Friendly Competition

Nina Bruno and Kayla Klein battle for the title of lead goal scorer

Puja Thapa / Administrative Executive Editor

Claire Boughton

Senior Sports Reporter

Roommates can be hard sometimes.

Not taking out the trash, leaving dirty dishes in the sink, and don’t forget constantly fighting for the title of lead goal scorer of the season on the field hockey team.

What a pain!

For Nina Bruno and Kayla Klein, both junior forwards on Keene’s field hockey team, that just about sums up their roommate experience, give or take the first two.

Bruno and Klein have been switching off the title of lead goal scorer almost every game since the season started.

Klein started off the season leading in goals as she scored the lone goal when the Owls took on the University of New England.

It only took one game for Bruno to play catch up, however.

By the end of the Owls’ second game of the season against Lasell College, the two were tied at two goals each.

Klein took the lead again in the third game against Springfield College where she scored an outstanding three goals.

Bruno followed closely behind Klein as they both climbed in goal count as the season continued. It wasn’t until the Owls took on Castleton that Bruno had her break and surpassed Klein by one goal.

So what is it like to have this ongoing friendly competition?

“It’s fun,” Kayla Klein said when asked that very question. “It’s fun to go home and talk about it, it’s fun to talk about it with our team or everyone who lives in our house.”

This isn’t the first time Klein and Bruno have had this little competition, however.

“We were on and off [in leading in goal scoring] all last season… we got a lot of recognition together,” Klein said.

Last season, Klein finished with 23 goals and Bruno ended with 32, making the two of them the top two goal scorers of the season by a landslide. Last season also allowed Bruno and Klein to step into the record books together. Bruno took her spot in second for the most goals scored in a single season, trailing behind Sami Smith’s (2016) record by only four goals. Klein took her spot in sixth alongside Lori Osterberg (1987), Elizabeth Coffin (2011) and Nina Bruno from the year prior.

Even Bruno’s and Klein’s coach admits that the friendly competition between her two players is “healthy.”

“It’s a healthy competition,” said Amy Watson, head coach of Keene State’s field hockey team. “They’re happy when each other scores but they kind of push each other to see who’s going to get more [goals].”

“I think it’s good [to have a friendly competition], I mean I do think that they support each other well and they… play right next to each other so they’ve started to develop a chemistry… [and] it’s great to have two threats,” Watson added. “A lot of teams, you will get one person who has the most goals and then you will have a bunch of people who have a handful of goals and last year [Bruno and Klein] had a ridiculous amount of goals.”

While Bruno may agree that she and Klein are players to be reckoned with, she has a different opinion on what both Klein and Watson call ‘friendly competition’ all together.

“Honestly, it’s not a competition at all,” Bruno said. “We get our goals and we get a win for Keene State and Keene State field hockey only; we don’t do it for ourselves, we do it for a win on the team and to get a [Little East Conference] championship.”

Bruno and Klein did, however, have the same thing to say when asked about their relationships with each other.

“Kayla is… one of my best friends, she’s been my roommate for the past two years; we work absolutely amazing together… and it’s lovely to have someone next to me that I can relate to,” said Bruno.

“We’re best friends. She was my first friend when I came [to Keene],” said Klein.

Claire Boughton

can be contacted at

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