By Nick Curcuru
---- — Great leader, self motivated, ultra talented, the type of player you need to win games.
Those are just a few of the words used to describe Nicole Bradley during the 2012-2013 school year. Bradley was the best player on the Hornets field hockey and softball teams this school year dominating on both fields earning her the 2013 Gloucester Daily Times Female Athlete of the Year for Manchester Essex.
Bradley was the best player on one of Manchester Essex’s most successful programs, the field hockey program.
The Hornets dropped just two game last fall rolling through the deep Cape Ann League with a 15-1 record despite the fact that Manchester Essex is one of the three smallest schools in the league.
Bradley was a dangerous two-way player on the field hockey team as she contributed on both offense and defense from her position in the midfield.
Her efforts on the field earned Bradley Most Valuable Player honors in the Cape Ann League Small and a spot on Best of 60 roster, a game featuring the top field hockey players in the entire state, while leading the Hornets to a third trip to the Division 2 North Finals in her four years with the team.
Bradley’s season was even more impressive considering the fact that she took on a different role in her senior year. In past years Bradley was called upon to be one of the team’s top scorers, a role she played perfectly. Last fall, however, Bradley moved to the midfield and was asked to do more work on the defensive end while facilitating the team’s offense.
Needless to say, Bradley also fit that role perfectly and the CAL took notice recognizing her as the league’s top player.
“She’s the whole package,” head coach Andrea Slaven said of Bradley. “She’s very internally motivated so she knows how to motivate her teammates. She’s great leader on the field and a class act. She took on a much different role this year and her stats don’t tell the story of how important she is to the team. She’s definitely somebody you need on the field to have the type of season we had.”
Bradley will be taking her field hockey talents to the next level as she will be playing for Division 2 Merrimack College starting in the fall.
Although the young Manchester Essex softball team struggled this spring, Bradley was still a force to be reckoned with. The senior outfielder was named All Cape Ann League this spring sporting a batting average that flirted with .500.
Bradley also led the Hornets in RBI while delivering stellar defense in centerfield. The Hornets didn’t win many games this spring, but Bradley continuously put up big numbers against top competition.