Senior Spotlight: Alyssa Pavano

Sports

Up until senior forward Co-captain Alyssa Pavano’s sixth grade year, the only type of hockey she was familiar with was ice hockey; field hockey wasn’t even on her radar. However, this changed fast, as Pavano has now been playing field hockey for over six years, even going so far as to securing a spot on the starting lineup since her freshman year. 

Before her time at KO, ice hockey was the only thing on her mind, but when she needed to pick up a fall sport, field hockey seemed to be the next best thing. “Coming to KO in sixth grade, I had to play a sport, and I decided to try field hockey,” Pavano said. “I already played ice hockey and figured they’d be somewhat similar.” What started out as a way to fulfill her sport requirement quickly turned into a lifelong passion. 

 As a freshman in high school, Pavano was already a star player. She started every single game and even earned the MVP award at the end of her freshman year. She was one of the leading scorers on the team each year, proving to be a force to be reckoned with up top. Her work ethic, stick skills, and overall field awareness put her above the rest. 

Her success in past seasons as well as strong leadership skills earned her the title of captain alongside senior midfielder Co-captain Abby McLaughlin and senior midfielder Co-captain Katharine Doar this year. “As a captain, she is a great leader and communicator,” Head Coach Chapin Yates said. “She is passionate about field hockey and uses her knowledge and experience to develop the underclassmen’s skills.” 

In her role as captain, Pavano leaves everything out on the field in both games and practices and encourages her teammates to do the same. “I work closely with Coach Yates along with [Doar] and [McLaughlin] to make sure everybody is getting the most out of practices and knows what’s going on during games,” Pavano said.  “I also ensure that everybody has the most fun they possibly can by being motivated, energetic, and positive at practices and games.” 

As a player, Pavano is skilled and aggressive, using her quick stick skills to her advantage to maneuver around opponents. “There have been many moments where Alyssa has been knocked to the ground, but she got up every single time,” Coach Yates said. “Her injuries on the field show her grit and determination to win and are a badge of honor.”

Though Pavano loves the sport of field hockey, at the same time, she loves being on a team surrounded by players with the same passion. “My favorite part about field hockey is that it is a stress reliever,” Pavano said, “and the team is so much fun, and it is my favorite part of the day to hang out with everybody at practice.” The players on the team this year have really been able to bond with one another, and Pavano and the other captains of the team have been integral factors in forging such connections. To Pavano, team bonding is of the utmost importance, especially since this is their first time playing an official season since the fall of 2019. 

As the season nears its end, Pavano will miss simply going out to practice and playing games with the team. “Win or lose, we are always sure to have fun, and I will miss having designated time to play the sport I love,” Pavano said. 

Pavano has committed early to Union College to play for their field hockey team. She will continue to further both her athletic and academic careers there, and she’s excited to continue to play the sport she is so passionate about and dedicated to. As the season hits its halfway point, Pavano intends on continuing to give it her all during games and practices, leaving the KO field hockey program on a high note.