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The Statesman

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Hannah Maracina making her presence felt on and off the field

Forward Hannah Maracina celebrates a goal against Long Island University on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022. Maracina scored five goals as a freshman, but also makes an impact off the field. KAYLA GOMEZ MOLANO/THE STATESMAN

Forward Hannah Maracina is always making an impact, whether she is on or off the pitch. 

As a freshman in 2022, Maracina burst onto the scene for the young Stony Brook women’s soccer team. She scored five goals and 11 total points for the Seawolves, helping them become the highest-scoring offense in their first year as members of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), now known as the Coastal Athletic Association.

Maracina single-handedly gave her team a pair of wins with a walk-off buzzer-beater against Fordham and a go-ahead goal at Delaware. Stony Brook may have never captured the sixth seed in the 2022 CAA women’s soccer tournament had it not been for her heroics. 

Maracina’s flair for the dramatic stems from her days at Smithtown West High School on Long Island, where she learned to keep calm through the eye of the storm.

“You have to learn to stay in the game, stay focused,” Maracina said in an interview with The Statesman. “When it comes down to those final seconds, you’ve just got to do what you’ve got to do. It’s about managing your emotions in a time of chaos.”

Playing four years of championship-level soccer on the girl’s varsity team at Smithtown West put her on the map. She helped her team win the Long Island Championship as a freshman in 2018. As a senior, Maracina capped off her illustrious high school career by leading Smithtown West to another Suffolk County Championship victory while earning All-State honors.

As a native of Smithtown, N.Y., Maracina has always been very active in her town’s soccer community. In kindergarten, she joined the Smithtown Kickers Soccer Club and stayed with that same group of girls throughout her whole upbringing.

Surrounded by coaches and players pushing her to be at her best, Maracina fell in love with the sport.

“What made me strive [to be better] was being in an environment where people wanted you to grow and people wanted the best for you,” Maracina said. “It’s more about the people that made me want to stay with it, and I want to be with people that make me a better person.”

Maracina’s time playing club soccer taught her how to be flexible in a constantly changing environment, and she credits her success to the ability and willingness to learn something new.

Though she was successful on the field at Smithtown West, it was a different extracurricular activity that helped her find her niche. In high school, she joined the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) club, a non-profit organization designed to help younger students learn the world of business. By her senior year she became the vice president of competitions for the club, and eventually declared a business management major at Stony Brook.

Her time in DECA also introduced Maracina to philanthropy. While competing in an event that involved working with a foundation to raise awareness, Maracina was referred to the Dezy Strong Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping those fighting cancer build a positive mindset.

For the Dezy Strong Foundation, Maracina and her partners contributed to a virtual 5K fundraising event and sold candy and t-shirts. Their efforts raised around $1,700 in a span of three months. Maracina is still in contact with the organization to this day.

“It was an amazing experience,” Maracina said. “I loved working with the Dezy Strong Foundation. They promote so much social awareness and give back to the community.”

Maracina wants to stay involved and do more charitable work in the future. One organization she wants to work with down the road is Grassroot Soccer, a non-profit that raises money for underprivileged children and provides them the opportunity to play soccer.

But those days with Grassroot are further down the road for Maracina, who still has three years left at Stony Brook. Coming off a promising rookie year, she is primed to be a big contributor to the 2023 team as it tries to rise through the CAA ranks.

Just like her persona off the field, Maracina plans to be a generous teammate this year. 

“My main goal this year is to just be more confident in myself,” Maracina said. “And make more opportunities for the team.” 

Although Maracina is a sophomore, she is keeping her options open in regard to her future. If she settles down, she wants to venture into business, such as becoming a social media content creator for a professional sports team. She also has not yet ruled out the possibility of going overseas to play professionally. 

But for now, with most of the team’s key contributors back for 2023, Maracina is gearing up for a potential championship run.

“I’m really excited because I think we have a very strong chance at getting to where we want to be and possibly winning a championship — that’s the goal,” Maracina said.

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