Wissahickon’s Silverman forced to change college plans

LOWER GWYNEDD — Wissahickon High lacrosse goaltender Julie Silverman had always wanted to attend Stanford University.

“Even before I knew what any of it meant, I used to tell my parents I was going to the Ivy League, or Stanford,’ she said. “I was that kind of kid.’

Silverman was under the impression she had realized her dream last year when she was notified by Stanford she had received early admission on an athletic scholarship.

As the proud future Cardinal, Silverman was on cloud nine, proudly proclaiming she was bound for Palo Alto.

“It was so much fun telling everyone I was going there,’ she said.

Then, suddenly, she was not.

“I hadn’t heard from the school for a while,’ she said. “But when I was accepted, I had been told my grades, my SATs and everything was fine.’

This past September, anxious to know why she hadn’t heard from the school in a while, Silverman reached out to Stanford, putting in a call to her future coach, Amy Bokker.

The call back was like a dagger to the heart.

“I was sitting in Starbucks, and (Bokker) called,’ Silverman recalled. “I went outside to take the call.

“When I asked what was going on, she said, ‘ Julie, I hate to tell you this, but your application has been denied.”

In near-shock, Silverman handled the disappointment in a classy way.

“I thanked her for the opportunity, I told her she was going to have a good squad and that when I went out to their summer camp, everyone on the team had been so nice to me,’ Silverman said.

As for what she thought happened, Silverman said she had her theories, but that she wasn’t about to air them.

“It’s not my place to say,’ she said. “I think Coach Bokker is great and was honest with me the whole time.

“I understand it’s a competitive process and this happens to kids all the time.’

Still, in the aftermath, Silverman was understandably not her usual jovial self.

“It took a while,’ she said. “But I decided I was going to be OK. I picked myself up.’

She also picked up her pen and paper and began applying to alternate schools.

“I had never really thought of any other schools,’ she said, “but for the first time I had to consider them.

“I got my list together and got my applications in.’

The waiting process began anew, but ultimately the story had a happy ending.

“Last week, I committed to Tulane,’ Silverman said. “And I have to say, the minute I stepped on campus, I felt at home there.

“(The Stanford situation) sucks, it really does. It’s a school I had always wanted to go to. But as the year went on, I realized it was a real life lesson for me. I see it in a good light now.’

There is no NCAA-affiliated lacrosse program at Tulane, but there is a club team, and Silverman is geared up to play.

“I was willing to make all the sacrifices it was going to take to play at Stanford,’ she said, “and it really takes sacrifice to play at that level. But this may turn out to be better for me.’

Silverman is interested in pursuing a career in science, and Tulane offers the necessary curriculum for her to succeed – without the pressures of a year-round athletic commitment.

“This experience,’ she said, “has allowed me to see the positives in what was a negative experience for a long while.’

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