SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Scotch Plains-Fanwood high school's varsity field hockey team honored two of its own on Saturday morning: graduating seniors Cassidy Novello and Erin Lay. 

Cassidy has been playing field hockey since she has been in 8th grade and has been along for the ride ever since.

"Cassidy has hands down one of the best hits in Union County and is a strong player on defense as well as offense. Her ability to read the game, take criticism and learn from it makes her an extremely coachable player," said varsity coach Allie Neidig. "Cassidy is a leader on and off the field as one of our captains. She is a player I can put anywhere on the field and feel confident with her being there."

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Coach Neidig added that Cassidy excels in the classroom and will attend either Wellesley College or Earlham College (both at which she will play Field Hockey).

"She is going to be our first collegiate player to graduate from our program. We could not be more proud of Cassidy and the field hockey player she has turned into," Coach Neidig said. "She has taken our younger players under her wing, helps them and gives them advice on and off the field. We refer to Cassidy sometimes as our third assistant coach as she is always wanting to help out other players and coach our youth."

Erin Lay started playing field hockey her sophomore year. However, it looks as if she's been playing her whole life.

"Erin's ability to run and control the midfield makes her a strong and dangerous player. Her stick skills and shooting ability make her one of our top players. She plays on both our offensive and defensive corners and is one of our top goal scorers," said Coach Neidig.

Additionally, Erin leads the team in assists. Her coach says Erin is the type of athlete coaches dream of having.

"She is all-around a great athlete, is the first one to practice the last one to leave, and is a great leader and role model for all our athletes at SPF. When we play teams, you constantly hear them yelling out to watch Erin. This shows that she has become a recognizable player to other teams in Union County," Coach Neidig shared.

"Even with teams knowing this she still is successful and gives 110% every practice and game. I could not be more proud of how far Erin has come and would love to see her continue her field hockey career in college," Coach Neidig adds. "he is still undecided as to where she wants to go, but is thinking of attending Kean University."

Coach Neidig says that aside from the success these two have brought the program this year, they are all around great girls.

"I am grateful I had the opportunity to coach them. They have fallen in love with the game and as a coach of a new program that is all I could ask for. That was my main goal when I started this new program for them at SPF, for them to fall in love with the sport," Coach Neidig said.

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