Monday, June 24, 2024
Providing Pathways

Dominique Marcelli reflects on her time at North Toronto as she becomes a college senior

Dominique smiling at FIU
Photo credits: FIU

Twenty-one-year-old Dominique Marcelli is returning to Florida International University after her fifth year as a holding midfielder at North Toronto Soccer. We caught up with her about her time at NT, and to look ahead to another year at college.

From your first kick at North Toronto Soccer to now, how would you describe your experience?

I would definitely describe it as challenging. Coming to NT was a big change for me, adjusting to the fast-paced style of play, but nevertheless, the coaching staff and environment allows players to grow in multi-dimensional ways.

Is there a standout moment from your time with the club and what made it so special?

No specific standout moment, it’s been just an overall great experience.

How have you improved as a player while with North Toronto Soccer?

My soccer IQ and technique are the two biggest things that NT really helped me with. Our practices and the system we play in allow players to really show who they are, on and off the ball. It enables us to be creative and play with freedom while also improving constantly because of how fast-paced everything is.

How do you prepare for each gameday?

One thing that’s a must is scouting. Before every match our team scouts the other teams to learn everything there is to know about them. I personally like to know about the player I will be defending the most and really dive deep on her.

I also go to treatment in the mornings of gamedays just to get loose and make sure I’m recovered. I have my team meal, listen to my specific playlist then I’m ready to get going.

Do you have any interests or secret talents beyond soccer, and if so, why are they important to you?

My main interest is Psychology. Going through college soccer in the United States has not only showed me my strengths but also my weaknesses.

Coming in as a freshman, my mental game was extremely weak; I had a lot of negative self-talk and it wasn’t helping me in any way, on or off the field. After having my first season, I really got into the sport psychology side of things and tried to show how it’s OK to admit you’re struggling as an athlete. I have an Instagram account [@kkeekskamera] which looks into my life as an NCAA Division One soccer player. It is where I’ve interviewed some professional athletes in regards to mental health, and it’s really helped a lot of young athletes. It sheds a light on being a balanced athlete in terms of training your body and mind as hard as you can, while also allowing yourself to live a balanced lifestyle.

Photo credits: FIU

Which college are you going to, and why?

I’m at Florida International University. I have absolutely adored every minute at this school after transferring here and have never been happier.

The school itself is ranked fourth in the nation in terms of opportunities and academics which allows for us student athletes to really grow in the classroom. In terms of soccer, this was an amazing fit for me because our team is so multi-dimensional. We can hurt our opponents in many ways, while also staying true to our program’s standards and having an incredible team environment. I really couldn’t be happier.

What are you looking forward to the most about college, and is there anything in particular that you want to gain from the experience?

This is my senior year, so I’ve been in this system for a while. But coming to school as a freshman, I really just wanted to learn how to impact a team no matter the role I had. It’s all about what you do when you get there and, for me, that was the thing I looked forward to most – proving myself.

What are the biggest takeaways from North Toronto Soccer that you think will help you at college?

The biggest takeaway from North Toronto that helped me in college was being a part of the college prep program and going on all those trips to visit schools and play against high-level Division One teams.

It not only opened my eyes in high school to how competitive it was over here, but also how much work you have to put in as a Division One athlete.

What are your targets for this year, and beyond? These could be ambitions both on, and off, the field.

My target for this year is to inspire as many younger athletes as I can – that was definitely one thing lacking when I was younger. I want to be able to inspire young females to take the risk and try to go to college in the States because you learn so many things not only living away from home and having all this responsibility, but also so much about yourself and it makes you a better person over time.

Another goal is for my team to win our conference tournament and get to the NCAA tournament, of course.

What’s your message to younger players aspiring to play high-level soccer at North Toronto Soccer?

My message to younger players aspiring to play high-level soccer at North Toronto Soccer is to always be honest with yourself.

Being athletes, we are so incredibly hard on ourselves all the time because we have this huge drive to want to do our best, but sometimes in order to grow as a player, we need to learn how to reflect. If we aren’t honest with ourselves during reflection, we will never truly be able to grow. This has allowed me to grow both on and off the field and I wish I started to do it sooner.

Monday–Friday: 10 am - 6 pm

North Toronto Soccer Club
1041 Avenue Rd. Suite 5
Toronto, Ontario
M5N 2C5

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