Last year the North Branford field hockey team captured the Shoreline Conference title and the 2011 captains said that reclaiming the crown is among their top goals. Coach Babby Nuhn sees a team with “a tiny nucleus of dedicated players who will get a lot of personal attention to develop skills.”
Ten athletes graduated from last year’s Shoreline championship team, while five others chose to concentrate on academics with AP and honors classes and just six freshmen joined the squad this fall.
“This year we have quality, not quantity,” said Nuhn. “Every game will be an exciting opportunity to see the growth and development of our team.
Bailey McGinnis (offense), Meagan Halligan (offense) and Danielle Hottin (defense) lead the team as captains and spoke to Patch about their goals and expectations for the season in ‘.’ Emilee Maher (mid), Kaeley DeNegre (GK) and Lindsay Doebrick (mid) round out the senior class.
Other key players include juniors Nicole Boulas (offense), Sarah Brenner (offense) and Tara Melaccio (offense); sophomores Meghan Augur (GK), Alyssa Doran (back/defense), Melissa Martin (mid), Gia Miserendina (offense), Cassidy Norton (offense), Melissa Sola (defense), Bella Troiano (defense) and Krista Wells (defense); and freshmen Taylor Delaney, Sarah Hemstock, Stephanie Hogan, Jen Levine, Ally Rubino and Erin Sheehan.
The T-Birds had their opening game at Stonington yesterday and started 2011 strong with a 2-0 win. With the small numbers on the roster, staying healthy will be key; though North Branford is already coping with several injuries including Troiano and Melaccio.
“Let’s see how things progress,” said Nuhn. “We will get plenty of playing time since some players will have to play both varsity and JV. I am proud of their positive attitude and willingness to learn.”
North Branford High School's was previewed on Sept. 14, while the was featured this afternoon. T-Birds' fall previews will continue throughout the week. For this week's sports schedule, click .