EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 25, 2013

Stick Together

Pinkerton hockey trailblazer making major impact in field hockey

By Dave Dyer

---- — The transition is pretty easy for Pinkerton junior Kaylie DeCosmo.

Switching from field hockey to ice hockey and back again wasn’t always easy, but as DeCosmo’s field hockey skills have developed, the transition hasn’t been bad at all.

And, in the last two years, DeCosmo’s skills have progressed at a steady rate. Last year, she scored 11 goals and had four assists for the Division 1 state champion Astros. This fall, she has tallied 11 goals and six assists for the 6-1 Astros.

An avid and talented hockey player since the first grade, she, last year, became the first girl to ever play with the boys program at Pinkerton.

DeCosmo isn’t surprised by her improvement in field hockey.

In contrast to the general view, she feels that the two sports have a lot in common besides the name similarity.

“It’s pretty much the same concept, at least for me,” she said. “I go in with the same mindset, of setting up my teammates or scoring myself. My best asset is scoring and I think I’m strong with my stick in both sports. That, and speed, are really important.”

Also, DeCosmo’s approach to field hockey is basically the same, and that seems to help.

“I’m a pretty aggressive player — I go after it and don’t mind mixing it up,” she said. “I’m sure my coaches will always say that I’m an ice hockey player on the field hockey field.”

Pinkerton coach Jen Resmini might not go that far, but she says that “the fact that she plays hockey has made her a very effective field hockey player.”

In fact, although DeCosmo still gives ice hockey a slight nod over field hockey as her biggest passion, the gap is narrowing. She feels that her future may be in the outdoor sport.

“I always dreamed of playing ice hockey in college, but right now I’m thinking I might play field hockey,” said DeCosmo, a Derry resident who also plays varsity softball for the Astros. “Because I play like a hockey player, I stand out more in field hockey. I shoot it hard and can create opportunities (to score).

“Plus, I think there are more opportunities (in college) in field hockey.”

If that’s the case, DeCosmo will need to give a big thank you to middle school field hockey coaches Robyn Rios and Jen Sullivan, who confronted her in the sixth grade.

“They knew I had played hockey and asked me if I’d try field hockey,” said DeCosmo, whose father played high school (Trinity) and college (Southern New Hampshire) hockey and was a big influence on her. “I said sure, why not? I’m glad I did.”

So, of course, is Resmini.

“Kaylie has a great first touch on the field and fantastic vision of space,” said Resmini. “She works very well with her forward line, especially Julie Saltamartini, who has assisted on many of her goals this season, and her midfields.

“Kaylie’s quick transition defense sets up many offensive opportunities for her team. She is a fantastic teammate and her teammates always comment on the improvements she makes and how hard she works in practices and in games.”