, Salem, MA


March 30, 2013

Jean DePlacido column: Gambale sisters found success at Merrimack, Suffolk

Former Swampscott High star athletes Marissa and Lisa Gambale have gone on to excel in the classroom and on the soccer field at Merrimack College and Suffolk University respectively.

Marissa, a 2009 Big Blue graduate, was highly recruited and wound up accepting a four-year scholarship to play for the Warriors, a D-2 perennially top 15 nationally ranked team. She is a double major in math and education with a 3.4 GPA.

“I want to be a high school math teacher and hope to coach soccer, basketball, and softball since I can’t play anymore,” said Gambale, who is currently doing her student-teaching in Reading.

The Warriors posted an 11-8-1 record last fall and went to the NE-10 Conference tournament for the 28th consecutive time under veteran coach Gabe Mejail. Merrimack advanced to the semifinal round before losing.

Gambale had more than her share of injuries during her college career. She missed her entire sophomore year and part of the junior season with stress fractures.

“That was frustrating because I wanted to get back out there as soon as possible,” said Gambale. “You can’t rush though because the only thing that works is rest. I love Merrimack, but the four years seemed to fly by. It’s hard to see my athletic career end after so many years.”

Her younger sister Lisa, a 2011 Swampscott grad, has started on defense for the Rams the past two seasons. She is one of the team leaders in minutes played, and the team has reached the GNAC playoffs both years. Gambale carries a 3.2 GPA and very active in school life. She was recognized by the National Residence Hall Honorary with the “Of the Month”award for outstanding contributions to making residence hall living a positive experience and was also nominated by the Suffolk Student Government Association for Outstanding Sophomore of the Year.

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