BRATTLEBORO -- Allison Jameson knew that after she graduated high school she wanted to find a university that had a decent program geared towards the sport she loved to play most -- field hockey.
"I played softball, basketball, and field hockey in high school," said Jameson in an interview with the Reformer. "Field hockey was always my favorite. After I graduated from Brattleboro, a really competitive program was definitely part of my search."
She also wanted to stay close to home.
After finding out what other schools had to offer, Jameson, a 2003 BUHS graduate, retired her purple and white Colonels jersey to become a Golden Bear at Western New England University, located in Springfield, Ma.
It turned out to be a wise decision for both Jameson, and the Golden Bears.
Jameson was one of six Bear standouts who were inducted into the Western New England Athletic Hall of Fame last September.
"As a freshman there, I didn’t expect to get a lot of playing time," said Jameson. "But I worked really hard during the preseason and ended up starting in our team’s opener."
Jameson would remain a starter on the Golden Bears team for the remainder of her college career.
Also an academic star, Jameson ranks among the top student-athletes in WNE history, becoming the university’s first field hockey player to achieve All-America recognition from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association and ESPN the Magazine, in 2006.
According to the university website, Jameson racked up 12 goals and 12 assists for 36 points on 125 shots in 22 games during her senior year. As a Golden Bear captain, she led WNE to a school-best 19-5 record her junior year and was voted the 2005 North Atlantic Conference Tournament MVP after the team captured the program’s first conference crown.
In that title bout, Jameson scored the game-winner on a penalty shot for a 2-1 victory over Maine-Farmington. The win qualified the Golden Bears for the NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship for the first time ever.
"It was THE highlight of my career," admits Jameson, who finished up her WNE run with a record-breaking 147 points on 56 goals and 35 assists from 2003-06, leading the squad in scoring during her first three seasons as a team forward.
Jameson, who lives in Palmer, Ma., and works as the communications coordinator at the University of Massachusetts, traveled north this holiday season to see friends, and family, who mostly live in the Brattleboro area.
She also caught up with some of her high school coaches, including champion softball skipper Kelly Markol, and Sheryl Libardoni, the once-coach of the varsity field hockey team, now retired (but who can still be found running the play clock at BUHS boys and girls basketball games).
Libardoni was thrilled to hear the news. "Jameson was a great player," she said. "I’m very happy for her. She was one of the best players I ever had the pleasure to work with."
Jameson said she stills plays a few pick-up games here and there, and plans on seeing the UMass field hockey team--who she heard is pretty good--take to the field come this fall.
To stay involved locally, Jameson reffed a couple middle school and JV softball games last summer in Brattleboro. Jameson also refs games from time to time at Western Massachusetts high schools.
"It keeps me involved," she said. "Field hockey is a team sport, so you’ve got to win together."
David Aquino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.