Best on the Shoreline!
It's time to nominate your favorites for the 2021 Best on the Shoreline Awards!
Senior captain defender Mackenzie White garnered All-SCC Division B accolades on behalf of the North Haven field hockey squad this fall. (Photo courtesy of Mark Curcio )
After having played lacrosse since 5th grade, Mackenzie White signed up to compete for the North Haven field hockey team during her freshman year of high school. In her four years at North Haven, Mackenzie went from someone who had no experience in the sport to a senior captain and a member of the All-SCC Division B Team.
Mackenzie took up lacrosse in North Haven’s youth league as a 5th-grader. Heading into her freshman year, Mackenzie attended the field hockey squad’s captains’ practices and decided that she wanted to give the sport a try.
“I wanted to play another sport besides lacrosse. I used to play basketball, but I felt like field hockey would fit me more,” says Mackenzie. “All of the girls in the grade above me told me I should join. I just felt like I would like it a lot. It seemed interesting.”
Mackenzie played at both the JV and varsity levels in her freshman season with North Haven. While she wasn’t a varsity starter, Mackenzie saw enough playing time as a freshman to earn her varsity letter. Mackenzie learned a lot about field hockey in her freshman year and feels that playing varsity right away helped her adapt to the sport faster.
“It was very different. JV was at a slower pace. Everyone was still getting new to the sport. Playing varsity helped me learn faster,” Mackenzie says. “The girls above me had better stick skills than me. It helped me adapt and gain better skills.”
In her sophomore year, Mackenzie became a starter on the defensive side of the ball for North Haven. While she was a bit nervous about stepping into a starting varsity role, Mackenzie leaned on the experience that she had gained as a freshman and grew more and more confident as the season unfolded.
Mackenzie continued holding down her starting position on defense through her senior season. In only her fourth year playing the sport, Mackenzie earned All-SCC Division B honors alongside her senior captain colleague Mariella Biceglia this fall.
“It was a huge honor. No one from field hockey has gotten All-SCC the past seven years. Having two of us make it was honestly amazing,” says Mackenzie. “I was very shocked. I didn’t expect it. But I was very proud of both of us for this huge accomplishment.”
Head Coach Kim Bouffard saw Mackenzie progress into a leader on defense throughout the past few years. Bouffard says that Mackenzie’s leadership skills started to flourish as a junior, and the coach felt proud to see her captain get an All-SCC nod in her senior season this fall.
“Mackenzie was such a coachable athlete. She took direction well. She improved every year. I couldn’t ask for a better kid to coach,” says Bouffard. “Mackenzie’s leadership started showing during her junior season. She played anywhere on defense. She asked to play offense, but I told her she was too valuable to the team on defense. She accepted that and continued to improve. Mackenzie deserved this award. I am so proud of her.”
Mackenzie led North Haven with Biceglia and fellow senior captains Jannat Butt and Megan Kell this year. Mackenzie says that wearing the captain’s hat was an honor and feels the captains did a solid job of keeping the team together throughout the season.
“Being a captain was a huge honor. I think the four of us did a really good job this season with all the protocols we had to follow,” Mackenzie says. “It was very hard in the beginning. As the season went on, we found ways to work well together, and we all did a really good job and had a fun time.”
In addition to field hockey, Mackenzie is a member of the girls’ lacrosse team at North Haven. Mackenzie is also a defender in lacrosse and has seen huge improvements with her stick skills, footwork, and overall speed as a result of playing both sports.
After graduating from high school, Mackenzie plans on attending college and potentially playing field hockey at the club level. As she reflects upon her field hockey career in North Haven, Mackenzie appreciates the fact that she found a sport she loves and one that she enjoyed coming back to every year.
“It was an honor and a great experience. I really enjoyed the past four years playing. I wouldn’t change anything,” says Mackenzie. “Even the ups and downs, it all shaped how we were these past four seasons. I’m going to miss it a lot. Field hockey was a huge part of my high school experience.”