Mahmood Almadeh ’20
Despite achieving fewer wins than in past years, the Girls Varsity Hockey team held its own against the league’s strongest competitors this season and aims to ride this momentum into additional success next year.
The girls do not believe that their season record reflects how they have played, as Captains Sofia Weber ’20 and Sandrine Brien ’20 noted that their close losses were against Class A’s toughest competitors. In games against Millbrook and Williston, the team stepped up to the level of their tough competitors but were unable to finish well, with both match-ups resulting in losses by only one goal. Weber described the team as “less technical than in years past, but more of a hard-working team. [They are all] grinders.”
After graduating eight Seniors last year, the team had a large gap to fill on its roster. Head Coach Corey Cooper ’08 reflected on the successful integration of the nine new athletes who joined the team this year, attributing a lot of this success to the impressive leadership of the five returning Seniors. The team has become a tight-knit group; she said, “[The girls] play for each other, which is always a privilege to watch as a coach.”
Coach Cooper explained that the younger team and the loss of last year’s Seniors have impacted the team’s goal-scoring, making it more difficult to win games. Therefore, the team has spent more time on competitive game-like drills as well as looking to capitalize on power plays. However, Cooper also said, “The team has been a lot more defensively accountable and has played its best games against the best opponents in the league, which has been a testament to its growth over the season.”
Brien expressed her excitement for new players’ participation going forward into future seasons. She said, “It has been nice to have younger kids to take under our wing, especially because they are all so mature and talented. It’s so encouraging to know that some of our best players are underclass [students] who are going to keep getting better.”
The girls ended their season on a positive note with a 3-0 victory over Taft and look to build even further in the next winter season.
Looking forward, Coach Cooper is excited for the development of the underclass students, as well as continuing to welcome new athletes to the program.