NEW YORK—Natalie Ambrose’s road to the soccer field is what she calls a “classic kid” story.
“When I was six years old, my parents told me to go play sports and try everything,” Ambrose remembered. “I was one of the taller kids so they stuck me on defense where I have stayed ever since.”
The defensive side fit her size and her confident personality.
“If a forward was running at me, it wasn’t difficult for me to push them off the ball. The coaches liked that.”
She tried her hand in gymnastics, diving, and even ran track and field up until high school, but soccer gave her the team atmosphere that she craved.
“Soccer was the only one that really stuck with me,” Ambrose said.
The three time All-Ivy League defender is from the small town of Sisters, Oregon, which has a population of just over 2,500 people – a far cry from the 1.6 million residents of Manhattan alone.
“People always joke that there’s more people on the island of Manhattan than the entire state of Oregon. It’s definitely a different feel but it just makes going home that much better.”
Ambrose does carry a slice of New York City with her at home – sort of. She drives a bright yellow 1971 Chevy Checker Marathon, which is “basically a big yellow cab.” Her dad jokes that she should have brought the car with her and tried her hand in the taxi driving industry.
This summer, Ambrose is an intern at IBM contributing to their communications and marketing efforts. Ambrose said she’s unsure if she’ll ultimately stay in the Big Apple after college, but playing soccer at an Ivy League institution in New York City is an opportunity she could not pass up.
“While I am young, while I can handle the high tempo life-style of New York, why not give it a shot. Having the opportunity to play the sport that I love, something I am so passionate about while still getting an amazing education is something I never would have imagined that I would have been fortunate to have.”