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Manhattanville Field Hockey Like Home for Coughlan

PURCHASE, N.Y. -- Alyssa Coughlan wanted to play field hockey in college, so when she chose Manhattanville, she was quite pleased to learn about her coach.

Coughlan, a 2008 Rye graduate, would be playing for Kevin Kelly, her high school coach, who guided the Garnets to four state field hockey championships -- 2000, ‘01, ‘04 and ‘07 -- and five state finals.

Coughlan was a valuable contributor on the 2007 state-title team that beat Garden City (L.I.) in double overtime on Olivia Nabhan’s goal.

“I had a great time playing for Coach Kelly at Rye and I figured why not continue playing for him in college,” said Coughlan, one of three seniors on the Manhattanville field hockey team.

Coughlan has been a major contributor for Kelly, now in his fourth season, as he continues to reshape the program. Manhattanville opened the season with a 4-0 win over Mercy last week.

The Lady Valiants went 9-10 last season and return 15 players, led by Coughlan and fellow seniors, Alyssa Nardone and Colleen Macedo, and five juniors.

“This is the first year that Coach Kelly has all of the players he has recruited on the team,” said Coughlan, who starts at right midfield. “He has brought in good athletes who are also very skilled in the game. In the past, we’ve always had a young team."

It has been a gradual building process for Manhattanville, but one that Coughlan wanted to contribue to and is enjoying. In fact, Coughlan has become an unofficial recruiting coordinator.

“Whenever I walk into his office and he is with a recruit, he will always tell the girl that I am one of his players from high school,” said Coughlan, with a laugh. “I will tell the girl that we were very successful at Rye and we can be successful at Manhattanville.”

One thing that has not changed about Kelly is his approach to scheduling. While at Rye, Coughlan said the Garnets always played a tough schedule, which later benefited them during sectionals and state play. Coughlan is looking forward to her final season for Manhattanville and Kelly.

“I will always remember the memories that I have had with Coach Kelly at Rye and here,” Coughlan said. “It has been a great experience.”

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