Immaculate High School’s Athletic Department scored another win when Field Hockey coaches Shannon Horosky and Matthew Ariniello were named Coaches of the Year for Field Hockey by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association. They were chosen for their accomplishments in the sport and with the IHS program.
The coaches are no strangers to honors...they were voted Coaches of the Year by the Field Hockey Coaches Association twice (2012, 2015). This time they will be honored as part of 25 Coaches of the Year with coaches from other sports at a special banquet at Kay’s Pier at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington on May 9 at 7pm.
“I feel that this award really belongs to the team, not to Matt and I. The CHSCA is recognizing the years of hard work and dedication from the players in our program,” said Coach Shannon Horosky, a Danbury resident. “When I came to Immaculate, the team had not had more than four wins a season in the previous four years. We have turned the program around and have been contenders in both the SWC and the State Tournaments for the past nine years. This senior class has been a part of so many firsts: our first undefeated regular season their freshmen year, our first SWC Championship last year, our first 20-win season this year, and of course our first State Championship this past season,” she noted.
The field hockey team finished an amazing Fall 2018 season by winning the Class S State Championship, the first time field hockey won the State title in school history. They defeated #1 seed Granby Memorial in a 3-0 shutout in the final game after entering the Class S Tournament as the #3 seed and finishing first in the SWC Patriot Division. After a tough loss to Pomperaug in the SWC Championship, the girls avenged their loss by capturing the State title. The team was led by their All-State award winners Madison Halas ‘19, Lauren Oskam ‘20, Kristen Cirone ‘19 and Celia Preveza ‘21. Celia, Madison and Lauren also were awarded All-SWC honors as well. The field hockey team also had four All-Patriot Division award winners in Kristine Cirone, Molly Coyle ‘20, Mackenzy Garden ‘19 and Stephanie Faria ‘19.
“I am humbled and honored to receive this award from the CT High School Coaches Association and our colleagues. It has been amazing to see the support of not only our families and the Immaculate community, but also our extended family of countless IHS field hockey alumni whose connection to the program they grew up in remains strong and their support unwavering,” said Coach Matthew Ariniello, also a Danbury resident. “The transformation of this program has been amazing and it continues to thrive. Reaching the State championship and battling off teams that have had a stronghold in our class and large youth programs that support them was just amazing.”
Coach Ariniello believes that the program has been successful for the past decade due to many factors, including supportive families, community and administrators; player buy-in to the system and “a plethora of mentors consisting of long-time high school and college coaches who have supported our program.”
“I have been so blessed to have worked with individuals who have not only succeeded in sport but also in life; our objective is to not only grow these kids as student-athletes but as contributing members of society. Coaching at Immaculate has been an amazing experience and I look forward to continued success,” said Coach Ariniello.
Coach Horosky feels the same way: “It has been an incredibly rewarding nine years working with all of the student-athletes that have come through our program,” she said. “I always tell the student-athletes when they come in that I am not their friend, I am their coach. At our banquet this year, I said that the seniors still weren't my friends; they had become my family. That is what this program is; one big, mushy family!”
Immaculate High School is a private, non-profit Catholic college-preparatory institution serving students from 28 communities in Connecticut and New York. Founded in 1962, Immaculate High School allows students to focus on academic excellence, spiritual development, personal commitments and service to others. Located in Danbury, CT, Immaculate High School is part of the Diocese of Bridgeport’s parochial school system.