Recent Success Revives Girls Varsity Hockey


Edward Guo ’19

Jillian Mazzocca ’19 steals the puck from her opponent last Saturday.

Neither exams nor the flu have stopped the Girls Varsity Hockey team from showing its excellence in its first eight games. 

The team started off the season with a record of 5-1-2, already an improvement from last year’s record of 4-11-6. After a close 2-1 loss to Greenwich Academy last year, the team responded this year with a shutout 2-0 victory. Abby Hillebrecht ’19, a four year Senior forward, said, “Our Greenwich game every year is always a close one; we have a big rivalry against them. [In] this game, being the first game of the second half of the season, it’s important for us to do well and set a high tempo for the rest of the year.”

Perhaps the biggest difference from last year’s season to this year’s is the installation of a new head coach. Corey Cooper ’08, a Hotchkiss alumna, returned to Lakeville to take the reins from her father and former Head Coach John Cooper. The elder Cooper still remains a part of the team, now acting as an Assistant Coach. Current athletes spoke highly about their new head coach. Hillebrecht said, “She brings a lot of insight not only [into] the game of hockey [but also into] how to be a great athlete and individual.”

This season, five new players have joined the team, and their impact is already visible. Returners have noticed how quickly the new players have gelled with the team and spoken highly of new players’ contributions. Another reason for the team’s success and chemistry is the leadership of the Seniors. Brien explained, “The Seniors are being really good role models for the younger kids and integrating every new player into the team.” Returning forward Sandrine Brien ’20 said, “I love the team dynamic. Everyone on the team is a leader and contribute[s] to the team in some way or another.”

On Saturday, the team tied Loomis-Chaffee 1-1 in a hard-fought game. The team held a lead late into the third period, but Loomis scored to tie the game at one. After a couple of close calls and some key saves by goalie Maggie Hatch ’21, neither team was able to score in the five-minute overtime period and the game ended in a tie. 

Despite its early successes, the team still seeks to correct its shortcomings. Yet Corey Cooper stressed that the team was on the right track. She said, “I’d like our defensive accountability to improve and have our offense present themselves more readily. More than anything, I’d like us to keep up the spirit of putting the team’s success above individual successes.”  

Though the season is still young, the team is poised for a strong showing. Its next game will be on Saturday, January 19, when it will take on Westminster at home and seek to continue its winning ways.