The following are 25 high school field hockey players to watch this season in Connecticut. The list includes players representing CIAC schools and is in alphabetical order.
Tessa Albrecht, Norwalk, Jr., F
Extremely skilled forward who led Norwalk to the 2018 Class L quarterfinals where it lost 1-0 to FCIAC rival and eventual Class L champ Staples. Selected CHSCA and Register All-State last season.
Ali Barrett, North Branford, Sr., F
Among the strongest right wing players in Class S, she had 16 goals with 11 assists in 2018. She scored both goals in a 2-1 triple overtime win over Valley Regional in the Shoreline Conference semifinals and scored one goal in the 2-0 win over Westbrook in the Shoreline Conference final.
Bella Carrozza, Ridgefield, Sr., F-M
A Division I college recruit who has developed into one of the top scorers and playmakers in the FCIAC. Committed to Providence College.
Maeve Connors, Hand, Sr., M
She scored six goals and had eight assists and has experience. This will be her third season as a varsity player. Hand coach Sue Leckey said Connors is a strong field leader and an impact player.
Grace Cooper, Staples, Sr., D
One of two outstanding defensive backs for the Wreckers. While offense was a key for Staples (112 goals) last season, Cooper is one reason only four goals were allowed in 2018.
Molly Coyle, Immaculate, Sr., M
She led Immaculate to the Class S title last season and 20-2-0-1 record overall. Coyle scored two goals in a 3-0 win over Granby in the final.
Tess Csejka, Amity, Sr., F
Considered one of the best players this season in the SCC among coaches, three-sport standout Csejka contributes in all phases of the game. Last season, the Register All-Area selection had 26 goals and 11 assists last season. Amity coach Sara Hale said, “Tess has very good ball control as well as a great sense of the game. She reads defenders well and is explosive to the ball. She is fluid and has exceptional stick skills.” A standout in girls ice hockey and girls golf, Csejka has committed to play field hockey at Boston University.
Maddie Epke, Guilford, So., M
She contributed to the Class M champ Indians on both ends of the field and in the transition game last season. She had six goals and eight assists. As a freshman she started game one of the 2019 season, and played with more confidence as her freshman year continued. A three-sport varsity standout for the Indians, coach Kitty Palmer calls her a very talented and gifted athlete.
Ava Galdenzi, North Branford, Sr., F
She led the Shoreline Conference in scoring with 24 goals and eight assists last season, including a goal in a 2-0 win over Westbrook in the Shoreline Conference tournament final. An All-Shoreline Conference, Register All-Area and All-State selection, she was also selected as the National Field Hockey Coaches Association October Player of the Month for the State of Connecticut. She plays a strong left wing position and sets up many scoring opportunities. She scored the team’s lone goal in a 3-1 loss against eventual Class S champ Immaculate in the Class S quarterfinals. She had three hat trick’s last season and was taken out of every game to avoid excessive scoring. She was nominated for All-American.
Tala Garcia, Darien, Sr., D
The center halfback used her speed to dominate on defense in the middle of the field in 2018. She was part of a solid group of defenders who limited FCIAC standout Staples to one goal in a 2-1 win in the FCIAC tournament final last season.
Olivia Hahn, Wilton, Sr., M
Selected All-FCIAC and CHSCA All-State last season, she excels on both ends of the field and led the Warriors to a 13-3 regular-season record. She is a 2019 USA Field Hockey Under-19 NFC Stars and Stripes selection and has committed to play at Boston College.
Molly Hellman, Darien, Sr., F
She has developed into one of the top scorers in the FCIAC and she showcased that talent in the 2018 FCIAC tournament championship game. With the game tied at 1 in the second half, she stole the ball in front of the Staples net and scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over Staples for the title. She helped lead the Blue Wave to the Class L semifinals where the eventual Class L champ Wreckers got their revenge with a 2-1 win in overtime.
Lauren Horne, Westbrook, Sr., G
Last season she was first team All-Shoreline Conference and All CHSCA State. One of the top goalies in the state, last season she had 12 shutouts, a 95.5 save percentage and allowed only four goals in the regular season.
Kelli Jacobson, North Branford, Jr., D
Considered one of the top defenders in Class S. Coach Babby Nuhn said, “Kelli is a super strong player who is known throughout the state with her extreme commitment to field hockey. She will be a key part of North Branford’s 2019 season.”
Kyle Kirby, Staples, Sr., M
Last season she led the FCIAC with 30 goals and 20 assists including scoring both goals in the CIAC Class L final, a 2-0 win over Cheshire. She has committed to play lacrosse at Notre Dame.
Mary Norman, Glastonbury, Sr., M
She was a first team CHSCA All-State last season. The defensive standout had five goals and three assists in 2018. Coach Maureen Perkins said, “She is integral to everything we do and sees the field well.”
Lauren Oskam, Immaculate, Sr., G
CHSCA All-State the last three years, she made four saves to lead the Mustangs to a 3-0 win over Granby in the Class S championship game last season. But one of her best games of the season came in the Class S semifinals when she made 12 saves to secure a hard-fought 4-3 win in overtime over Stonington.
Hannah Paprotna, Staples, Sr., D
Another top defensive back for the Wreckers. She helped limit opponents to only four goals the entire 2018 season and led the Wreckers to a 22-1 record and Class L title.
McKenzie Pedersen, Granby, Sr., D
She led a strong Bears defense in 2018 that contributed to a strong post-season run in Class S. The Bears outscored opponents 12-3 in the Class S tournament with the three goals coming in a 3-0 loss to Immaculate in the final.
Kennedy Richard, Hand, Sr., D
A strong center back, this season coach Sue Leckey will rely on Richard to compensate for the loss of a pair of standouts on defense to prep school, including her experienced goalie from last season (Karen Newton).
Olivia Salamone, Cheshire, Sr., D
The Rams lost a lot of key players from last season to graduation. But despite a rebuilding year, Salamone returns as one of the top defenders in the state. She also contributes on offense and had 12 goals and 15 assists last season.
Jacqui Sandor, Hand, Sr., M
The Tigers return their top player from last season who was named All-SCC, All-State, Register All-Area and a National Academic Team selection. Sandor was Hand’s leading scorer last season with nine goals and 10 assists. She committed to play field hockey at Williams College.
Hannah Tillier, Guilford, Jr., F
She was one of the many reasons Guilford defeated Sacred Heart Academy in the CIAC Class M championship game. She had 14 goals and 10 assists last season, she was fifth in SCC scoring and was a second team All-SCC and Register All-Area selection. She has started on varsity since the first game her freshman year. Very athletic and talented stick handler who will likely go to college for lacrosse.
Molly Zaffino, Branford, Sr., F
Scoring is one of her strengths on the field. But she has developed into one of the top playmakers in the SCC. Last season she led the Hornets to an 8-5-2-1 regular season record. She was a Register All-Area selection and second team GameTimeCT All-State in 2018.
Ashley Zolin, Greenwich, Sr., M
While the Cardinals graduated 16 players from last season, one strength for Greenwich will be at midfield with the return of captains Zolin and Katie Piotrzkowski. Zolin contributes on offense and defense. She led the Cardinals to the FCIAC semifinals in 2018, scoring a goal in a 3-2 loss to eventual FCIAC champ Darien.