By: Isabella Marinello
WEST CALDWELL- The inaugural Caldwell Field Hockey season started on October 6th, 2020. After a long pre-season with a short intermission due to a COVID scare, the team is ready to tackle their first ever season. The team will play at a JV level for the first year, and then will evolve into a Varsity sport after two years of play. Coach Felicia Cozze is more than excited to be back on the field coaching the sport she loves. The group is young and hungry, and consists of 39 girls with lots of talents, including senior captain Isabella Marinello, juniors Izabella Garcia, Kate Quinn, and Alex Gallo, sophomores Lauren Sanderson, and Riley Nolan, and freshmen Teagan Quinn, Mia Martinez, and Mackenzie Durkin. There are many individuals that will contribute throughout the upcoming season.
The program’s first game was played against Wayne Valley, resulting in a 2-0 win. Both goals were scored by senior Isabella Marinello, in the 1st and 4th quarter respectively, and the team showed their best efforts throughout the contest. Junior goalie Sophia Grosso and freshman goalie Olivia Szalkai split time in net. The two were able to shut out Wayne Valley, blocking all the shots that came their direction. The two have been working their hardest this season, and really are the backbone of Caldwell’s defense.
The referees of the first game were surprised by Caldwell’s performance, stating “the team displayed multiple talents that you wouldn’t normally see for a first year program”. The upcoming schedule is challenging, as they will face many teams that have years of experience. However, the tough road ahead will not stop the team’s hard work and best efforts that they put in for two hours every night.
“These groups of ladies were willing to try something new when the world began to shut down. They embraced this new opportunity, they accepted the rules and adapted to their way of life both on and off the field. They are a special group with big changes ahead of them,” stated Felicia Cozze, the aforementioned head coach of the program. The team will continue to thrive as their 1-0 record stands out, and they will continue to participate in their eight game schedule.