SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- In just its second year competing at the varsity level, Scotch Plains-Fanwood varsity field hockey team made great strides. The team but made a statement early in the year by playing arch rival Westfield, one of the county's premier field hockey programs, tough in a 1-0 loss in September. The girls finished 6-13-1 overall, but faired better against division rivals, against whom they were 4-4-1.

Junior defender Cassidy Novello was named 1st team All-Conference this year, and was a key player in all of our games, according to Coach Ally Niedig. For her strong season, Novello is this week's Joint Motion Physical Therapy Athlete of the Week. 

 "Cassidy had multiple goals and contributed to both our offensive and defensive corners. She was also a USA Futures Player," Coach Niedig said. "Very rarely do defenders get any recognition in field hockey, and she 100% deserves to be recognized. Her free hit is one of the best in Union County, and she's only been playing field hockey competitively for two years. She will most likely be the first SPF field hockey athlete to play in college."

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When it comes to the team overall, the coach said she could not be more proud.

"Field Hockey is not an easy sport to learn or play, and many of the teams we've played have been playing together for years," Coach Niedig said. "To be able to come together and learn a sport in a short amount of time and take teams like Governor Livingston into overtime or put up a tough 1-0 fight against Westfield is truly astonishing."

Other Top Field Hockey Players

  • Senior attacker Julia Barnes led the team in goals scored and was named 2nd team All-Conference in the Blue Division. She was also a Complete Athlete award winner.
  • Freshman goalie Emilia Saccento also was named 1st team All-Conference and Union County Honorable mention selection. Saccento, who made 23 saves this year, also was a USA Futures player.
  • Junior attacker Erin Lay was 2nd team All-Conference. "Erin was a key component in all of our games and controls our entire mid-field/attack. She was also a Rising Star award winner," Coach Niedig said. 
  • Sophomore Haley Cino received All-Conference Honorable Mention.

With Novello, Saccento, Lay and Cino returning, the girls are poised for more improvement next year.  

"I think all of these girls have so much potential," Coach Niedig said. "We are really looking forward to seeing what this group does next season!"

Joint Motion Physical Therapy is located across the street from the Stage House Tavern and shares a free, handicap accessible parking lot with the Scotch Plains Public Library. Joint Motion can be reached for an appointment by phone 908-322-3202, or email You can also learn more at

Joint Motion Physical Therapy
373 Park Ave.
Scotch Plains, NJ 07076
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