Chris DelGiudice hadn’t touched a soccer ball in over a year, and he knew that it showed. Still, he was sure he was better than what the paper he was holding was telling him.

In the summer before his senior year at Messalonskee High School, DelGiudice went to an evaluation camp for soccer players — the kind where coaches assess your chances of playing at the next level.

“The coach basically gave me a report card,” DelGiudice said. “The comments that he left me basically said that I worked really hard, but I wouldn’t play in college unless I got a lot better.”

DelGiudice doesn’t believe he improved all that much over the next year, but he still made the team at Husson University. A year later, and now he’s a starting midfielder, as well as a sophomore captain.

“He’s one of our best defenders,” Husson coach Jeff Gettler said. “He can match up with anyone. Last year, his ability to do stuff with the ball improved tenfold by the end of the fall.”

DelGiudice also plays on the men’s lacrosse team, and saw action in three games as a freshman. On the soccer field, he was able to contribute almost immediately.

“When I first saw him in practice, I wasn’t sure,” Gettler said. “By the end of the season, he became a much better passer, much more creative with the ball.”

But defense is DelGiudice’s calling card, which you might expect given that he’s primarily a goalie in lacrosse. He believes confidence is the most important thing when playing defense: If you’re not confident you’re going to stop your man, he says, there’s pretty much no chance you’re going to do it.

“I’m pretty confident playing against anybody 1-on-1,” DelGiudice said.

DelGiudice has started all 11 games this season. Gettler wants all of his players to get better handling the ball, and he thinks DelGuidice, who is listed at 5 foot 8 and 150 lbs., will get even better as his body fills out a little.

“He’s not going to appreciably look better over the next two years,” Gettler said, “but if he’s a little bit stronger, that will serve him well.”

Still, being a tri-captain as a sophomore is pretty impressive in itself. Gettler said he chose the captains, because there were too many new players for everyone to know each other, and a team vote would have been a popularity contest.

“I put it out there to be earned, and Chris was one of the first guys to get an arm band,” Gettler said. “And he’s kept it ever since.”

“It was a little weird at first,” DelGiudice admitted. “But I’m friends with all the upperclassmen. We have two senior captains, too. They’re the vocal captains. I’m just the quiet guy who does what he needs to.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]


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