Senior co-captain and midfielder Cara Cutaia possesses the traits of a leader for the Eastern Michigan University soccer team. She has also proven to be a positive influence on her younger sisters – Alyssa, 20 and Angela, 18.
“She [Cara] has always been a big influence on me,” University of Texas-El Paso sophomore midfielder Angela Cutaia said. “Growing up, I watched her play basketball and soccer for club and high school and she was such a great player and team player on the court and field. She had this intensity about her when she played and was always so competitive. I’ve always looked up to my two sisters growing up and I was fortunate enough to play with them [Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School] when we won a provincial championship together.”
Alyssa Cutaia not only looks up to Cara on the field, but off of it too.
“I have always looked up to her on and off the field and she never quits, her work ethic is relentless in everything she does,” Alyssa said. “She is a natural leader and inspired me to be better.”
Cara was born on July 9, 1991 in Burlington, Ontario and also has a younger brother, Angelo Jr., 16.
At the age of five, Cara took up soccer even though initially she had no authentic interest in enjoying it.
“My parents [Angelo, Sr. and Karen] always told me that I hated [playing soccer] so much,” she said.“Then finally in the last game, I decided to go after the ball and score. From that point forward, I fell in love with soccer.”
Cara attended Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School in Burlington, where she played soccer all four years and also played basketball and volleyball.
“I played basketball almost more than soccer,” Cara said. “I believed I was equally as good in basketball because I played in the club leagues all of my life and in my senior year we won the provincial championship.”
She considered offers from Central Michigan University and the University at Buffalo but chose to come to Eastern.
“As soon as I met the girls and coaches, I was sold immediately on coming here,” Cara said. “The coaches were really nice on my visit and the relationships the girls had with each other was cool and exciting.”
The transition from Canada to the United States for Cara was seamless.
“It wasn’t too bad,” she said. “I was never homesick because I didn’t like being a home body, so it was easy for me. I also had Megan [Pedro] to lean on and it made things even better.”
She is majoring in exercise science and is on track to graduate in December. After graduation, Cutaia hopes to be accepted into the Physical Therapy program at EMU.
“I applied to the PT program and am set on becoming a physical therapist,” Cara said. “Hopefully, I can get my doctorate degree in the States as well.”
Cara’s favorite athlete is the Ohio State University point guard Aaron Craft.
“I love everything about him as a player,” she said.
She admits to not having a favorite food, but is willing to eat anything that comes to her.
“Everything I do throughout my day, revolves around food,” Cara said.
Beating CMU has been her proudest moment in her time as a part of EMU soccer.
“When I came to Eastern, everyone always wanted to beat Central and we had a tough time beating them,” Cara said. “We were finally able to beat them last year and it was a great feeling.”
Cara considers her parents as the biggest influences that helped her get to this point.
“They’re both different, but they balance each other out,” she said. “The intensity, drive, determination and heart that I put into sports is what they taught me in my childhood.”
Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @EasternEchoGeno.