Bessette Hat Trick Fuels Chatham Field Hockey to 5-0 State Tournament Victory over Wayne Hills

Noelle Bessette produced three goals and an assist for Chatham in its field hockey state tournament win over Wayne Hills Credits: Matthew Ambrose
Chatham forward Amrita Sooklal Credits: Matthew Ambrose
Annie Leverich had a goal and an assist for Chatham in its state tournament win over Wayne Hills Credits: Matthew Ambrose

CHATHAM, NJ - It was the Noelle Bessette show at Haas Field on Friday afternoon as the senior scored three goals and assisted on another to propel Chatham to a 5-0 win over Wayne Hills in the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 1, Group 3 state tournament quarterfinals.

Midfielder Bessette, who is set to play at Rutgers next season, got the scoring started just under six minutes into the match. Off a corner, Bessette gathered the ball and fired it in the back of the net to give Chatham an early 1-0 lead.

“Noelle is one of those key players that I’m very lucky, as a coach, to have,” Chatham coach Kaitlin Leyden said. “People look up to her and want to imitate how she plays.”

Sign Up for E-News

Bessette put on a clinic with the ball all day long, toying with the defense at times with skillful moves.
She would find the net again with 24:36 left in the second half, as Chatham was awarded a penalty stroke.
Bessette stepped up and fired it in the top left corner, giving Chatham a 2-0 lead.

Seven minutes later, Bessette would get into the assist column, as she fired from long distance and
Chatham scored on a deflection from Annie Leverich to give the Lady Cougars a 3-0 lead.

Bessette would complete the hat trick just six minutes later, dancing around the defense and firing a
rocket into the back of the net from about 10 yards away to make it a 4-0 lead. Chatham would score
once more off a corner as time expired, as senior Charlotte Buckman set up Liza Heyl's goal for the fifth tally.

Leyden expressed her happiness with the win, citing a mantra she has vocalized all season long
about playing together as a team.

“I think they played collectively as a team and not individuals,” Leyden said. “They were very
aggressive, they went to the ball, their passing was on point, and you could tell that they really wanted

One of the most important parts of this team has been the senior leadership. All five captains are
seniors, and they were integral in motivating the team to victory.

“The seniors were key, all 11 of them,” Leyden said. They didn’t want their season to end.”

Chatham’s next matchup will be in the semifinals against West Morris, a team they recently fell to by a
score of 5-0. Leyden acknowledged the need for adjustments and a different game plan heading
into the match.

“We were a little taken back by the grass because we’re used to the turf,” the coach said about the
playing surface at West Morris. “Our biggest asset is our speed, and on grass, it kind of takes it away.
We’re going to plan to play on grass and to change our game so we don’t use speed as our only
strength. We’ll use other strengths too.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Mike Czech – One of Chatham’s Hidden Gems….

On a warm sunny day, back in 2008, at Southern Boulevard Elementary School stood a very tall man (6.5” to be exact!), soft-spoken, warm and friendly as he was surrounded by a whole group of children running around him (at his knees).

His name was Mike Czech and he was teaching the kids how to play a game on the open court.   I introduced myself to help assist him as a fellow ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!


Residents of Chatham to Receive Second Fundraising Letter Asking for Their Support of the Chatham Emergency Squad

May 20, 2018

During the week of May 20, a follow-up letter seeking donations to the Chatham Emergency Squad (CES) will be sent to more than 6,000 Chatham residents, businesses, religious and community organizations. Letters will not be sent to individuals, businesses, and organizations who have lent their support with the first mailing, issued in January 2018.

The Chatham Emergency Squad is an ...