Twins Alexa and Jamie Martinez made their debut at RIT four years ago on an accepted students day where they impressed the upperclassmen with their vigor and endurance on the soccer field. Needing no time to adjust to college level play, they played side by side as defensive center midfielders their freshman year. The fourth year New Media Design majors are now co-captains of the Women’s Soccer team.
Alexa and Jamie have participated in the same soccer teams since the age of five. The decision to play at RIT only seemed natural, though they were not focused on soccer while looking for schools. “We actually throughout the search process only focused on academics, and then soccer was going to be a plus for us,” Jamie said. “Coming to RIT it ended up working out very well.”
The life of a student athlete is not without hurdles. Alexa couldn’t have imagined going to school without continuing her athletic career, though she finds balancing school and sports stressful. “I have a lot of all-nighters with my major,” said Alexa. “I’m always up doing work and there’s no time to mess around.” Jamie shares the same belief but says she found the right balance freshman year after developing her time management skills.
This season, the two were selected to be in the 2013 Capital One Academic All-District III Women’s Soccer team, for the second time. Unfortunately, this season ended early for Alexa because of a knee injury. The twins have finished the four years they are eligible to play soccer, according to NCAA rules, despite having a year and a half left before graduation.
While at RIT, one of the twins’ most memorable moments happened off the field. They recall the excitement as their team was called at the NCAA selection show last year and chosen to participate in the NCAA Division III tournament; it was the first time the Women’s Soccer team was selected. This is remembered as a historical moment for the team, which made it into the bracket again this year. Liz Masterson, coach for the Women’s Soccer team, cites Alexa and Jamie as reasons for the team’s success.
Masterson has enjoyed seeing Alexa and Jamie’s growth, as she has been with them since she started coaching. She said the two have a wealth of great qualities and balance each other very well on and off the field. “Alexa is really carefree. She is incredibly positive. She thinks that everyone has the best intentions.” Masterson continues: “Jamie is more serious. I think she reads people really well, she can relate easier to other people.”
When asked how it feels to be on the same team as their sister, the two laughed because the arrangement is so natural to them. “I don’t know anything else, you know?” said Alexa. Their experiences together give them great synergy on the field, helping them determine what’s going to happen next, where to pass and where they are needed. “We definitely push each other competitively but in a way that makes soccer a whole much more enjoyable experience,” said Jamie.
After graduation, the two hope to find job offers in a design firm on the west coast (Alexa prefers somewhere in San Francisco) and wish to work alongside each other. They plan to stay involved in soccer, whether it be supporting the team in their last year at RIT or participating in a local league.
“I don’t know what else to say about them, I just think they are the two most amazing people I have ever known,” said Masterson. “As a coach, I feel lucky to have seen them through their four years and to have worked with them.”