Cravinho chooses Clark University

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BRATTLEBORO — After losing eight of its last nine games in the fall, the Clark University field hockey team is getting just what it needs.

A winner.

Abbe Cravinho, who helped the Bellows Falls Stickers to 57 consecutive victories and four state titles, announced to her parents on Christmas Day that she will attend the school in Worcester, Mass. and continue to play the sport that she has been so successful in.

"Some things that I will bring to the Clark field hockey team are my sense of leadership that I was able to contribute to the Bellows Falls field hockey team and my love for the game. I tend to get very intense — maybe a little too intense — and into the game when we are playing, so I will definitely carry my passion with me. I don't think that I will ever lose that," said the Bellows Falls senior.

The three-sport star is the defending state champion in the hurdles, scored a team-high 32 goals in the fall, and is on the Bellows Falls varsity girls basketball team that's off to a 7-0 start. She also won a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institution medal last summer for excellence in math and science.

"She always works hard and strives for the best at anything she does. She always has, from day one," stated Abbe's mom, speaking for herself and her husband. "It makes me tear up when I think about how proud of her we are. We are so excited to see what the future holds for her and what she will achieve, both academically and on the field hockey field at Clark University."

Cravinho isn't sure on a major just yet, but definitely wants to work with children at some point.

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"Since I visited Clark in the summertime, I have loved the school. I felt that it was a perfect balance between who I am outside of sports and as an athlete. It offers an inviting environment and that is exactly what I was looking for," she mentioned. "Also, the field hockey team feels like home, as their style of play and team goals are very similar to the ones here with my team."

The daughter of John and Jen Cravinho decided to switch from playing soccer to playing field hockey when she entered seventh grade.

"I picked it up pretty quickly and I went to a number of camps after that year to help improve my skills. Ever since then, I've played almost year round," she noted.

It has certainly showed.

The playmaker continually led breakaways up the middle with speed and control during her varsity career, opposing goalies rarely had a chance against her powerful shots, she was often seen drawing an extra defender and then dishing the ball to an open teammate, her behind-the-back passes on penalty corners were something special, and she was known to aggressively steal the ball from foes on free hits.

Coached by Bethany Coursen, Cravinho teamed up with classmates Molly Kelly, Megan Banik, Madison Streeter, Sophie Hyslop, Michelle Marchica, Alice Salter-Roy, Madi Joy, Brooke Bennett, Emma Lober, Emily Harris and Brigid Hodsden for an amazing 63-2-2 record over a four-year span. That group is also a perfect 12-0 in the playoffs.

"I can't even begin to think about leaving this team, or this town. The feeling of having a second home and a second family with the team is something that I will keep with me forever," said the the leading scorer for the best field hockey team in Vermont history, adding that a lasting memory is seeing the faces of her fans at the state championship game on Nov. 3 and again later that night when the BF backers lined up to see the victory parade through Bellows Falls.


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