Cheshire field hockey coach Eileen Gallagher loves to talk about the impact senior midfielder Michelle Federico has had on her program, but she does it with mixed emotions.
Federico was the team’s field general, almost always near or on the ball and initiating plays on offense, defense and in the transition game. The mixed emotions come from knowing that in the fall, she won’t be with the Rams and instead be playing field hockey for Quinnipiac.
Federico led the Rams to the Southern Connecticut Conference regular season title (10-0) and their third straight SCC tournament championship (3-1 win over Hand). The Rams advanced to the CIAC Class L final the last three seasons, losing 3-1 to Darien this season, 4-0 to Darien in 2012 and winning title in 2011 with a 1-0 victory over Norwalk.
This season Federico had 20 goals and 15 assists. She holds the school record for assists in a season (21 in 2012) and most assists in a game (five in 2012).
For her effort, she has been selected the Register Field Hockey Most Valuable Player for the second straight season.
“I strongly believe Michelle deserves this honor as the repeat MVP for the area,” Gallagher said. “She is the only player going D-I (college) in the area next year. She dominated our league, she was first team SCC, first team All State and was the unanimous MVP of the league.
“Michelle was the most outstanding player of the SCC tournament and led our team to the state finals three years in a row. I’ll miss her. We will all miss this kid.”
All the hard work Federico put in over the years has paid off.
“I’m not a complacent person, I always move forward and build on what I have,” Federico said. “Losing in the Class L final was a little disappointing, but I can’t be upset because we lost to a good team. Getting there three years proves we had a really strong team.
“What I have learned with this sport is you have to evolve, you need to change your game and improve your game. Otherwise your opponents can shut you down.”
Federico is looking forward to playing at the next level.
“I’m so excited about being able to play field hockey at Quinnipiac,” said Federico, who will major in nursing. “I’m also a little nervous, but when I visited there everyone made me feel like I belonged. They made me feel welcome.”