Thursday June 13, 2013 | By:Michael J. Petro | Sports
Eden held a signing for field hockey. Pictured from left, first row are Dana Fazzolari, Nicole Fazzolari, Cassidy Ganco, Sandy Genco, the signees along with their moms. Second row: coach Jenn Carriero, school counselor Amy Banks, Mr. Fazzalari, High School Principal Marc Graff, Mr. Genco, athletics director Marisa Fallacaro and Eden superintendent Sandra Anzalone.
Cassidy Genco and Nicole Fazzalori serve as examples of the newfound dedication to field hockey at Eden.
Most athletes in the program are no longer playing the sport simply as something to do in the fall or to keep in shape for another sport. They’re involved for the enjoyment field hockey has brought to their lives.
The Raiders have reaped the rewards of this dedication, having won a sectional title for the first time since 1998 three years ago and after rebuilding a bit in 2011, were highly competitive again last year.
Meanwhile, dedicated players who have put great effort into the sport such as Fazzalori, last year’s team Most Valuable Player on offense, and Genco, the defensive MVP, are seeing opportunities present themselves to play the game at the next level.
“I think it’s gotten bigger since we started and have been here,” Fazzalori said. “It’s gotten more popular and there’s a lot of girls who really like it. It’s not just an extra sport for them to play. There’s a lot of girls that it’s their main sport.”
“A lot of girls play it year-round now,” added Genco.
The two will follow several players in the past few seasons moving on to play at the collegiate level. Genco will play at Elmira and Fazzalori at Brockport State. The school recognized the two on Friday (June 7).
“They were both leaders and fierce competitors,” Eden head coach Jenn Carriero said. “They set goals for themselves and really reached to get them. They were really motivated. They always had in their minds that they wanted to play field hockey in college.”
The two friends came up through the program in similar fashion, making it to the varsity as juniors and developing into leaders and players that controlled the middle of the field, Fazzalori on offense and Genco as a defender.
“We moved up together, and we both really love the sport. We were both leaders and worked together well,” Fazzalori said. “I was going to continue playing field hockey because I love it; I can’t give it up.”
They’ve also decided to take on similar paths away from the field as the two plan to major in nursing.
“I’ve always been the one in my family who everyone one seems to turn to, so I’m used to helping people,” Genco said.
According to Carriero, Genco and Fazzalori helped teammates plenty in the program, as well. Their smooth delivery of a message and ability to follow through with what was said made the two easy to follow. Carriero said they were the two constantly leading drills and were always on time.
“Without Nicole, our offense fell apart a little bit and without Cassidy, our defense would have fallen apart. They anchored the middle of the field and directed everything,” Carriero said. “They backed up what they were saying by their hardwork which is probably why the kids accepted it.”
They also delivered on the field as Genco fronted a stingy defense and guided the communication, while Fazzalori showed off her scoring touch, with a team-leading 11 goals. Genco also proudly noted that she scored her first two career varsity goals this season.
Genco and Fazzalori also served as captains on a team that made it easy for them because the environment was easy-going, fun and drama-free, according to the two. “There were a lot of personalities on this team,” Genco said. “This year seemed so relaxed.”
While Fazzalori stuck with solely playing field hockey, Genco played basketball in the winter and was a member of the varsity softball team which recently knocked off the top three seeds in Class B-1 to win the program’s first sectional title in nearly two decades. The Raiders lost 1-0 in the Class B cross-over.
“I thought we were going all the way,” said one of only four seniors from the young softball team. “I was so excited at the prospect of going to states and even though we didn’t get there, it was still a lot of fun. I’m glad I was on the team.”
Just last week at the end-of-the-season school awards banquet, Genco won the Bob Burnside Dedication Award and Coaches Award for Softball. Both honor students, the two have been excellent examples of balancing school work and athletics, according to athletics director Marisa Fallacaro.
“They’re great kids and great leaders,” she said. “They help Jen and myself with any sport they play. They can come talk to you and also talk to the kids and relay that message. It takes a ton of pressure off of us.”
They’ll follow recent graduates who play in college now like Caitlin Sickau at Elmira and Katie Kaminski at Brockport.
“Jenn has done a nice job of building the program and the girls have bought into it,” Fallacaro said. “And these girls’ leadership gives the kids such a good example.”
Fazzalori and Genco will see each other again at an Aug. 30 scrimmage at Brockport. Carriero said she’ll plan a field trip with the team to come watch them play. It’s sure to inspire the next college players from Eden in the sport.