By Trevor Wenners
Athletic Communications Assistant
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – It is amazing how similar sports and life in general are.
People in every walk of life reap the benefits of hard work, and in sports, extra effort plays and resiliency always make the difference.
|Senior standout Cici Frattasio took some time to talk about her run as a Cardinal.|
Senior forward Cici Frattasio of the Wesleyan University field hockey team certainly brings credence to that notion, as the athlete's heart and determination on the pitch has led to career marks of 12 goals, three assists and 27 points.
Things were not always picture-perfect for Frattasio, but her ability to fight through a difficult situation provided her with a new strength and appreciation for her craft. After joining the team as a sophomore in the fall of 2015, she ended up being hampered with a leg injury through most of the season.
On the heels of her junior campaign, lofty goals and big dreams were ruminating through Frattasio's head, but then suddenly two games into the year a broken thumb put a dark cloud over her mood.
The resilient woman, who has always carried a team-first mindset, decided to play through the pain with a cast, which gives you a glimpse of her competitive spirit.
"My second game back we played Hamilton, and I had a nice tip off of Tess Iannarone's unreal shot that hit the crossbar, and a few minutes later, I scored off of a long backhand shot to the lower right corner, which was generated by a beautiful pass from Abby Warren, who hit me as I headed into the circle," Frattasio said. "I can still replay the moment in my head, and I cannot put into words how I felt after. All I wanted to do was help my team after being out for what seemed like forever."
Frattasio, who stands a shade under 4-foot-10, jokingly tells people she is 4-foot-11, but the standout athlete has not allowed this to affect her play. In many ways, she has used it to her advantage, by pestering opposing defenders with her speed and elusiveness, while using a creative post-up technique to give her teammates a big window to find her in the circle.
The senior standout's field vision and ability to read a defense is unparalleled, as she leads the Cardinals this fall with six goals, three assists and 15 points, checking in at a tie for 12th within the entire NESCAC Conference in goals and a tie for 15th in points. She erupted with a four-point game, featuring one goal and two assists, during a 3-1 triumph over Wheaton (Mass.) on Oct. 10 at Smith Field in Middletown, Conn.
The Walpole, Mass. native also scored a goal and provided an assist on a highlight-reel, give-and-go play with freshman forward Nikki Gerjarusak, which stood up as the game winner in a 2-1 season-opening win at Roger Williams on Sept. 5.
Frattasio was kind enough to take some time out of her hectic schedule to speak about her field hockey career, plans for the future and pregame rituals.
Q: Could you talk about your emotions during Senior Day this past Saturday, and what it felt like to tally a goal one more time in front of the home crowd?
A: Senior day was really emotional for me; I am the kind of person to think of things way too far in advance, so I had been thinking about Senior Day last season. It is sad to think about how every game you play is one less game in your entire career, which has made me appreciate and take the time to soak it all in each time I play because before I know it, it will all be gone. Scoring in front of the home crowd for the last time was the best, especially since I received a spectacular feed from sophomore Maddie Shea.
Q: Could you talk about how you became such a strong finisher around the net?
A: Since I had a late start to the game; I lacked a nice drive, shot and stick skills, but I made up for it with athleticism. I think that has helped me a lot and has forced me to be creative. I also think playing ice hockey has helped me play grittier and aggressive when I am in front of the field hockey net. I try to be really annoying in front of the net, and use my quickness to bug and outlast defenders.
Q: Who has been the biggest inspiration during your field hockey career?
A: My dad has been my biggest inspiration for any sport I have ever done. He is my biggest fan, and has never missed a game my entire career, whether it be ice hockey or field hockey. He even sleeps in the car for back-to-back games. I fell in love with the game and I owe a lot of it to my high school team, and my dad, who never allows me to settle and who is always on the sidelines cheering me on.
Q: Could you talk about some of the advice that you have given some of the younger players this fall?
A: Field hockey is a team sport, and it is impossible to win alone. I also encourage the underclassmen to appreciate the little things that their teammates do on the field, many little plays contribute to the big play, and most of the time they go unnoticed. Also, I think it is important to feel lucky and grateful to have the chance to play the game you love.
Q: What are you going to miss most about suiting up for the Cardinals?
A: Definitely the competition. I am a really competitive person, and I love the NESCAC games because we get to play the best Division III teams in the country. Also, many of my old teammates and friends play for the other conference teams, so I will miss playing against them.
Q: Could you talk about the potential of the program moving forward with a strong young nucleus and a talented coaching staff?
A: I am really excited to see the freshmen and sophomores develop into future leaders of the program, you never know what can happen each year. There is potential on this team that I wish I could stick around and see.
Q: Do you have a specific pregame routine, and do you have any superstitions?
A: I always roll out before games with my bright-orange roller, and I wear a special sports ring my dad made for me every game day for good luck.
Q: What are you majoring in and what are your post-college plans?
A: I am a history major, concentrating in Europe/war and violence, and I plan to possibly get my master's somewhere and coach. I spent the summer in Italy, teaching Italian kids English and history, and learned that I really like working with kids, so I think teaching is something I want to pursue.