SOMERS, N.Y. – Somers senior Dahlia Pepe will continue her soccer career next year at Franklin and Marshall. She plays the sport year-round, in the fall with Somers High School and the rest of the year with her club team, Connecticut FC ECNL. At Somers, she has earned All-League honorable mention honors (freshman) and has been named All-League (sophomore and junior).
How are you gotten through this period of social distancing? What have you been doing to keep busy and stay ready for the fall season?
Although the pandemic has given us many challenges, I’d like to think that it has allowed me to enforce a workout routine. Also, it has made me more disciplined about getting ready for the season and staying fit while being mostly at home. Throughout the offseason, I typically workout six times a week and those workouts consisted of going on runs, cycling, lifting weights, and swimming laps in my pool!
How old were you when you started playing soccer? Do you have any early memories of when you started?
I started playing soccer when I was 5 years old. One of my favorite things early on in my soccer career was, at different times, having my mom and dad as my coaches. Since they have had great soccer careers in their life, it was truly amazing to have them to kick start my soccer career.
Who has had the biggest impact on your career so far? What did this person do to influence you?
The person who has had the biggest impact on my career has to be my dad. He has always inspired me and encouraged me to always keep improving my game. He would never pass up an opportunity to train me at the field and for that I am truly grateful.
What is your favorite memory of playing soccer at Somers?
My favorite memory from playing soccer at Somers is during my junior year at the sectional semifinals. In double overtime with 14 seconds left before PKs, we were given a free kick 5 yards out of the 18-yard box. I was picked to take the kick and I ended up scoring the golden goal to clinch a spot at the sectional final. It was a game I will forever remember.
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
One of my pre-game rituals is a very long and intricate handshake with my best friend and fellow senior teammate, Noelle DeMarinis. We have been doing it since freshman year on varsity and we can’t go a game without doing it right before the first whistle.
What are your post-high school plans, athletically and academically?
I plan to continue my athletic and academic career at Franklin and Marshall College. I’m beyond grateful that I can continue to play the sport I love at the next level.
What’s your favorite place to eat locally and what’s your go-to order?
Hands down, my favorite local place to eat is Bobo’s Cafe. My go to order is the Bobo’s house salad and an iced matcha latte. My friends and I go there at least twice a week and it is especially good after soccer practice.
What is something about yourself people would be surprised to learn?
Something about myself that people might be surprised to learn is that I am right-handed and left-footed.
What is your favorite spot to vacation? Where is somewhere you have not visited yet but would like to in the future?
Although I have only been there once, my favorite place I have visited is South Africa. I went there on a school trip and it’s a trip I will never forget. Somewhere I haven’t visited but I would love to visit in the future is definitely Switzerland. It is a beautiful country and it’s unlike anywhere I have ever been.
If you could offer one piece of advice to younger athletes what would it be and why?
If I could give one piece of advice to younger athletes, I would tell them that no matter the amount of talent you have, you should always keep improving your work ethic. Talent can only take you so far in life; it’s your work ethic that can truly bring you success.
If you could compare yourself to one athlete who would it be and why?
If I could compare myself to one athlete, I would say Tobin Heath, because we both have a wide variety of skills and we both can be extremely nifty with the ball, especially in tight spaces.
What is the go-to app on your phone and why?
My go-to app on my phone is probably Instagram because I like seeing everyone’s pictures along with sports news and highlights.
How do you adjust your game when you are not performing at the level you know you can?
I think about the fundamentals. It’s the best way to simplify the game and it allows me to take a step back from the complexity of what I’m doing. Additionally, I try to just keep working hard and never put my head down.
Where is your favorite place to play on the road?
My favorite place to play on the road is at Yorktown. They are our biggest rivals and playing them is always fun and competitive.
Lastly, what do you expect of yourself and your team this season and how are you preparing yourself?
For this season, the obvious goal is to make it back to the sectional championship and to win it this year. As an aspiring captain of my team, I am trying to lead my teammates and encourage them to be the best they can be. I have full confidence in the abilities of my teammates, my coaches and I and I hope my goals will be achieved this year.