina is the biggest 5-foot-2 player in Division I women’s college soccer.
“Christina is the most motivated sister, I think,” said Vicki. “I call her the energizer bunny, because she bounces around everywhere. She seems so little, but on the field she’s a big person. She’s so skillful. I haven’t got the chance to see her play in too many college games because she’s all the way on the West Coast, but she’s just a really fun player to watch.”
Vicki hopes that if she can earn a spot in the starting lineup at BC next year, she and Gina could be a good one-two punch. A double dose of DiMartino if you will.
“Gina is very fast and skillful,” said Vicki. “She’s also very tough for her size. I like to run around people, but she’ll run over people.”
Vicki’s three goals in three games in New Zealand have come in three different ways. The first was an aggressive and opportunistic finish against Japan, then came a cool one-on-one put-away against Paraguay and finally a blast from outside against France.
“I’m bigger than my sisters,” said Vicki, something she clearly enjoys even though she admits that she will lose any wrestling match, partly because all the sisters will gang up on her. “I can shoot with both feet and I think I’m pretty skillful. But I can’t head. None of us can head, though. Me and Gina try to head, but we can’t. Tina is so small that she gets the ball in other ways.”
Unlike the Mewis sisters, none of the DiMartino sisters have ever played in a Women’s National Team game together, but it’s a dream of Vicki’s to one day make that happen.
“My goal is to hopefully play with one of my sisters on the same National Team,” said Vicki. “Me and Tina or me and Gina, or even me and Rosie.”
Really, any combination of DiMartino will do.
News Feb 5, 2014