FCIAC field hockey players starring for college teams

Four high schools from the FCIAC – Darien, Wilton, Norwalk and Danbury – have had strong seasons from their field hockey teams in recent years and many former players from those programs are key players on their respective college teams this fall.

Coach Mo Minicus has 10 of her former Darien players on college rosters. Julia Russo is a freshman defensive midfielder at the University of Connecticut who played in three of the first 13 games for the 13-0 Huskies.

Darien’s Samantha Wright keeps her eyes on the play during a Gettysburg field hockey game. Wright, a captain, leads the team in scoring with 16 points in nine games. — David Sinclair/Gettysburg Athletics photo

Sam Wright is a senior captain and forward who led Gettysburg College in scoring after nine games with 16 points (seven goals and two assists). Wright had two goals to lead the 4-5 Bullets to a 3-2 victory over Swarthmore on Oct. 8.

Maggie Wells is a senior defender who started in five of the first seven games for Connecticut College. Kelsey Bumgardner started in all of the first 10 games as junior defender at Bowdoin College. Hannah McLane had one goal and one assist as she played in nine of the first 11 games as a backup freshman forward at Bates College.

Marissa Baker played in three games as a backup freshman midfielder at Middlebury College. Laura Schwartzman is a starting freshman midfielder and Sloan Bessey is a junior backup midfielder at Amherst College. Schwartz had a goal and two assists and Bessey played in two of the first 11 games.

Olivia Hoyda is a freshman midfielder who got six starts and played in nine of the first 11 games at Trinity College. Georgia Cassidy, who was MVP of the FCIAC championship game twice during a career when her Blue Wave teams won three conference and three state championships, is a redshirt freshman forward at the University of North Carolina.

Wilton coach Deirdre Hynes has seven of her former players on college teams. Joanne Nazareth is a senior midfielder at Dartmouth who was second on the team in scoring 11 games into the season with seven points (three goals, one assist). Madison Hendry is a junior defender at Penn.

Amanda Hendry is a freshman backup goalie at the University of North Carolina.

Delaney Baxendale had one assist as sophomore defender who started in 12 of the first 13 games for Drexel University.

Megan Cunningham is a sophomore backup midfielder who scored two goals while playing in 11 of the first 12 games for Rutgers University.Caroline Taverna started in all of the first 11 games as a sophomore defender at Williams. Jillian Mahon, a former Wilton captain and MVP of the state championship game, is a freshman forward at Michigan State.

There are six of Danbury coach Denise Brough’s former players on college teams. Kristy Trotta is the starting senior goalie at Western Connecticut State University and she had a .759 save percentage in the first 14 games.

Natasha Prukalski started in the first 12 games and had a goal and an assist as a sophomore midfielder at Southern Connecticut State University.

Danielle Reisert has seen some action as a backup freshman forward/midfielder at Salisbury University. Mary Zanine is a starting defender at Salve Regina University. Delaney Flanagan is a freshman midfielder at Quinnipiac University.

Norwalk coach Kyle Seaburg has six of his former Bears now student-athletes at their respective colleges. Former All-FCIAC and All-State first-teamer Lauren Capone is a freshman defender at Quinnipiac. Efthimia Kutrubis is a junior backup forward at UConn who saw action in seven games for the 13-0 Huskies.

Greta McConnell is a junior midfielder/forward who shared the team lead with four goals in the first 14 games for Western Connecticut State University. Liz Whitney is a junior forward at Roger Williams who played in nine of the first 11 games.

Samantha Bartush is a sophomore forward at Merrimack who had a goal and three assists in the first nine games. Gabriela Meza s a junior midfielder at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Wilton’s Joanne Nazareth in action for the Dartmouth field hockey team. A senior midfielder, Nazareth has seven points in 11 games so far this fall. — John and Matt Risley/Dartmouth Athletics photo