Although the season is over, one thing the Marist women’s soccer team can look toward is the sophomore duo of forwards Bridget Dudziec and Amanda Caldarelli.
The game that put the pair on notice was on Sunday, Sept. 26 against Saint Peter’s where Dudziec and Caldarelli willed the Red Foxes to a 2-1 victory. Both goals were scored by Caldarelli from nearly the exact same spot on the pitch, while Dudziec tallied both assists, in the span of only two minutes.
“When you’re playing with someone that you would literally do anything for, it makes you work harder and be motivated to do anything for them,” said Caldarelli, a member of the All-MAAC Second Team and Marist’s leading goal scorer. “I also feel like we’re both very similar when it comes to attacking and offensive standpoint.”
Caldarelli says that she and Dudziec are close friends on and off the field. That point is certainly made true by the fact that the two live in the same house together.
“It’s definitely like a fun time like all of us, but Amanda and I obviously get along. We’re really close friends and it’s amazing having to live with all the girls and Amanda,” said Dudziec, who led the Red Foxes with four assists on the season.
“After classes [we] will come home. I’ll come into her room and be, ‘like oh how was your day? What have you been up to? Last night?’ Yeah. It’s been great. I wouldn’t change it,” said Caldarelli.
The duo’s chemistry and admiration for each other certainly helped them succeed together on the field. Caldarelli admired Dudziec’s speed, encouraging her to run faster and condition harder. Dudziec added that Caldarelli’s foot skills and soccer IQ are both something she looks up to in return and tries to match on her own.
Despite the fact that they have been in sync on the pitch, their friendship itself is still young. Before they played soccer together, they did not have much of a relationship. “When we stepped on the field, you would not have [been able to tell] that we didn’t know each other,” Caldarelli said.
“We just know how to play together. And we have similar ways that we do things. So I think that’s part of the reason why we worked so well together,” Caldarelli added. “We both have the same mindset, and we both have the same offensive mindset when it comes to soccer and just attacking.”
Their college experience was rather unusual due to COVID-19 being a factor, and as a result, had a significant impact on the pair’s freshmen year.
“We all were going through a hard time because being in pods not being able to communicate and hang out with our other teammates made it really hard to grow a bond with our team,” said Dudziec. “So I think that made it really hard for us also [to play] on the field [and learn from] each other.”
Luckily for the two, their sophomore season was not nearly as strenuous as their freshman season was.
“Now that we’re finally together and playing with each other, we’re learning from each other. We’re growing close as a family,” Dudziec added.
The Red Foxes have promising players in Dudziec and Caldarelli as they look to lead the attack for the next two years. They will look to continue to build on their chemistry and help Marist achieve great success for these upcoming seasons.
Edited by Ricardo Martinez and Sam DiGiovanni
Photos from Marist Athletics