SHRUB OAK, N.Y. – When it came to Lakeland High School field hockey winning the Section 1 and New York State Championships, the feeling still was exhilarating for Gianna Bensaia.
Bensaia played on four consecutive Section 1 Class B and state championship field hockey teams. In doing so, Lakeland became the first team to win four straight state field hockey titles.
As a result of her outstanding play, especially in the postseason, Bensaia is the first recipient of the Yorktown Daily Voice student-athlete of the month.
“Every year, it was a different type of feeling, but this year was very special to me because this was my senior year,” said Bensaia, who will attend the University of New Hampshire next year and play field hockey. “Lakeland field hockey will always be number one to me.”
Bensaia was a dominant force as Lakeland’s center midfielder. She finished with 15 goals and 18 assists, but was equally effective defensively, shutting down the opposition’s attack.
Along with her excellence on the field, where Bensaia was an all-elite, all-state and all-region selection, she stands out in the classroom. Bensaia has a 94 grade-point average this year.
“Gianna is an amazing young lady,” Lakeland field hockey coach Sharon Sarsen said. “Gianna has had an amazing impact on the Lakeland field hockey program and has been a special player the whole way through.”
Bensaia’s impact is not limited to the varsity program.
“Gianna is a great role model for our younger players as she works with the Shrub Oak Athletic Club players and Training Zone clinics,” Sarsen said. “I am so proud of what she has accomplished and the person that she has become. She treats everyone with respect and is truly an ambassador for the sports.”
Bensaia takes as much pride in her schoolwork as she does in field hockey.
“I am very hard on myself because I strive to be the best I can be in class,” Bensaia said. “Somebody said to me, ‘You don’t have to worry because you have a full scholarship to college,’ but I know if I don’t do well in my classes, it can be taken away from me so that keeps me focused.”
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