Wethersfield's Gabriella Tomaino competes with Newington's Arianna Jorge-Bastos during the Eagles 4-0 win on Nov. 2.
A loss to Wethersfield eliminated Newington field hockey from postseason contention. Yet the defeat was just another brick in the foundations that head coach Veronica Grubin is building at NHS.
“A win or tie would have gotten us in, but it was a great season regardless,” said Grubin, whose team finished 6-10.
It wrapped up Grubin 4th season on the sidelines. The six wins were the most wins for the program under Grubin, who took over after a winless season in 2017.
The now-seniors were freshmen when she took over in 2018 and the coach created a special bond with the group.
Captain Maya Johnson, Menna Majboub, Samantha Reese, and Lavinia Oliveira are the four seniors who have been with Grubin since day one.
“They have bought into what we’ve tried to do here, both mindset-wise and physically, and the culture we are trying to establish here. It’s tough when you’re starting a program and they’ve done a lot to help get us to where we are today,” said Grubin.
Johnson is working with junior captain Kailey Gaydos to guide the Nor’easters on the field.
“They are awesome to me and awesome to the team. They’ve been that connection between the coaches and the team, keeping everybody positive and in the right headspace with everything going on right now” Grubin said of her captains. “Our whole thing is how do we build a competitive program and still have fun. A lot of girls gravitate to our sport and we try to make it feel like a family.”
Grubin had to rely on several younger players this fall, including starting goalie Carley Leonard, who was new to the game.
“She had never picked up goalie pads or a field hockey stick before,” Grubin said of her sophomore net minder, “She came to us a little late and she’s done great with us. She jumped right in and she has the personality for it.”
Grubin added that fall the goal is to take another step and make the state tournament.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin