GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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February 7, 2013

Pair of locals commit to Merrimack College

Gloucester’s Bianca Giacalone and Manchester Essex’s Nicole Bradley have been dominant on their respective athletic fields this school year.

On Wednesday, the Gloucester soccer and track star and the Manchester Essex field hockey star made it official that they will be taking their games to the next level signing their letters of intent to play collegiate sports at Merrimack College on National Signing Day. Giacalone will be playing both soccer and track at the Division 2 school while Bradley will play on the field hockey team.

Given the prowess of both Giacalone and Bradley on the field this school year, both are amongst the best players in their respective leagues in their respective sports, it’s easy to see how each is a coveted Division 2 prospect.

Bradley was a force for the Manchester Essex field hockey team this fall as she was the top player on a team that finished up the season with an 18-2-1 record and reached the Division 2 North Final for the fifth time in the last six seasons.

Bradley was named the Cape Ann League Small’s Most Valuable Player and named to the Best of 60 Field Hockey All Star Team, which features the top field hockey stars in New England, this fall and she brings a balanced and versatile game to Merrimack College this coming fall.

The senior captain, who also won a gold medal playing in the Bay State Games last summer, can put the ball in the net for Manchester Essex, as is evident in her 22 career goals and 15 career assists, but this season she was called upon to play a different role in the team’s midfield. As a result Bradley was the team’s facilitator in the middle of the field, transitioning from offense to defense and helping out on both ends of the field.

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