by Kyla Guilfoil, Asst. News Editor
Freshman Emily Derrico and sophomore Sami Derrico did not plan on coming to college together. But after a year at the University of Connecticut, Sami decided to transfer and join her younger sister, Emily, at Manhattan College. Both exercise science majors, the New Jersey natives have started training as athletes on two of Manhattan’s women’s sports teams. For Emily, that means being a midfielder for the women’s lacrosse team, and for Sami, that is as a midfielder on the women’s soccer team.
The Quadrangle: Would you say that sports were always an important activity growing up in your family?
Sami Derrico: I think that we’re definitely an outdoorsy type of family. We like to do a lot of things together outside. Our whole family skis and snowboards together, and that’s something we like to do together. We like to go for hikes or go on runs together. That’s something our parents do, so we were raised in that environment in a way and encouraged with it, so I think we just continued that in different aspects of our lives. I went with soccer.
Emily Derrico: I think that we all went our different ways when it came to sports and were really independent with it, but both of our parents are big runners and for us it was adjusting for what we want is good and it’s our own thing.
TQ: Is it just you two and your parents or do you have other siblings?
SD: We have another younger sister, she’s in eighth grade so she’s still super young.
TQ: Maybe she’ll end up at Manhattan, too.
ED: Maybe, who knows!
TQ: For you Sami, what led you to transfer this year from UConn?
SD: Honestly, I went to UConn and then I realized it was definitely far away from home, and it was a big school and I just kind of realized it wasn’t my thing. When I started to realize that being so far away, and at such a big [school], wasn’t the best fit for me, I started looking at other places and [Emily] was really what drove me here. And when I came on a tour I realized what she loved about it.”
TQ: So, Emily, did you commit first to Manhattan?
ED: Yeah, so I committed here my junior year of high school around December. I chose the school because it was really, really close to home. I’m definitely someone who doesn’t like to be far from home. I also love the city and the fact that it’s a train ride away and it’s not directly in the city.
TQ: Did you guys ever expect that you would end up at the same college?
SD: Yeah, not in a million years, it was very odd. We never expected it, especially because we’ve done everything else together, the same high school, the same middle school, so we’re like, ‘We’re not going to go to college together’. And even when I was looking at [MC], I was afraid to tell her so I kind of almost kept it to myself that I was even considering it. It took me until COVID I think, and going away to school, to realize how much I like being close to home, being actually in the city. I was in the complete middle of nowhere so it’s nice that I can have the city now and also the comfort of having Emily here which is nice.
ED: It was definitely weird at first, and it was funny because I definitely think that we’re not super similar, we’re two different people, but that’s not to say that we don’t have the same interests and see eyeto-eye. So when I was looking at smaller schools, really just schools within the MAAC, like Marist, Fairfield, I thought Sam would go to one that was big with game days and tailgating and all that stuff. And I really think one of the big effects that it had was just COVID. I think that for any student going through a pandemic and trying to get through your first year of college with it not being normal at all is definitely hard. I think that anybody that’s gone through it needs to give themselves a lot of credit.
TQ: What have your experiences so far been like with your respective teams?
SD: Yeah, so I’ve been here since August for preseason. I had had a few conversations before coming here with the coach [Brendan Lawler], but coming here it’s been an all around great experience. And even though I just got here, and I was a transfer, I already automatically felt welcomed and comforted. And in an on the field aspect, everyone supports each other and pushes each other so it’s really just a nice community and team to be a part of.
ED: For me, I think since we’re a spring sport we have ‘fall ball’, and we kind of get into it a lot in October and September. I think adjusting to playing sports in college is definitely a learning process and I’m still happy that a lot of the upperclassmen on the team and the coaches were able to help us adjust.
TQ: Do you think that MC offers a supportive environment for student athletes?
SD: Yeah, I think 100 percent. Something I distinctly remember was our first game here and I was walking down to GPAC with my uniform on and all my stuff and all the signs were around campus saying that we had our first game and just random people while I was walking were like, ‘Good luck in your game today!’ And I think it’s really nice the support we just have from everyone.
ED: Yeah, I think it’s that close and small school community feel where everyone supports each other. I feel that support from my coaches. They like to check in with us and encourage us to talk to them, or upperclassmen if we have any questions or anything