Biceglia’s a Consummate Leader on the Field
Senior captain Mariella Biceglia garnered All-SCC Division B accolades for the North Haven field hockey team last fall. (Photo courtesy of Mark Curcio)
Mariella Biceglia finished her career with the North Haven field hockey squad by earning All-SCC honors during the 2020 fall season. Mariella, who played both midfield and center back, also led North Haven as one the team’s senior captains.
Mariella decided that she would try her hand in field hockey after getting cut from the North Haven girls’ volleyball team as a freshman. It turned out to be a great decision for Mariella, who made the most of her field hockey career at North Haven.
“I got cut from the volleyball team and I decided to give field hockey a chance,” says Mariella. “I loved every minute of it.”
Mariella became a varsity player in her first season with the team. While she wasn’t starting, Mariella immediately proved a difference maker on defense.
“The experience was great as a whole. I had great captains my freshman year. I was really able to take notes from them, and I used some of their tactics when I was a senior, and I became captain,” Mariella says. “Everybody was very welcoming. The defense that I worked with on and off the field were all very helpful. It was a really great team.”
Mariella earned a starting spot in her sophomore season. That year of varsity experience as a freshman helped Mariella make a smooth transition into a starting role. Starting games also allowed Mariella to develop her skills at a faster rate.
After spending some time at midfielder as a junior, Mariella played both midfielder and center back in her senior season. She was also named a captain alongside fellow seniors Mackenzie White, Jannat Butt, and Megan Kell.
“There was excitement, there was thrill, there was hope. Going into the year, there were some things we wanted to improve,” says Mariella. “The four of us captains achieved everything we set out to in the beginning of the season. I was so thankful that the team had my back and nominated me as captain. I thought I was able to set an example for the younger girls and even the girls in my class.”
Mariella and White were both named to the All-SCC Division B Team for their performances on the season. Head Coach Kim Bouffard has been with North Haven since 2014, and Mariella and White were the first two players to make All-SCC during her tenure.
“Me and Mackenzie got All-SCC for the first time in seven years. There couldn’t have been a better thing to ask for. I worked hard all four years to get this and get to the places that I am,” Mariella says. “To get that reward is an awesome achievement, and I really couldn’t have done it without my team. It was great having each and every one of them from freshman to senior year.”
When Coach Bouffard announced Mariella and White’s inclusion to the All-SCC Team, Mariella felt so proud that she started to cry. She has also won North Haven’s Most Valuable Player Award the past two years.
“From the day she has stepped on the field as a freshman, Mar has been a competitor. She has been a pleasure to work with and easy to coach. She has been a leader since she started in the program,” says Bouffard. “She came in as an athlete, and she picked up the sport pretty well. She would do anything I asked, and she improved every year, steadily. She was a big cog in the wheel, and she has always grown as a player.”
In addition to field hockey, Mariella also plays lacrosse at North Haven and was recently named a captain for that team, as well. Mariella says that her background in lacrosse helped her pick up field hockey pretty quickly.
“Learning field IQ and how to be a strong leader from freshman to senior year always helped,” Mariella says. “Even if you don’t know anything and you’re just starting, you can learn more about positioning and where to go with the ball. Being open and a coachable athlete will only grow you more.”
Following graduation, Mariella will play lacrosse at Springfield College in Massachusetts, where she plans to major in health science.
Mariella feels proud about how she and her teammates have battled through challenges, while growing as both athletes and people throughout the course of her career. Mariella says that her coaches, teammates, and hours of hard work and dedication helped her carve her legacy at North Haven.
“A lot of hard work was put into it,” Mariella says. “I’m the type of player who will work on and off the field. I give 100 percent no matter if it’s a win or loss. If I want something, I will strive hard and go for it. That’s all I wanted all four years with field hockey.”