MCCC Recruits Nottingham's Oriana Seitz to Round Out its Top-50 Defense

The Hamilton native will reunite with former Nottingham teammate Giuliana Pocino.
Story by Brandon Johnson

Hamilton, N.J. – A few months ago, Oriana Seitz was dead set on going out of state to college. She was planning to attend East Carolina University, some 450 miles away from her hometown Hamilton.

But when the coronavirus pandemic struck in mid-March, Seitz had to recalibrate her higher education arrangements. Shortly thereafter, she enrolled at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) with an eye towards building the foundation that will help her pursue a four-year degree.

“With everything that’s going on with the pandemic, it just made financial sense to go to Mercer,” Seitz said.

At MCCC, Seitz will have the opportunity to continue her passions, both academically and athletically. Seitz is graduating from Nottingham High School ranked 19th in her class, a feat she achieved as a top performer on the varsity soccer and lacrosse teams.

Despite the extreme time commitment to soccer, Seitz said she’s used to keeping school a priority.

“So far it hasn’t been too hard. I feel like I naturally do well in school,” Seitz said, adding that she was never opposed to staying up late after games or practice to hit the books. Those late study nights are a drop in the bucket towards her long-term plans of becoming an financial analyst. 

While she’s enrolled in Mercer’s Business Administration program and earning a scholarship as part of the New Jersey S.T.A.R.S. program, Seitz will also defend the back field for the Lady Vikings. As excited as she is to get back on the field following athletics closures and cancellations during the coronavirus pandemic, Seitz is equally enthusiastic about joining her friend and Nottingham teammate Giuliana Pocino on the field.

“Giuliana was one of my first friends when I got to Nottingham, and I really look up to her,” Seitz admitted. Formerly neighbors in Hamilton, Seitz and Pocino composed a formidable front and backline for Nottingham, helping the team to a 9-8 record in 2017.

“Oriana is a very calm and composed player,” Pocino said. “I was her captain and she played a big role on the team in high school as our last girl back on defense, the sweeper. There was never a time where I didn’t feel safe having her on my back line.”

Pocino added that having torn her ACL as a senior, she missed playing with Seitz in her final Nottingham season.

“There were countless times when she stopped a break away or avoided us from getting scored on. All in all, I’m very excited to basically get my senior year back and play with her,” Pocino said.

Seitz will toughen up Mercer’s defense alongside a pair of players with whom she played travel soccer. Gabby DeLisa, MCCC’s resident kickoff specialist and Courtney Fox, the team’s goalie will help Seitz round out the defense that earned six shutouts (top-50 in the nation) in the 2019 season.

“We’ve had a few Zoom calls already, and I didn’t expect the team to be so close,” Seitz said.

“In high school I was told that we were very lucky to get a close-knit group. Even before coming to Mercer and not even meeting face to face, I can sense all of the girls are really great to be around.”

Mercer County Community College is home to 70 associate degree programs and numerous credit and noncredit certificate programs. Still, the college also offers many educational experiences, leadership opportunities and the chance to interact with other students and faculty/staff members in an informal setting.

More than 40 clubs offer students the opportunity to explore special interests. Many of these clubs are directly affiliated with fields of study and augment classroom experiences.

In addition, art exhibits, dance productions, dramatic presentations, musical productions, and performances by guest artists are sponsored throughout the year. Music organizations include the college chorus, jazz band, symphonic band, dance ensemble, and stage band.

For more information about student life, visit:

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Oriana Seitz

Oriana Seitz signed with MCCC Soccer in June.