Shelton field hockey program honors its seniors

Some of Shelton High’s first varsity field hockey competitors played their final games this week.

Sophomores when the program went from club to varsity status in 2016, seven players were honored on Senior Night when the Gaelettes fell 3-0 to North Haven last week.

“We’re going to miss the seniors,” said Bob Ayer, who co-coaches the team along with Jeff Napoli. “They did a lot to teach the younger girls, and we’re looking to continue to get better.”

Shelton (0-15) narrowly missed a chance at its first win in a road game earlier in the week against North Haven, falling 2-1.

Gianna D’Angelo, assisted by Gianna Maurati, had Shelton’s goal.

“We go out strong every game and take what we get,” said D’Angelo, a captain, of how the team handles competing against more established programs.

The Gaelettes kept plugging away and nearly found the back of the cage in Thursday’s rematch with the Indians.

Yasmeen Dabiran used her stick skills to get around a few defenders, and create some scoring chances. Shelton generated a trio of penalty corner inserts and seven shots on goal but couldn't break through.

Regardless of outcome, the Gaelettes are enjoying learning the game and competing.

“Even though we lose, it’s a fun game to play,” captain Jessica Perley said. “It’s a family, not just a team.”

When asked how much she will miss her playing days at SHS, Kaylee Persson, another captain noted — "I’ve been here from the beginning. We started the program.”

And the Gaelettes certainly put forth an effort.

“They work their butts off,” said Napoli, adding that the seniors have been great leaders and all of the team members have tried their best. “They lead the way every game. Top to bottom, they’ve worked hard to get better. The girls never quit.”

Shelton has a large contingent of prospective returning players, including junior Ashley Kearns, who played goal against North Haven and made a baker's dozen saves.

Seniors who will leave shoes to fill are Maria Curran, D’Angelo, Dabiran, Perley, Persson, Alexis Thompson and Hayley Tranner.