Wheelock’s Greene gets off to hot start
Wheelock College field hockey coach Rachael Johnson is effusive in describing Michelle Greene, her sophomore keeper from Mansfield: tenacious, resilient, and a team leader.
Greene (in photo at right) exhibited those qualities in the Boston school’s first two games, recording seven saves in a 4-1 loss at Salve Regina University and a career-high 20 stops in a 3-1 setback to Western Connecticut State University.
Those performances earned the Mansfield High graduate selection as the New England Collegiate Conference Field Hockey Player of the Week, ending Sept. 4.
“It’s really exciting and rewarding, after working hard in the preseason, to start off with this honor and something for myself and the team to build on,’’ said Greene, who ranked second in the conference with a .794 save percentage, and third with a 3.50 goals against average entering this week.
Last year, Greene split time as a starter for the Wildcats, appearing in 12 games. Her 2.27 goals-against average ranked third in the conference, and she was named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association National Academic Team.
“Michelle’s teammates look up to her,’’ added Johnson, in her first season as head coach after serving as an assistant at Bentley University the past three years. “They feed off of her positive energy on and off the field.’’
Greene is one of three former Mansfield High players on the Wheelock roster. The others are midfielder Chelsey Ballard, a junior captain who encouraged Greene to continue her field hockey career in college, and sophomore defender Sarah Marcotte, a transfer from St. Michael’s College.
“We had some very good teams and a great coach [Theresa DeGirolamo] in high school, and we came close to winning our sectional championship my senior year,’’ recalled Greene, who also played softball and was on the track team. “My freshman year at Mansfield I didn’t play goalkeeper. Coach saw me trying it one day in practice and told me to stick with it, and I became a starter my senior year.’’
DeGirolamo said Greene was an integral part of her 2009 team that advanced to the South sectional semifinals.
“Michelle had a great postseason, getting hot just at the right time, and that’s a credit to her willingness to improve and her toughness,’’ said DeGirolamo, now in her 10th season as coach of the Hornets. “Wheelock was a great fit for her because she’s a multifaceted individual.’’
Ballard and Greene were also teammates in an adult summer league in Bridgewater, and the more Ballard talked about the Wheelock program, the more Greene thought she’d miss playing after high school.
“I wasn’t sure how I would transition into the college game, but Chelsey was very enthusiastic,’’ she said. “Last year was a learning experience and a challenge. This year I’ve really focused more on playing the angles and communicating with our defense. I enjoy the position, because you’re totally involved and see the whole field.’’
Greene’s mother, Patty, played field hockey and softball at Foxborough High. Her father, Martin, was an assistant basketball coach at Norwood High and Salve Regina University and played the sport at Don Bosco Tech in Boston.
Greene’s spirit on the field has been equaled by her spirit of volunteerism.
During her junior and senior year of high school, she was part of a 15-student Gulf Coast Relief Group that raised funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Greene has also visited New Orleans to help clear debris, strip paint, and salvage parts of a house that had been blown into a swamp.
She has also worked with Massachusetts Special Olympics as a basketball playing “partner’’ at Stonehill College because of her support for special education.
Locals picked as co-captains
Linebacker Mike Bois of Lakeville and running back Matt White of Westwood are co-captains on the Massachusetts Maritime Academy football team.
Both earned All-New England Football Conference Bogan Division honors last year when the Buccaneers posted their best record in a decade (5-5) .
A former standout at Apponequet Regional High, Bois led Mass. Maritime with 81 total tackles (including 56 solo stops) despite missing the final two games due to injury. White, who starred at Westwood High, rushed for a career-high 762 yards and scored 13 touchdowns (11 rushing), including a career-best 151-yard effort in last November’s Cranberry Bowl triumph over Bridgewater State.
“Mike is everywhere around the ball, and his tenacity makes everyone around him better. He has the respect of everyone associated with our program as a two-year captain, and he’s one of the top defensive players in our conference,’’ said head coach Jeremy Cameron. “Matt is one of the most versatile backs in the league, a power runner who has the finesse to make tough catches out of the backfield.’’
Here and there
Babson College senior tri-captain Ashley Lake of Brockton helped the Beavers get off to a 3-0 start with three doubles victories and one singles win. Through last weekend, the Thayer Academy graduate had 12 matches in singles play and 23 in doubles during her college career. Lake and partner Monica Mercer were named to the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference second-team honors at No. 3 doubles in 2009-10.
“Ashley is always in position, is strong at the net, and finishes points quickly with her volleys,’’ said head coach Jim Berrigan.
Marvin Pave can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.