PROVIDENCE, RI/WILMINGTON – Back in October of 2017, the Town Crier featured Jill Miele, then a senior member of the Wilmington High School field hockey team, who at the time broke the program's scoring record of points in a season and in a career.
Miele went on to close out that season with 30 goals and 10 assists and her career with 50 goals and 16 assists for a program record 66 points which still stands.
Later on that school calendar year, she scored 12 goals and added 9 assists for the girls' hockey team. She was the team's leading scorer, and like she did in field hockey, she was named to both the Middlesex League and Lowell Sun All-Star teams.
Just over three years later after breaking Jennifer DelNinno's 1988 record, Miele continues to pile on the achievements in the sport of field hockey. A junior at Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island, she was named to the school's All-Decade Field Hockey team, despite playing just two seasons.
"With the lack of competitive action in 2020, (Johnson and Wales) Wildcat coaches and staff came together to select an all-decade team, team of the decade or best contest from the 2010-2011 season thru the 2019-2020 season (for every sport offered). Conference champions, regional champions and even a national champion were recognized on the multiple lists constructed to recognize a historic ten-year stretch for Wildcat athletics,” the release from the school said.
Only Miele's freshman and sophomore seasons counted for this team (her junior season got wiped out due to COVID-19) and her stats and overall play was off the charts again, landing her on this elite squad. She is the only current player to make it. Midfielder Natalie Rivas, who graduated last spring, was the only other 2020 or beyond player to make the 11-member squad.
In her two seasons in college, Miele has scored 33 goals, assisted on 14 others and has 80 combined points (two points for a goal in college). She said when she arrived at the school just months after graduating from high school, all she wanted to do was fit in.
"Making the team gave me a nervous but exciting feeling,” she said. “Starting fresh on any new team leaves you questioning how well you are going fit in and if it will be a group of girls you want to be with every day.
“On day one, I immediately knew it was a team filled with amazing girls that I wanted to be around all the time. I knew I wasn’t ready to give up the sport so joining a team that is filled was such positivity made it worth that much more to me.”
In the 2018 season, Miele played for then coaches Jess Zubretsky and Stephanie Walker. The team finished 5-11 and she finished with 12 goals and 5 assists, averaging just over a point per game.
“My career so far has been pretty good but I always strive to be even better. My team pushes me to be my best and there is no way I would have even slight success without them.
“As my first season went on, I was focused on growing my confidence and trusting my abilities. Coaches Zubretsky and Walker really grew me as a player and helped me build on that. We had a decent season of 5-11 but we all knew we could have done better.”
The following season, Lisa Lopes was named the head coach and Madison Skei as the assistant. The team had high hopes for the season and finished just one win better than the previous year at 6-13.
“Our whole team agreed that our record did not accurately display our skill. We had more heart and tighter bond than anyone else in the league and that showed. We had beat Simmons for the first time in program history and this really lit a fire under us, but we unfortunately lost to them in double overtime 4-3 in the first round of playoffs. I had all three goals that game but each one of them took every single player on the field to execute and it was something we were proud of.
“As the season progressed, I became more and more confident in myself and what I could do and this allowed me to find the back of the net more. Our team is such a tight family so one persons success is everyone’s success.”
Miele finished that season with 21 goals and 9 assists, averaging just over two goals per game.
After losing out on her junior season, Miele said that she hopes everything is back to normal come fall, and she can help the program to continue to grow.
“I could not be happier and more hopeful for next season when we are able to play,” she said. “Losing this past season to COVID-19 is only going to make our team stronger and prepare us even more for next season.”