Spotlight: Madi Julius

Spotlight: Madi Julius

Madi Julius, who redshirted her junior year, has taken her game to a new level this year. In addition to improving her goal and point personal bests, Julius has taken upon herself to be the voice and soul of the team on the field.

Julius, who has a talent for picking up points when it counts, tallied the game-winning goal over No. 4 ranked Duke last year, which started a three game string of consecutive points. She also scored the overtime game winner against No. 9 ranked Old Dominion in a game where she scored twice.   

She almost doubled her points in the past year alone and the Wake Forest women’s field hockey team can be sure that she will contribute both as a leader and as a scorer this season while on the pict: a well rounded captain.

Why Wake Forest?

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When I came to Wake, I loved that it was a small school but had a big school feel. I absolutely fell in love with the coaching staff here. I liked that there was great academics, but at the same time I wanted to compete in the ACC. That was a definite checkbox for me; I knew I wanted to be in the ACC. Honestly, the second I drove on campus, I knew it was for me.

How has head coach Jen Averill helped you?

Coach Jen and I have a really good relationship. I’m one of the players that she’s really hard on, but I respond well to that. She’s a coach that tells it like it is and is very knowledgable about the game.

At the same time, I’ve had coaches when I was getting recruited that told me, “I’m not your babysitter; I’m not your mom away from home,” but as an 18 year-old coming into college, you sort of need that, and she’s definitely been that person for me, whether it’s been family issues or even relationship issues. I feel comfortable going to her for anything. Even if she rips my head off on the field, I know 10 minutes later if I need to, she’ll be a shoulder for me to cry on, and she’s been that for me for four and a half years.

I know our relationship will go far beyond being a player, and I’m more than a player to her for sure.

Who would you say is your role model throughout your field hockey career?

She’s definitely been a role model for me in terms of bringing out the best in me, as far as leadership.

When I was a freshman, I played with Jill Anzione who was a senior, and she was probably one of the best captains I’ve ever been under. Anna Kozniak, who is the most talented player I’ve ever played with, having her as not only a captain but a friend, I would say I’ve always looked up to her even now that she’s gone and playing overseas. She still is a big role model for me.

How have you evolved as a player throughout your career at Wake Forest?

  I started when I was a freshman, but it wasn’t because I was super skillful or anything.

I’m very fit, very competitive and athletic, and that’s what got me on the field.

My skillset has definitely evolved, but I’m still not the most technical player, and that’s okay. What I have to offer is my sheer desire to win. Having Rich Sutton come in, he definitely evolved our skillsets technically. Just getting bigger and stronger is something that has been huge, and playing with good players is something that will always up your level.

How has your role changed?

I’m a center striker, and I’m not really up their to score goals. I mean I am, but at the same time, I’m definitely a vocal person on the field. I guess my role has shifted from being someone that was relied on for their workrate to being somebody who is relied on to control the game.

Have you had to mentor younger players? How has that been?

For sure. That’s one thing that I’ve definitely tried to do more of, is try to mold younger players now that the senior class is leaving. Me and Heather Wylie, the other senior captain, we started a junior captain. We asked Megan Anderson, who’s a sophomore, to be a captain as well. We think that’s good going forward because the second that we’re done this season, you’re starting again for next season, and having her to fill that role when we’re gone is going to be really good for them for the spring, and she has two more years left.

What’s been the team dynamic so far?

This year for me is kind of cool, because for the past four years, I’ve had my class who have been my best friends, but now, I wouldn’t say I’m on my own, but I definitely am more of a floater. I hang out with different classes, so it’s been really cool to see the dynamics of each class.

As a big group, I hate to say that we’re all best friends, but we all have a really cool respect for one another, and the second we step on the field, we gel.

It’s been up and down wins/losses wise, but what’s necessary to maintain a high level of play entering the homestretch of the season?

We are so close. I think some of the games, the scores havent been an indicator of how we’ve performed. For instance, against Syracuse I thought we played very well and that could have been in our favor.

We missed some scoring opportunities as well as let in some soft goals, but I don’t think that how we’ve played thus far is an indicator of how we’re going to finish.

I think we’re going to be peaking at the right time. We’ve moved a lot of different players around and had some injuries, so I think now that we’re finally getting a system locked into place, we’re going to start performing with more consistency.

Do you have any personal or team goals for this season?

There’s no doubt in my mind that we can an ACC Championship, I’ll start with that.

The reason I came back was because I have not won a National Championship yet, and that is still my end goal. That is still what I practice for everyday, and still what I play games to reach for. Those are my long term goals, but as of this week, it’s Virginia.

I definitely think we’re all on the same page, wanting championships. If they don’t, they shouldn’t be here.

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