Rosie extends DiMartino dynasty at Massapequa

Massapequa high school girls soccer player Rosie DiMartino Massapequa high school girls soccer player Rosie DiMartino stands on the sideline before a game against Oceanside. (Oct. 22, 2012) Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

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Rosie DiMartino has shared plenty with her sisters over the years. From toys and clothes, to secrets and memories, to closets and bedrooms.

As the years passed and her sisters moved on to college, she began getting more to herself.

But last week she found herself, yet again, sharing something with one of her three older sisters: the all-time scoring record for the Massapequa girls soccer team. The senior forward had scored the 59th goal of her four-year career to pull into a tie with her sister Gina, who shared the record with Christie Welsh.

To have the record to herself was one of Rosie's goals . . . pun very much intended.

On Oct. 13, Gina returned home from work and barely got through the door before her little sister proudly approached her.

"Guess what?" Rosie said. "I just want to let you know that I beat your scoring record."

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She scored in a 4-1 win over MacArthur, becoming the leading goal-scorer of a storied program that has produced All-Americans, New York State Players of the Year and national team members.

Sure, records are meant to be broken, but not necessarily by someone with whom you share a home. But as one DiMartino passed another, the bonds of sisterly love outweighed the competitiveness of sibling rivalry.

"I said to her, 'If there was anyone I wanted to break it, it would be you,'" Gina said. "I would've probably been disappointed if it was somebody else."

Rosie, whose given name is Jaclyn Rose, finished the regular season with 13 goals and five assists, and has career totals of 65 goals and 23 assists. She'll have a chance to add to it during top-seeded Massapequa's playoff run, which begins tomorrow against East Meadow in the quarterfinals.

While Rosie says she now has bragging rights, she credits her sisters with helping her achieve all she has. Rarely was she babied, and never would they take it easy on her when playing backyard soccer. As the losses piled up, a young Rosie often was brought to tears and, as a result of losing friendly soccer-related wagers, got stuck doing the dishes.

"When you play with older people, you get used to it and rise to a higher level," Rosie said. "It pushed me."

For the past 12 years, the DiMartino bridge helped guide Massapequa over the rough waters of Conference AA-I, Nassau's top ability-based division. Christina kicked off the DiMartino Era in 2001. She teamed with Gina from 2002 to 2004. Gina then played one season with Vicki in 2005. Vicki's final season was 2008. Then in 2009 came Rosie, who immediately displayed a nose for the goal and an ability to finish from great distances.

"It's really a tribute to Rosie and her hard work that she was able to get to that level," said Chiefs coach Bruce Stegner, who coached all four sisters. "The DiMartinos have been the most influential soccer family in Massapequa over the last . . . ever, obviously."

With the DiMartinos, Massapequa won eight county titles, four Long Island championships, and three state titles.

A look at some of the highlights on the DiMartino sisters' resumes makes it easy to understand the pressure Rosie, 17, may have felt to keep pace.

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Christina, 25, was a four-year starter at UCLA, played professionally for three years and spent some time with the full women's national team. Gina, 24, had an illustrious career at Boston College, played professionally for two years and won the U-20 World Cup. Vicki, 21, is in her senior year at Boston College and in 2008 won the Silver Boot award for scoring the second-most goals in international play during the U-17 World Cup. Each received a full college scholarship.

"I don't feel pressure," said Rosie, who is expected to sign off on a full ride to Boston College in February. "I always wanted to try to be better and beat them. It's no pressure at all; it just feels natural."

Growing up, their older brother Danny, 28, had his own bedroom while the four girls shared one and slept in bunk beds. "I feel like if I can do that," Rosie said with a laugh, "I can do anything."

The award collection at the DiMartino house became so overwhelming that their father, Dan, began snapping off the upper plastic portion of the trophies and kept only the marble base of each. The significant trophies, along with a stack of marbles, are on display in the family den. The sisters joke of always trying to move their trophies in front of the others. Yes, they even have to share space on the mantel.

So, who's the best of the four?

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"That's like asking, 'What's your favorite meal?'" said Dan, a New York City firefighter, who along with his wife, Patti, helped usher the girls to countless tournaments over the years. "They're all good in their own different way."

The one thing the DiMartino sisters always will share is the genes that helped lead to more than a decade of dominance in Massapequa soccer.

"It's an honor," Rosie said of the family name forever being linked to the program. "We've all made an impact in our own way. It's been a great experience to share with them."

As for the scoring record -- and the bedroom -- she now has them all to herself.

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