Local lasses attended the field hockey clinic at Wyoming Valley West High School

It's been a busy summer for members of Pursuit Field Hockey as they prepare for another exciting high school season.

The youth organization is based at the Sports Factory of NEPA, which is located in White Mills. There, players of all ages and abilities train in state-of-the-art facilities under the direction of co-coaches Becca Maciejewski and Grace Manzione.

This past week, several of these talented girls traveled to Wyoming Valley West High School in Plymouth to participate in an elite camp put on by former Spartans Danielle Grega and Alex Gonda.

Grega is a member of the US Women's National Team, while Gonda is a player from Division I Central Michigan who's now a graduate assistant coach at Wilkes.

“Alex and Danielle both attended Valley West and have been friends since they were 2-years-old,” Coach Maciejewski said. “They became closer friends through field hockey and are still best friends today.

“They shared their passion for and knowledge of the game with Pursuit in a coaching session that left our girls with their jaws dropping.”

On the Turf

A total of 14 Pursuit players made the trek to Plymouth for the clinic.

Over the course of two hours, the local lasses learned just what it takes to be successful at the highest levels of their sport.

Under the watchful eyes of Grega and Gonda, they focused both on honing fundamental skills and developing more esoteric abilities.

Some of the intense drills the girls participated in included both forehand and reverse techniques of hitting, 3-D dribbling, stickwork in close confines, sideline attack to creating shots and scrimmage play.

On the field for Pursuit that day were: Alyssa Galasso, Olivia O’Grady, Roz Maciejewski, Miranda Roegner, Danielle Grega, Alex Gonda, Mandy Gunuskey, Charlotte Lotz, Audra Stinavage, Katie Gunuskey, Jillian Tait, Jillian Hoey, Claire Campen, Brynn Newborn, Alaina Neu, Chloee Spry.

When all the hard work was done for the day, Grega and Gonda gathered the players together for a question answer session. They then handed out autographed posters and posed for photos.

Coach Maciejewski has an unique perspective when it comes to these two talented players.

“I remember coaching for Honesdale and having to play against them,” Becca said. Watching the way they ran the field was beautiful thing as a hockey fan. But, they were a nightmare to coach against.

“It was inspiring to hear them remember their roots, be humble and value every opportunity they had along their career.”

Coach Mazione was equally impressed.

“These athletes came from NEPA and if that’s not motivating, I don’t know what is!” Grace exclaimed.

“Both Danielle and Alex were beyond eager to extend the love of the game to our small club. They even said they know what it’s like coming from a small town and dreaming big. Anything is possible!”

Award Winners

While every player turned in an excellent performance, four girls were singled out for their outstanding efforts.

Chloee Spry, Claire Campen, Rozlyn Maciejewski and Amanda Gunuskey were each presented with an award.

Spry was named the camp's Most Improved Player. She was given a jersey autographed by the US National Team.

“Chloee is one of our youngest and most determined Pursuits, a fifth graders at Lakeside,” said Coach Manzione.

“She’s eager to grasp any opportunity thrown her way and always gives 110 percent. It’s no surprise she grabbed Grega's & Gonda’s attention during this short clinic.”

Campen earned Top Work Ethic honors. She was presented with an autographed t-shirt.

“Claire is a beacon of hard-work,” said Coach Manzione. “She's an upcoming eighth grader who is pivotal on both her club and school team.

“Claire is a natural leader and she stood out with her hard work and pulled the guest coaches attention to earn this award.”

Maciejewski and Gunuskey were lauded for Positivity, Coachability and Consistency.

“Rozlyn is a talented eighth grader at Damascus,” said Coach Manzione. “She demonstrated how coachable and eager she was to display her consist field hockey skills, standing out by asking appropriate questions.

“Amanda is a senior at HHS. She's headstrong and able to accommodate whatever is thrown her way.

“Mandi is another born leader and her teammates look to her for direction, so it’s no surprise she received this honor.”

Gunuskey will see plenty of action on the varsity field for Honesdale this fall. She'll then take her game to the NCAA level at Shippensburg.