By Gavin Menu; photography by Michael Heller
Kasey Gilbride, Pierson High School’s star senior field hockey player, signed a National Letter of Intent last week to play Division I field hockey at the University of Richmond.
Gilbride, who is currently a member of the varsity girls basketball team heading for the postseason, will receive a partial athletic scholarship and will report to campus to begin training in late June, almost immediately after high school graduation. She also plans to close out her high school playing career at shortstop on the Pierson softball team this spring.
“Kasey’s gritty playing style will immediately drive up the level of competition within our culture,” Richmond head coach Gina Lucido said this week while announcing her incoming class of freshman players. “Her athleticism powerfully exerts itself through consistent technical play and continual second effort Kasey has an ability to make game changing momentum shifts through her dynamic gifts and tough mentality. I am eager to see the influence of Kasey‘s winning ways and skill make a mark at the next level.”
Gilbride this week said the size of Richmond and the support of the community reminded her of Pierson and Sag Harbor, which was key in her decision to join the Spiders program. She also clicked with Lucido immediately.
“I love the family feeling of the program,” Gilbride said. “The coach tells the girls all the time that they are worthy of all their success. She actually has ‘worthy’ on the back of the girls’ warm-up tops.”
Gilbride, who was the first-ever athlete from Pierson to earn All-Region honors in field hockey, led the Lady Whalers to the program’s first New York State championship in the fall. And while her game and athletic ability dazzled most onlookers during her career, Gilbride believes she has a lot of room for improvement.
“Technically speaking, the game moves faster due to the turf and just the better skill level of the players, so I have to react faster,” said Gilbride, who is currently playing indoor hockey with her Strong Island team, which recently qualified for indoor nationals, which will be held, believe it or not, in Richmond.