Suffield field hockey plays first double-header
By Kathryn Elliott - ReminderNews
Suffield - posted Thu., Nov. 17, 2011
The pre-Halloween storm created snow, power outages, and the first-ever day/night double-header in Suffield High School field hockey history. On Nov. 8, with CIAC tournament qualifications still undetermined, the Wildcats were forced to play Canton at 3:45 p.m. and Stafford at 7 p.m.
“We feel like we pressure the ball very well when we play with great intensity,” five-year head coach Dan Gatto commented on Suffield’s greatest strength.
At the start of 2011, Gatto set two goals: qualify for the tournament and be competitive with all NCCC teams. “All games in our league are difficult,” he said. “Granby and Avon are perennial, but all teams in the league were difficult to play this season.”
Ending the Canton game in a 1-1 tie, the team moved on to Stafford.
Under the lights of Beneski Field, game two began with Suffield High’s Senior Night ceremonies. Ashley Edwards, Ashley Gleason (C), Natalie Hitt (C), Isabella Isotti (C) and Kristina Schneider were called out to the blue line and recognized for their individual contributions to the field hockey program.
“Natalie and Isabella are our leaders on and off the field,” Gatto said. “They are everything we want our players to be, both as athletes and students. Natalie is eighth in her senior class and has been nominated for Academic All-State. She represents Suffield High School and the field hockey team as well as any player we have ever had. She has started 63 of a 64 possible games in her four years. ”
At the conclusion of game two, Suffield fell to Stafford, 3-1, but advanced to the CIAC Tournament with a record of 8-7-1.
In the first round of the tournament, Suffield was eliminated by Division M powerhouse Wilton (14-2) by a score of 3-0. According to Gatto, Isabella Isotti and junior Brenna Frechette had standout performances for the Wildcats.
In addition to Frechette, Gatto predicts strong performances in 2012 from Sabrina Guzzi, Tashua Sotil and Katie Mahoney. “They all got great varsity experience this season,” he said.