12 varsity letters and 4 captain titles later, Aschenbach earns her stripes


Staff photo by Brooke Murphy

Over the past four years, Aschenbach has accumulated 12 varsity letters and four captain titles for field hockey, basketball and lacrosse.

Preparing to round out her final sports season this spring, senior Halle Aschenbach will soon enter the exclusive club of athletes who have accumulated 12 varsity letters over their high school career. Sacrificing the peace of an off-season for four years of varsity field hockey, basketball and lacrosse, Aschenbach proves her dedication to athletics is unmatched, as she is the only senior to attain such an honor in the 2022 class. 

Though Aschenbach has been dominating since her freshman year, 12 seasons of varsity athletics has proven that her potential was far from reached, as she has become an absolute powerhouse of a player and a leader. Conflating the lessons she has learned from each individual sport, Aschenbach demonstrates the true advantage of being a multi-sport athlete. 

“I’ve definitely matured and gained more confidence as a player,” Aschenbach said. “All of that comes with experience, which I’ve had a lot of, and all three sports have aspects of the game that relate to each other, so I can apply strategies from one sport to the other. For example, being a point guard in basketball and a midfielder in field hockey has taught me how to be the ‘quarterback of the team’ in a sense.”

Aside from her raw talent, head lacrosse coach and physical education teacher Bettina Plesnitzer recognizes Aschenbach’s unmatched character as a key component to her success.

“[Halle] is a team player in all senses of the word,” Plesnitzer said. “She works her hardest at everything she does and holds herself accountable for her actions. Receiving 12 varsity letters is an outstanding accomplishment that is extremely rare. It speaks volumes about who she is as a person and teammate.”

Beyond playing the sport itself, Aschenbach values the familial environment that each team provides her with, which has motivated her endurance of each rigorous season. 

“My favorite part of being a varsity athlete is 100% the team,” Aschenbach said. “I love spending time and growing as people and athletes with all of my best friends. It gives me a second family outside of my own.”

Her genuine love for her teammates is apparent in her play as well as her leadership, as she prioritizes her teammates success just as much as she would her own. 

“What specifically stuck out to me as her coach was her passion and determination to make herself and her teammates better,” Plesnitzer said. “They feel comfortable in her presence and know exactly what to expect of her, and what she expects from them. Her genuine care for others is what makes her teammates want to perform to her standards.”

Her obvious athletic talent, unwavering sense of dedication to bettering herself and her teammates as well as her ability to cultivate a cohesive team environment led Aschenbach to be named a two-year recurring captain for field hockey and senior captain for both basketball and lacrosse. 

“I chose Halle as a captain because of the respect she has earned from her teammates and coaches,” Plesnitzer said. “Halle is dependable, hardworking, committed, compassionate and intelligent. [She] carries herself with confidence and poise and is respected by anyone who meets her.”

“There was no doubt in our minds that Halle should be a captain for her senior season,” head girls basketball coach Amber Tobia said. “Halle leads by example and truly demonstrates what it is to be a good teammate and role model for younger players.”

Remaining humble despite her vast athletic accomplishments, Aschenbach demonstrates the qualities of a true leader. In fact, she dedicates a majority of her success to her older sister, Devyn. 

“I have looked up to her since I could walk,” Aschenbach said. “She received 8 varsity letters and was a captain of both field hockey and lacrosse. She embodies leadership, competitiveness and passion in everything she does.”

Next year, Aschenbach plans on continuing her athletic career at Temple University, where she will be playing division 1 field hockey. Just as she left her mark on West Essex athletics, leaving big shoes to fill for next year’s teams, Aschenbach will no doubt grace Temple with the same talent, diligence and leadership she impressed us with. 

“Halle Aschenbach will be an athlete spoken about for a long time,” Plesnitzer said.