Two standout Lakeland graduates, Shannon Scavelli and Gianna Bensaia, have gone on to award-winning success playing field hockey in college.
Scavelli, who registered a career best nine goals, was a senior forward for a University of Michigan squad that made it to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division 1 Tournament and finished second in the Big Ten in both the regular season and postseason to the University of Maryland.
“Our team had a lot of success this season and I could not have asked for a better team to end my college career with,” Scavelli said. “We had great team chemistry and that contributed to our success.”
Scavelli, who was one of the major reasons why Michigan (18-5, 7-1) recorded its highest win total in 13 years, was named to the Longstreth/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I All-West Region First Team after being named to the second team a year ago.
“It was an honor to be named all-region first team, but more importantly it was great to end my senior year with an exciting and successful season,” said Scavelli, who also was named first team All-Big Ten.
Scavelli said that she plans to attend graduate school in the future and will start looking at different options soon.
“Field hockey has played an important role in my life,” Scavelli said, “and I will continue to find ways to stay involved in it in the future.”
Bensaia, a sophomore midfielder at the University of New Hampshire, earned a spot on both the Longstreth/NFHCA Division I Northeast Region and the America East All-Conference First Teams.
“Being named All Region and America East All Conference was a very exciting accomplishment,” Bensaia said. “With this past fall only being my second season on the field, since my medical red-shirt freshman year, it feels great that my hard work is being recognized. I owe a lot of credit to my coaches and my teammates for pushing me every day to play to my fullest potential whenever I step on the field, whether it be a game or practice.”
Bensaia set the tone for her successful sophomore campaign when she was named to the America East All-Rookie team a season ago.
“Being named to the all-rookie team last year, I looked at it as a stepping stone to what I wanted to accomplish in the years to come playing for UNH,” Bensaia said. “Going into the season I wanted to make a big statement that I could be an impact player and if you were watching one of our games you’d be able to say, ‘That girl can make things happen.’ I always strive to be that kind of player.”
Besides starring on the field, Bensaia stands out in the classroom as well as her spot on the America East Academic Honor Roll for the 2013-14 school year attests too.
The key to Bensaia balancing both school work and athletics is time management.
She says her planner is her best friend.
“I stay organized by plugging in all my assignments and field hockey commitments in my planner,” Bensaia said. “If I notice we have a big away trip and will be off campus for 3-4 days, I’ll make sure to spend some time getting homework done in advance so it’s not a last minute thing. Small things like an organized planner can keep away a lot stress. The more effort you put into it, the more down time you’ll have to rest and recover after a long trip.”