Daphne Corboz is a soccer junkie.
But Georgetown head coach Dave Nolan completely approves of Corboz’ addiction.
“She loves playing soccer, she loves watching soccer,” Nolan said. “She’s a kid you just can’t get off the soccer field, which is pretty remarkable when you consider the fact she is also a pre-med major.”
After missing the Hoyas’ first five games due to injury, Corboz was a soccer junkie in need of a fix.
Nolan put her on the field for about 20 minutes of the team’s win over Delaware, and she wasted no time in getting her name in the box score by contributing an assist. Then against Yale last Sunday, Corboz played just 38 minutes but exploded for two goals and three assists in the Hoyas’ dominating 8-0 win over the Bulldogs.
“It’s been tough for her to handle,” Nolan said. “She’s been chomping at the bit to get back and I’m trying to ease her back into it. She’s just about ready to step back in on a more regular basis.”
While the Hoyas started the season 7-0-0 despite limited action from Corboz, Nolan is certainly ready to have his main scoring threat return to the field full-time.
“She was definitely the quarterback of the team, and this year all of a sudden we didn’t have a quarterback,” Nolan said. “I had Sarah Adams play the role and she did a great job and was very effective. But the reality is that when we get Daphne back into her spot, we can get Sarah back into her regular spot and that will make us a better team.”
The junior from Greenbrook, N.J., earned 2012 Big East Conference Offensive Player of the Year and NSCAA First Team All-America honors after scoring a single-season school record 18 goals along with eight assists last season.
“Her technical game is so good,” Nolan said. “She is so clean with the ball. She reads the game so quickly. She is so quick over the first five or six yards which is all she needs in her position. She doesn’t need to sprint 25 yards down the line to beat somebody. She just needs a quick first step to get away from people.”
Corboz, an attacking midfielder for the No. 10 Hoyas, grew up watching soccer with her father Michel, who played professionally in France, and developing her talents by playing with brother Mael and sister Rachel, who have also excelled the in the sport at the same position.
“Anytime we wanted to play, (my dad) was ready,” Corboz said. “The four of us played soccer and tennis a lot. He’s had a very active role in our development.”
Mael is a sophomore on the men’s team at Rutgers and was named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week on Sept. 15 after tallying four goals and an assist in wins over Princeton and South Carolina. Rachel is a senior at Watchung Hills H.S. in Greenbrook, N.J., and will be following her older sister to Georgetown next year.
“They all have the same style of playing the game,” Nolan said. “It’s quite funny actually because the three of them are all exceptional players. There is definitely soccer in DNA.”
“I think playing with my siblings allowed me to develop and made soccer such a fun experience for me,” Corboz said. ”I learned a lot from the two of them and I hope to continue to do so now.”
Corboz values the technical aspects of the game, and credits her lineage in helping to fine-tune those skills.
“French soccer is a very technical game, and that was something that we learned from the games we would watch with my family,” Corboz said. “The three of us really stress being skillful on the field and trying to work on that as much as possible.”
“It’s rare you can find a player in this country that has her ability,” Nolan said. “The U.S. turns out so many athletic players but where fall behind the rest of the world is finding really technical players with a soccer brain. Daphne is one of those.”
While Nolan teases Corboz that after she’s done playing her passion for soccer will lead her into the coaching profession, the science buff has aspirations of becoming a doctor.
“I always loved biology and believed health is the number one thing people can have,” Corboz said. “With health, people can do anything they’d like. Hopefully, one day I can help people get 100 percent healthy – I think that would be really rewarding.”
And, making health a priority is something Corboz can certainly relate after suffering the preseason injury.
But for right now, Corboz and the Hoyas are concentrating a pair of tough contests as they host UCF on Thursday at 3 p.m., and travel to Connecticut on Sunday at 1 p.m. UCF (6-2-0) has won four consecutive contests as it readies for its second match against a Top 10 opponent this season and first tussle with the Knights since 2000. The Hoyas are much more familiar with the Huskies (5-3) as the two programs played together in the Big East until last season.
“I feel these two games are going to be defining games for us this season,” Nolan said.
Amy Farnum Patronis is a contributing writer for College Soccer News covering Division I women's soccer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org