This is a printer-friendly version of an article from Zip06.com.Article Published August 6, 2020
Nadia Liuzzi was a competitive dancer for 10 years prior to attending North Haven High School. However, in her freshman year, Nadia decided that it was time for a change and left dance to find a different sport. In her pursuit of a new athletic endeavor, Nadia sign up to compete for the North Haven field hockey team.
“I wanted to try something that not a lot of people go for,” says Nadia. “A lot of people go for volleyball or soccer, and I just wanted to do something that not a lot of people did. I wanted to be different from everybody else in a way.”
Nadia, who recently graduated from North Haven, was a member of the JV field hockey team as a freshman, playing the midfielder position. By the end of her freshman season, Nadia began to see field hockey in a different light and truly started to enjoy it. Nadia made new friends and realized that playing the sport not only pushed her to be her best on the field, but off the field, too.
Nadia earned a starting role on North Haven’s varsity squad during her sophomore season. In just her second year playing field hockey, Nadia understood the importance of her role on the team.
“It was a scary transition. I didn’t know that was going to happen so quickly. I didn’t really play sports at the beginning, so I didn’t think anything big was going to happen,” Nadia says. “I was just going with the flow. But once they put me on the varsity team, I realized that it was real.”
While the transition from JV to varsity might have been a big leap, Nadia was intent on improving her skills. She attended a field hockey camp in Westerly, Rhode Island over the summer and a camp with HTC Field Hockey based in Madison in the winter. Nadia attended both of these camps with various teammates during her freshman and sophomore years.
As she progressed through the camps, Nadia started to see her improvement on the field. In her junior year, Nadia felt confident that she belonged on the varsity squad.
“In the beginning, I had no clue what I was doing my freshman year. I was trying to learn how to play the game. It’s a very hard sport to jump right into,” says Nadia. “My sophomore year was a lot easier. I was friends with a lot of the older girls, and they were there to help get me through being on varsity. Once I got to my junior year, I wasn’t perfect, but I knew so much, I was confident being on varsity and not having to worry about what other people are doing and saying.”
As Nadia entered her final season, she was selected as one of North Haven’s senior captains with Christina DeAngelo and goalie Sophia Aquaro. Nadia says that being named a captain was an honor and also a great opportunity to show her coaches that could excel in a leadership role. Nadia and her fellow captains would often watch JV games to try and help North Haven’s younger players learn more about the sport.
The highlight of Nadia’s senior season came when North Haven earned a victory versus a Hamden team that it had not defeated in several years. Nadia says that helping North Haven win that game was a moment she will always remember from her time in the program.
“It was a crazy game we played against Hamden. We hadn’t beaten them in years, but we beat them,” Nadia says. “It was a crazy experience. I had never beaten them in my four years of playing, but we did that time. I knew we could do it, and we did it. Being able to say I was a captain the year we beat Hamden, it felt like a big moment for me and the whole team.”
Now that she’s graduated from high school, Nadia is planning to attend Quinnipiac University to study accounting. As she looks back at her time at North Haven, Nadia feels glad that she made the choice to play field hockey and appreciates the relationships that she created with her teammates.
“We were a family. We were all close. Winning or losing, we were having fun,” says Nadia. “We had a connection together and, when we went out there, we always tried our best.”