Hilaire Joins Teammates on Senior Day

The Charger Bulletin

WEST HAVEN -University of New Haven men’s soccer player James Hilaire returned to Kayo Field Saturday afternoon for the first time since he suffered a head injury in a game on September 23 against Merrimack College. Saturday was Senior Day for the Chargers who recognized the team’s four seniors, including Hilaire, prior to their game against the College of St. Rose.

James surprised his teammates, coaches and fans with his appearance Saturday and approached the field in a wheel chair pushed by his sister and father as his teammates were warming-up for their battle with the College of St. Rose. As James made his way closer to the field, his teammates gradually started to realize he was there. They all sprinted towards him and welcomed him back.

James eventually made his way onto the field for the remaining few minutes of the Chargers’ warm-up and was introduced with his fellow seniors during a pregame ceremony.

Throughout the entire game James and his family sat together on the grass surrounding Kayo Field, despite threatening rain storms and very windy conditions. The Chargers fell 3-1 in the contest, which seemed to take a back seat to James’ appearance. The roars from the crowd became louder and louder on each Charger possession as the game wore on. UNH scored in the later part of the second half and loud cheers erupted from the section where James and his family sat throughout the game.

Shortly thereafter James got on his way and returned to Gaylord Hospital where he is rehabilitating. Men’s soccer head coach Josh Krusewski and many family and friends continue to visit James and his family throughout the week as he continues to show progress.