Willow Maniscalco ’24 shined brightly on The Masters School's varsity field hockey squad this past fall. In a mid-October match against Greenwich Country Day, Maniscalco made an eye-popping 27 saves.
Maniscalco's talents did not go unnoticed. She was selected to play in the prestigious Western New England Preparatory School Field Hockey Association (WNEPSFHA) All-Star game on November 14.
"We realized early on that Willow had skills that few goalies have at that age," said Ridgely Biddle, who coaches the team alongside Alexis DiDomenico and Yoli Nyero. "She understands the position and really puts herself out there. She is also not afraid to step out of the goal area and go after the ball. A good goalie must be fast and dynamic. Willow has those skills."
The trio of coaches also praised Maniscalco's unique ability to communicate with her teammates to keep the defense organized.
"Willow delivers all the information to her teammates with care rather than urgency, which helps them feel more confident and better able to work together to defend the goal," Biddle said.
The showcase event afforded Maniscalco a golden opportunity to compete against some of the best players in New England.
"I had so much pressure to do my best and there were so many experienced players that were hard to compete against," Maniscalco said. "Some of their shots were the best I've seen, which is saying a lot. I still managed to push through and saved a fair amount of goals."
Maniscalco, who began playing field hockey in elementary school, hopes to build on her success in the sport moving forward: "I plan to continue the sport throughout high school with Masters and I hope to improve things such as my dives and other harder techniques to master (no pun intended)."