Note: The story below originally appeared in the Lynn Item Newspaper on September 25, 2018, written by sports editor Harold Rivera. You can view the story on the ItemLive website at: https://www.itemlive.com/2018/09/25/giguere-off-to-hot-start-in-first-season-at-westfield-state/
WESTFIELD — Bishop Fenwick alum and Lynn native Allie Giguere has been named the Little East Conference field hockey rookie of the week, as announced Monday. A freshman forward, Giguere scored the game-winning goal in Westfield State's 4-3 win over UMass Dartmouth last Saturday — the Owls' third victory of the season. Giguere also dished two assists in the winning effort. She followed with another game-winning goal Tuesday night in a 2-1 win at Eastern Connecticut.
Wasting no time in making a swift impact during her first season with the Owls, Giguere entered this week ranked third on the team with eight points. Giguere has scored four goals and distributed two assists. She has started eight of Westfield State's 10 games this season.
"It's definitely a big accomplishment," Giguere said of earning a key role and extended playing time during her freshman season. "It's something you have to work for in the summer and preseason. It doesn't get handed to you, you have to work for it. I feel my hard work has paid off. It's not something that's guaranteed. You have to go out and give it your all every game and practice."
The former Crusader scored her first collegiate goal in her first collegiate game, an unassisted tally in a 4-1 win over Sage Sept. 1.
"It was kind of surreal," Giguere said. "You never really think it's going to happen. It's kind of cool to go out and score a goal in the first game. It was a crazy feeling. Once it happens, you want it to happen again. You want to go back out there and do the same thing to put another one in."
Through the early stages of her collegiate career, Giguere has noticed plenty of differences between the high school and college levels but they haven't affected her performance on the field. She's doing her best to adapt to those differences on the go while getting accustomed to playing alongside a new group of teammates.
"College is definitely a lot faster than high school," Giguere said. "You have to be on your toes more, you need to hustle more, the shots are harder and the competition is tougher.
"I think (a key adjustment) is adapting to different teammates and getting a feel for who you're playing next to," Giguere added. "When you play alongside someone in high school for three years, you get used to each other. It's adapting to new teammates and seeing what clicks and what doesn't."
Giguere said she felt well-prepared to contribute at Westfield State after a successful three-year career on the varsity field hockey team for coach Marybeth Mahoney at Fenwick. She also played four seasons of varsity ice hockey in her days wearing the Crusaders uniform.
"I definitely feel Coach Mahoney helped me a lot," Giguere, who graduated from Fenwick this past spring, said. "She was a really big part of me even considering playing field hockey in college. She always pushed me. We had some really difficult teams on our schedule (at Fenwick) so that helped me as well."
The Owls, after starting the season 2-2 through their first four games, fell into a four-game losing streak. Westfield State ended that four-game slide with Saturday's victory on the road at UMass Dartmouth. Through 10 games, Westfield State sits at 4-6, 2-2 against Little East Conference opponents.
"We've been talking about, as a team, things we can do to try to turn that around," Giguere said. "We've had meetings, trying to break old habits and form new ones, keeping up with the new ones because those work better.
"I think we're doing really well," Giguere added. "I think we play well together. Everyone wants to win. Everyone picks each other up. The captains do a great job keeping the team together and making sure we all follow our goals."
Giguere and the Owls are back on the field Saturday afternoon (2:30) when they travel to Keene State.