|College:||Salve Regina University, '06|
Wheaton College Director of Athletics and Recreation John Sutyak ’00 has announced the hiring of Cara Reese as the seventh field hockey head coach in the history of the program. Reese joins the Wheaton staff after seven years at Vassar College including a four-year stint as head coach.
“I would like to thank Mr. Sutyak and Ms. Yenush for offering me the opportunity to become a member of the Wheaton College community,” said Reese. “As the new head coach, it is my goal to bring the Lyons back to the upper echelon of the NEWMAC.”
Reese takes over for Rebecca Begley, who spent the previous 13 seasons at Wheaton as the head coach of the field hockey program and five seasons at the helm of the women’s lacrosse program. Begley also maintained administrative duties as the department’s senior woman administrator and assistant director of athletics.
"We are thrilled to welcome Cara to the Wheaton athletics family,” said Sutyak. “I am looking forward to working with her as she mentors our field hockey student-athletes on-and-off of the field and brings us to the top of the NEWMAC."
During her four years as head coach of the Vassar College field hockey program, Reese increased the team’s win total every season from 2009-2011 culminating in the Brewers most successful campaign since 2000 with a 7-9 mark overall. Last season, Reese equaled the same feat from the year prior guiding the squad to another 7-9 record, had one student-athlete earn Liberty League All-Conference second team honors and one student-athlete garner honorable mention accolades.
Academically, the Vassar field hockey program has made its presence known on the national level under Reese’s leadership as 13 student-athletes were named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) All-Academic Squad this past fall. In 2011, the Brewers tied Wesleyan University for the highest cumulative grade point average (GPA) among all NCAA Division III programs with a 3.52 GPA. Eighteen student-athletes within the field hockey program collected NFHCA All-Academic Squad honors for having a 3.30 GPA or higher through the first semester of the 2011-12 academic year.
"Cara's expertise at an academically rigorous institution such as Vassar will lend itself to the work in front of her here at Wheaton,” said Sutyak. “With a new facility slated to open next fall, I am looking forward to watching Cara recruit the best and the brightest student-athletes to Wheaton and work toward a NEWMAC championship."
Reese is a 2006 graduate of Salve Regina University with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Reese was a two-sport athlete at Salve Regina earning three Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC) All-Conference second team selections in lacrosse and two in field hockey. Reese also served as a captain for the field hockey program during her senior year and was president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) from 2003-2006.
After graduating from Salve Regina, Reese went on to serve as an assistant coach for the Vassar College field hockey team from 2006-2008 and the women’s lacrosse program from 2006-2010. Reese managed several non-coaching duties during her time at Vassar functioning as an admissions liaison, the Director of Student-Athlete Support Services and Sexual Assault and Violence Prevention (SAVP) committee member. Reese is an NCAA Women’s Coaches Academy graduate and has served on the National Coach of the Year committee and North Atlantic Regional Ranking Committee.
“There is a fiery desire in each current member of the field hockey program to get back on track. I am excited to work with such a dedicated group of women and to provide them with the most positive and competitive collegiate experience possible,” said Reese. “Although there are certain areas to immediately address within the structure of the program, their desire to work hard and their commitment to each other cannot be questioned.”
An experienced high school coach, camp instructor and league director, Patricia Zini begins her sixth season on the Wheaton College field hockey coaching staff in 2012.
Prior to her arrival in Norton, Zini served as the junior varsity head coach and varsity assistant coach at Shepherd Hill Regional High School in Dudley during the 2005 and 2006 seasons.
Every summer since 2001, Zini has worked as a head coach at the Tantasqua Regional High School camp in Fiskdale, where she also created a curriculum for the campers. Zini has also worked a field hockey camp at Worcester State College (2006) and spent time at the Connecticut Elite camp in Storrs, CT (2004) and STX camp in Amherst (2003).
In 2003, Zini founded the Turf Burn Field Hockey Summer League after receiving a grant from the Penn Monto Field Hockey Foundation. Since then, she has served as the director for a league in which adults and high school students from Connecticut and central Massachusetts compete. Additionally, Zini founded the Turf Juniors in summer 2005, which is a six-week clinic which she runs for girls ages 10 to 14.
A 2005 graduate of Trinity College, Zini was a four-year student-athlete who appeared in 37 games for the Bantams. As a senior, she started all 15 games and tied for the team lead with four assists, helping Trinity qualify for its first New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament.
Zini earned a bachelor’s degree in English and has worked as an assistant preschool teacher in the Head Start Program in Southbridge and an English Language Arts teacher at Randolph Community Middle School.