By Adam Levine
Field hockey captain Bella Kondi, a midfielder, broke two records and tied another during the 2023 season, her final season as a Ram.
Kondi, who received her bachelor’s degree in Spring 2023, returned to the Framingham State field hockey team during her master’s program.
During the 2023 season, she recorded 19 assists and finished her career with 35 assists.
Kondi broke both the single-season assist record (13) and the career assist record (21), previously held by former teammate Corlene Guenard ’23.
Kondi also tied the single-game assist record (3) on two separate occasions, during the team’s 4-3 win over Bridgewater State Sept. 26 and 5-0 win over Bridgewater State Oct. 20.
Kondi led the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) in assists by 12 and landed a spot on the All-Conference First Team.
According to the 2020 Field Hockey Statisticians’ Manual published by The Official National Collegiate Athletic Association, an assist is a “play that directly results in a goal being scored” and “there is only one assist given on ANY field goal.”
Kondi said a goal is “not just two people.”
She said an assist starts all the way at the defensive line. “When a play builds all the way from the backline, they're also a part of the assist.”
Kondi said, “I feel like for me, an assist is being open to setting someone else up for success.
“If I'm not the person to finish it, then I'm more than willing to hand it off to someone else to get the goal,” she added.
She said setting up her teammates, especially those who don’t typically score, is “more rewarding for me than to actually get the goal.”
Head Coach Allie Lucenta said, “An assist can be a lot of hard work, or knowledge, to set up a goal. It’s not recognized much of the time because everyone looks at the goal itself.”
She said, “Bella works very hard in the midfield.
“She sets up a lot of plays and is one of the primary players on offensive corners.
“She deserves the credit for all the hard work she put into it,” added Lucenta.
Kondi said she first noticed her high number of assists after the team’s 3-0 win over UMass Dartmouth Oct. 4, during which she recorded two assists.
She said Coach Lucenta said to her, “‘Holy smokes. You're literally double the other MASCAC players on the assists list right now. You're doing great, keep going.’
“After that, I was just kind of curious to look at my stats.
“That's when I really found out that it was a big deal,” Kondi added.
She said she is in “awe” of herself after this accomplishment.
“I didn't think that I really was doing anything stand out,” Kondi said. “I just thought, ‘Oh, I'm helping everyone else get to the position that we need to be.’
“It’s just crazy to look back now and see I was in so many plays that made or break the season,” she added.
Kondi said during both regular-season wins over Bridgewater State, during which Kondi recorded three assists, “It really just came down to the nitty gritty.”
She said as a fifth-year graduate student on the team she has “been on the field long enough.
“I have the IQ,” Kondi added.
Former teammate Guenard said she and Bella had a small undergraduate class and were very close.
She said, “I thought it was exciting holding the record and being able to see the growth of the team.”
Guenard said Kondi is a “team player.
“She makes those assists when she sees a pass opening,” she added.
Coach Lucenta said, “Corlene was an amazing player. It was awesome seeing her climb nationally in the rankings for assists. We definitely miss having her.”
Kondi finished her final season as a player on the Rams’ field hockey team with a 2-0 loss to the Worcester State Lancers in the MASCAC Championship game Nov. 4.
Lucenta said Bella will be missed on the team. “It was a pleasure getting to work with her for the past five years.
“She is a leader on and off the field, who everyone looks up to,” added Lucenta.
She said, “This record will be hard to break, but we have a great and skilled group next year - we will see.”
Kondi said, “I hope someone breaks my record.
“I hope that people pay attention to the stats and if they really want to go for it, go for it.
“I'd be more than happy to see someone else break my record - congrats to you,” she added.