The Wellesley News is excited to continue the tradition of featuring a student athlete’s hard work and successes at the end of each month in our 2023-24 publications. For our student athlete of the October, we decided to highlight a junior field hockey player, Sara Maniscalco.
Maniscalco graduated from Harvard-Westlake in 2021, and was a two-sport athlete in field hockey and soccer. She was captain of the field hockey team during her senior season, while also being three-time undefeated CIF Champions. After a successful High School career she had a powerful first-year and started in 16 games for The Blue. Last year, Maniscalco made the 2022 National Field Hockey Coaches Association Academic Squad. This year, she has had a career high of four goals so far this season as a defenseman and with two of the goals aiding The Blue to win against University of New England.
A teammate said this about Maniscalco, “She’s always a positive force of energy and gives it her all both on and off the field”. To learn more about what makes such a great student athlete and teammate, The News asked Maniscalcoa few questions.
TWN: How did you start playing field hockey?
SM: I started playing field hockey in seventh grade when I was looking for a sport to play in the soccer off-season. I immediately fell in love with the sport and knew I wanted to stick with it. My high school coaches started our club teams and really helped me become the player I am today.
TWN: What is your favorite memory from playing field hockey over the years?
SM: My favorite field hockey memory was our quarterfinal victory over Smith in the Newmac playoffs during my first year. After giving up an early goal, our defense was able to shut down Smith for the rest of the game to allow our offense time to score two unanswered goals for my first playoff win. It was an amazing team victory.
TWN: Have you faced any adversity as your season has progressed? If so, how were you able to overcome those challenges?
SM: This year has been difficult because I was injured during the pre-season. Healing fully would have meant sitting out for much of the season, so I have had to manage the injury. We have had many players dealing with similar issues, and watching everyone on the team show up and play for each other has been so inspirational.
TWN: Do you have any type of pre-game ritual?
SM: Before every game, I like to listen my pump up playlist that I made with Marin Kriner (#7). It gets me in the right frame of mind to go out and leave everything on the field.
TWN: Who are your biggest supporters?
SM: My biggest supporters are my family. They fly out for games whenever they can, and even when they are not here, I always know they are watching me from home. Our captain, Alex Lenart, has also been such a huge support system for me since first year and watching her deal with her injury this season has been a huge motivation for me on the field.
TWN: What are you interested in outside of athletics?
SM: Outside of athletics, I am excited to be studying abroad next semester at Oxford. I love experiencing new places and cultures, and can’t wait to see what it is like to study in England.
At Wellesley, Maniscalco majors in Peace and Justice Studies. She is passionate about spending time with her family, singing karaoke with her best friend Eva and enjoying life to the fullest. With the help of Maniscalco, The Blue are set to play on Saturday Oct. 28, when the team hosts senior day against WPI at 1:00 p.m.