The Catholic Central League will again be one of the best in the state. Austin Prep and St. Mary’s are highly-ranked in Division 1 and the same goes for Archbishop Williams in D2. Both Matignon and Arlington Catholic are primed for big years.
AUSTIN PREP (22-1-2)
With all but one senior back from a club that went undefeated in the regular season, reaching the D1 state semifinals, things are looking pretty good this winter for the Cougars.
A deep offensive attack welcomes back seniors Ella Saracco (23 pts), Maeve Crehan (23 pts) and Sophia Whittaker (11 pts), junior Felicia Zuccola (19 pts) and eighth-graders Monique Lyons (13 pts) and Sam Taber (21 pts). The Cougars added firepower with the arrival of Eryn Taber (transfer from Lawrence Academy) and freshman Aylah Cioffi.
Last year’s lone senior – Kendra Currier – was the defensive backbone and league MVP, but there is still plenty of other talent on the blue line for coach Stephanie Wood. Juniors Frankie Frelick and Maddie Rinklin and freshman Maeve Carey will handle the fort.
In goal, senior Hannah Aveni is ready for a big season.
ST. MARY’S (16-4-2)
The Lady Spartans project to be the prime challenger to Austin Prep in the CCL. Longtime coach Frank Pagliuca, who won his 250th career game last season, is impressed with the team chemistry of this year’s club.
Pacing the offense will be senior co-captain Codi Butt (30 pts). Other key contributors will be junior Zoe Solomons (14 pts), sophomores Marina DiBiasio (11 pts) and Samantha Porazinski (15 pts) and eighth-grader Jenna Champlain (27 pts).
Senior co-captain Mady Hentosh (21 pts) will be one of the premier blue liners in the state. Junior Kelsey Sullivan (11 pts) will be a key rearguard. New senior Skylar Davis will have an immediate impact.
Senior Lauren Vaccaro (1.23 gaa) is back to handle the bulk of the goaltending duties for St. Mary’s.
ARCHBISHOP WILLIAMS (16-5-2)
Coming off the program’s best season ever in 2017-18, the Lady Bishops have a few holes to fill as they look to go even further into the D2 post-season tournament.
Senior standout Mackenzie Heath (37 pts) will a go-to skater at forward. Senior Maci Kate O’Brien and junior Olivia Pacheco will have key roles. Senior Nicole Hersey returns to the program and will jump right into the lineup. New junior Kate Fox and freshman Karoline O’Toole will look for time.
Defensively, senior Abby Dacosta and junior Ava Brady will be defensive cornerstones for veteran head coach Mark McHale. Senior Mary Kate Clougherty is back from injury and ready to go.
The Lady Bishops return All Scholastic senior Allison Delmonte between the pipes, and that will be a huge key.
The Warriors will be under new management this winter, as Anthony Cornacchia takes over the head coaching reins. He feels keys for his club will be to take advantage of the team’s transitional speed and relying on aggressive play in the defensive end of the ice.
Senior Caroline Mahoney (30 pts), junior Lexi Turner (14 pts) and sophomore Alaina Aiello (25 pts) will be the offensive drivers for Matignon. New freshman Alexa McKim hopes to crack the lineup.
Four-year varsity regular Emma Brennan (17 pts) will be the backbone of the defensive unit. Junior Lily O’Connell will see a ton of minutes. New freshman Brynn MacPherson looks for a spot.
In goal, coach Cornacchia feels senior returner Dana Smullen is primed for a big season.
ARLINGTON CATHOLIC (0-20-0)
It was tough sledding for the Cougars last winter, but second-year coach Kristin McKenzie is confident of a bounce-back year.
Senior Christina Gesualdi will be the leader up front. New freshman Maggie Milne should step right in and contribute.
On the blue line, seniors Molly Simmons and Erin Carter, and sophomore Brenna Mulcahey, all return. Added to the defensive mix are sophomore Casey Connolly and freshman Arianna Orlandino.