November 16, 2012
Farewells aren't easy for field hockey seniors
The players of Susquehanna's field hockey team can relate well to the difficulty of goodbyes--saying farewell to graduating senior players will be bittersweet for the entire Crusaders squad.
"It was a privilege to play hockey with these ladies," sophomore forward Brodie Ercole said. "They welcomed me when I was a freshman and made me a part of the family. We've shared plenty of memories that I'll remember forever. I hate to see them go, but I can only wish them luck now."
The seniors are forwards Nicole Solino, Gina Palazzi and Jillian Terry, midfielders Ally Bradley and Tiffany Collins, and midfielders/backs Allison Abey and Mirissia Mekosh. Bradley, Collins and Mekosh were the three captains on this year's squad.
"Those seven [seniors] have had a huge impact on the team," head coach Kaitlyn Wahila said. "They have led by example, and I often turned to them to help guide me and offer a sense of consistency."
Bradley led the team with 17 points this season on seven goals and three assists, capping her career with 90 points.
Not only have the seniors led by example, but by ability. Solino took a leap from a total of seven points last year to 16 this year.
"This year, she got much more competitive," Wahila said of Solino's dramatic score increase. "She really amped up her intensity, and would always be asking us, 'What else can I do?'"
According to Wahila, all of the freshmen players looked up to the seniors for the do's and don'ts of being a student athlete.
"Bradley has specifically played a huge role in my college career," junior back Rebecca Marion said. "She's not only a player with amazing skill, but she has been a mentor to me throughout my college experience thus far. I have learned a lot from her and she has helped shape me as a player and person. I will really miss her."
"Being able to work with such a talented group of girls was amazing," freshman back Erin Bonafede added. "Each of them individually brought such a presence onto the field and to our team. They all took time out of their lives to get to know each of us newcomers personally, and teach us new skills and make us into more well-rounded players. They have not only taught me a new level of patience and dedication, but also how to maintain poise in stressful game situations."
For senior Tiffany Collins, it was more than a team -- it was a family.
"Over the past four years I have become so close to my team," she said. "We are truly a family and I wouldn't have as many fun memories and good times to look back on without the girls I met on the team."
Wahila said that she looks forward to what the seniors will do next.
"We're excited to see what the future brings for them," she said. "These seniors have a very bright future."
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