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Raiders' DeJuliis is girl for all seasons 3-sport athlete gives her all


Loch Raven senior Michele DeJuliis, 17, is a coach's dream. A selfless, tireless player, she divides her athletic talents among three sports, giving equal amounts of dedication and zeal to all.

Many liken her to her father, Ron, a three-sport athlete -- football, basketball and lacrosse -- at Patterson.

But, come graduation next spring, she'll have to choose among soccer, basketball and lacrosse.

It seems that lacrosse will win out. Last season, DeJuliis was named The Baltimore Sun Lacrosse Player of the Year, leading Loch Raven to a 15-1 season and a berth in the state 2A-1A semifinals. And DeJuliis says she's had a lifelong desire to play college lacrosse. For now, she can continue spreading her wealth of talent through three seasons.

Whatever the sport, DeJuliis plays aggressive offense and defense. Her go-getter attitude made her a starter on three teams as a freshman. And she manages to juggle all three without confusing them by picking up, hanging onto or transferring bad habits.

"When I'm playing soccer, my mind is in soccer," she said. "That's all I think about. I don't let my mind wander.

"I like playing soccer," she said. "I like the challenge."

And while she's on the subject, don't ever hold back when you're on her squad.

"It's a pet peeve of mine," she said. "I never give up on a ball. When you do, it shows you're lazy."

That kind of dedication resulted in 25 goals last year in soccer. In five games this season, she has eight goals and two assists.

"She gives 100 percent during practice and games," said Loch Raven soccer coach Lou Menegatti. "Some players are practice players, and some are game players. Michele happens to be both, and she doesn't understand when others don't give as much as she does."

As co-captain of the soccer team, DeJuliis impressed Menegatti by giving her time to others.

"When both the JV and varsity practiced together, she gave a lot of her time to some players, many of whom weren't going to make the cut," said Menegatti. "She covered up for them without them knowing -- saving them from some embarrassing moments. It was good to see that."

The Loch Raven girls soccer team got off to a less-than-spectacular start this season losing, 4-1, to John Carroll, defeating Mercy, 3-2, before losing to McDonogh, 2-0.

During the lacrosse season, DeJuliis ranked third in the area with 90 goals and 35 assists. However, DeJuliis chooses to focus attention on coach Wendy Galinn.

"She's awesome," she said. "We couldn't go half as far as we do without her."

Galinn took Loch Raven to the state final last season, where DeJuliis scored eight goals -- not enough to avert the 15-10 loss to Mount Hebron for the 2A-1A crown. That game marked her first high school loss -- a loss that still hangs over DeJuliis and Loch Raven.

"Everyone played their best at the time, but they weren't playing their game," she said. "We made a couple of mistakes, and it cost us the game."

Loch Raven's girls lacrosse boasts a winning tradition from its beginnings in 1975 (223-7-1). When it comes to changing girls lacrosse to mimic the boys version, DeJuliis stands on tradition.

"In girls lacrosse, you get contact, too," she said. "You don't have as many rules or any boundaries. I think it's better."

DeJuliis said she hasn't decided among Loyola, Penn State, James Madison and Maryland. However, Loyola is starting to look good to her, she said.

DeJuliis has been sidelined by a case of turf toe suffered during the McDonogh game. She missed two days of practice. But was she going to miss the first Baltimore County league game against Overlea Wednesday? ,

"No, never, no way," she said.

DeJuliis got a hat trick and an assist in a 4-3 win over Overlea, and Friday, she scored four goals in a 6-0 victory over Owings Mills.

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