Conant’s Gonyea commits to University of Southern Maine for field hockey, basketball

  • Elizabeth Gonyea Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Elizabeth Gonyea playing for the Conant field hockey team in 2020. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 2/2/2021 7:27:54 PM

Conant High School senior Elizabeth Gonyea announced her commitment this week to the University of Southern Maine, where she plans to play on both the Huskies’ field hockey and women’s basketball teams.

An Alaskan transplant who moved to Rindge in 2017, Gonyea visited Maine in the summers and enjoyed her time there; after all, she said, Maine’s not so different from Alaska. And when she drove up to tour Southern Maine, “something felt right,” she said.

“Once I was on campus I knew that USM was what I wanted to call my home for the next four years,” Gonyea said.

Gonyea, the reigning Division III Player of the Year in New Hampshire girls’ basketball, joins a Husky team that went 10-15 in the 2019-20 season. USM competes in the NCAA Division III Little East Conference along with teams like Plymouth State and Keene State. The Huskies once set the DIII record for consecutive 20-win seasons (30).

“It certainly is really special when you see one of your players go on to play basketball at the next level,” said Conant head coach Brian Troy. “I’m incredibly happy and proud of Elizabeth for committing to the University of Southern Maine. Without question, she belongs in the world of college basketball. She has, most definitely, earned the right to play basketball at the next level. A lot of people see only the talent and ability that Elizabeth has, but few people actually see the incredible amount of hard work and passion that she has put into her game. To see it pay off for her is really exciting and well deserved.”

Troy’s Orioles won the NHIAADivision III state championship when Gonyea arrived as a freshman and again last year in her junior season, during which she surpassed 1,000 career points. As of this writing, she’s averaging 16 ppg and the Orioles, who haven’t lost a game since March 2019, are looking for one more title in her senior year.

“She has, obviously, been an extremely important part of the success that we’ve had here at Conant,” Troy said, “and I’m sure she’ll be an important part of the women’s basketball program at USM. The recruiting process can be tough on any high school kid, so I’m glad that it’s over and she can move forward knowing she’s committed and confident with her decision. I look forward to watching her play at the next level and see her skills and abilities grow to new heights. It’s been a privilege being her high school basketball coach for the previous four years, and I’m sure she’s ready to finish out her senior year with flying colors.”

Gonyea was also an All-State field hockey forward at Conant who helped the Orioles rebuild their program under coach Jackie Brown.

“Liz has been one of the hardest working individuals I have had the pleasure of coaching,” Brown said. “Seeing her commit to the next level makes me extremely proud. As a coach, you want to see your players achieve great things on and off the field/court. Liz will achieve great things not only as an athlete, but as an individual. She has the perfect combination of passion, compassion and determination to be successful in the medical field. I have no doubt that she will continue to be exceptional in anything she puts her mind to. I’m excited to cheer her on in her next journey!”

The USM field hockey team went 13-9 in 2019 and made it to the Little East semifinals before losing in overtime.

If anyone is up for the challenge of juggling two college sports while pursuing a nursing degree, it’s Gonyea, who’s been taking college courses for the past two years while playing three varsity sports at Conant and honing her skills by playing club basketball.

“Personally, I have always enjoyed having a busier schedule because it seems to help keep me more organized,” Gonyea said. “I have been taking college courses both last year and this year and have been able to manage athletics and academics just fine, so I think that if I stay focused on my end goal of getting my bachelors’ degree in nursing, I will be set – and playing both field hockey and basketball is just an added bonus to it all.”




Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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