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Hello, Newman!

After playing almost non-stop soccer for five months last year, Newman used about three days of a scheduled three weeks away from the field before she was fed up. She had to get back, keep moving - onward and upward.It's that drive, that determination that has resulted in the Bellerose 16-year-old being named to the U.S. Girls Under-17 national team - essentially meaning Newman is one of the top 30 players in the country in her age group.Newman, whose insatiable competitiveness translates on the field as well, trained with the U-17 team in Orlando, Fla. last month. While it's been a natural progression up the soccer ladder - from club to state to regional to national team, Newman was thrilled to be invited to her first national team camp."The first day or two I was really nervous, more nervous than I normally am," said Newman, who can play as an attacking midfielder and as an outside midfielder. "But after that, we had our first full scrimmage, I just settled in and played really well. After that I was pretty confident."And she impressed head coach Erica Walsh, too, enough to be invited to the second camp at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. from Feb. 27-Mar. 6. Although she would instantly be the best player in the PSAL, Newman doesn't play soccer at Cardozo, where she is an honor roll student. It just wasn't in her plans when she arrived at the Bayside school two years ago.Her only thought at the time was to try out for the basketball team, which she made as a freshman. But then she decided to try out track. And to no surprise, she excelled there - so much so that she started training with a club coach.But the PSAL girls' soccer season is in the spring, which is the height of the club soccer season. So Newman politely said thanks, but no thanks. Hey, even she has a limit.As for her ability, that doesn't appear to have a limit."Cody is not satisfied with mediocrity in anything," her mother Lisa Newman said. "She has high expectations of herself, no matter what the circumstance."Newman not only meets each challenge head on, but she excels each time. After helping lead the Albertson Fury '89 to the State Cup title, competing in showcases and other tournaments, Newman played for the Long Island Fury, which won the WPSL national title in its first year in the league.En route, Newman was fouled by Chinese national team captain Ouying Zhang, a foul that her mother loves to gloat about."Cody has tremendous ability on the ball, a fantastic engine with vision and top-class technique to go with it," Long Island Fury coach Paul Riley said.Pat Mullo knew Newman was special when he first met her. Newman was seven and trained along with Mullo's daughter, Emma, a standout at Sacred Heart Academy on Long Island and Mary Louis star Nicole Choffel in the Little Neck-Douglaston Youth Club."She's always been competitive," Mullo said. "It could be flag football, basketball, school or soccer. Because of that, whatever Cody is doing, she's striving to do her best no matter what."Without a girls' team to play on, the trio played with the boys."At first the boys would laugh about playing the girls," Mullo remembered. "But they literally made the boys cry from being badly beaten by girls."Even though she still awaits the results of the SAT, Newman, who turns 17 April 16, has already verbally committed to Duke University.Newman calls Duke her "dream school," but this is no time to sleep. There's more soccer, more school, more steps to climb."When you're younger you have these moments like, 'Oh, I'm tired, I don't want to go to practice,'" Newman said. "But now I want to practice, I want to run, I want to be all that I can be. I made the national team, but there's always room to grow, there's always people better than you."

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