Starting First Season With Stanford Field Hockey, PHS Grad DiTosto Aiming to Make Contribution
Having played field hockey, ice hockey, and softball through middle school, Julia DiTosto narrowed her athletic focus when she entered Princeton High in 2011.
“I didn’t really take field hockey seriously until my freshman year of high school,” said DiTosto.
“I joined a club team and it really became a part of my life. I ended up spending every weekend playing. I joined the Impact club out of Drew University and was there as a freshman and a sophomore. In the fall of my junior year, I switched to the Princeton club.
DiTosto, a skilled 5’5 midfielder who impacts the game at both ends of the field, ended up becoming one of the top players in the area, earning All-County and All-State honors. She was named as the 2014 CVC Player of the Year and was also selected as the Midfielder of the Year.
This week, DiTosto is hitting the field for the Stanford University field hockey team as she starts preseason practices for her freshman campaign with the Cardinals.
Although DiTosto was initially leaning toward staying home, going to Princeton University and joining its field hockey program, she ultimately decided to head west for college.
“Princeton is an amazing school with an amazing program and amazing coaches,” said DiTosto.
“I have been living in Princeton for 18 years and I feel that college should be a change of scenery. I had two visits to Stanford, one with my mom and one with my dad. I stayed with a field hockey player each time. I saw one of their games. I also saw other events on campus, like a volleyball game and a concert. Stanford is an amazing place with amazing professors and it is not only successful at academics, it is great at sports.”
DiTosto enjoyed a very successful senior season for PHS, helping the Little Tigers go 18-4 as they made the Mercer County Tournament championship game and the North 2, Group 3 sectional semifinal.
“I never had such a serious game as that county final,” recalled DiTosto, referring to PHS’s hard-fought 3-1 loss to Lawrenceville.
“It was the biggest game of my career and it was special to have that senior year when I was a captain. I am so proud of the team for making it that far.”
While DiTosto was focused on team success, she took pride in the individual honors that she earned last fall.
“Field hockey doesn’t get the attention it deserves,” maintained DiTosto, who also starred as a defenseman for the PHS girls’ ice hockey team. “It is cool to get recognition at school for all county and all state. No one realizes that field hockey is a big deal so it is good for them to hear that.”
Over the summer, DiTosto has been dividing her attention between conditioning and stickwork.
“Club ended in early summer, I have been going to my personal trainer and doing individual stuff with my coach,” said DiTosto.
“I had the summer conditioning packet from Stanford so I am also doing that.”
With DiTosto joining a Stanford team coming off a 19-3 season in 2014 that saw it make the NCAA quarterfinals for the first time in program history, she is anxious to see where she fits in with her new team.
“I am really nervous, I don’t know what to expect,” said DiTosto. “I don’t know how I am going to compare to all these good players. I am expecting to play more defense and some midfield.”
Even if DiTosto doesn’t see a lot of playing time, she is determined to be an asset to the Stanford squad.
“I am looking to make a contribution, whether on the field, on the bench, or in the locker room,” said DiTosto.
“I am looking forward to being part of a team. It is definitely a team on the rise, it is exciting.”