Zavisza Returns To Coach At Alma Mater Berkshire
There seems to be a lot of parity this winter in the Girls Prep Division I ranks, which should make for an exciting season.
Looking to get back into the playoff picture is Berkshire (9-10-2), which will feature a new head coach this winter in Becky Zavisza, a Berkshire alum who took Pomfret to the New England final last year. “I am excited to be back coaching at my alma mater and having the opportunity to help develop the student-athletes here,” she said.
Zavisza will inherit a good group of returning forwards in seniors Kate Klimaszewski, Kylie Wilkes and Ali Sugar (committed to Franklin Pierce), juniors Erin Dillon, Maddie Beitler and Molly O’Neil and sophomore Caroline Sugar. Newcomers ready to crack the lineup are sophomore Katie Hargrave and freshman Holley Riva.
Juniors Maggie Curran and Antonia Matzka, and sophomore Kelly Mauer are back on defense for the Bears. New junior Claire Lemker, from Minnesota, joins the blue line group.
New sophomore Jaime Allan will vie for the starting goaltender’s job.
Brewster Academy (9-15-0) will also be under new management, with Brooke Fernandez taking the controls of the program after serving as an assistant last year.
Fernandez, who says that every team member will have an impact this season, will count heavily on returning seniros Kaylee Dufresne (23 pts) and Marina Jozokos (26 pts).
A playoff team a year ago, Choate (15-7-3) is banking on young talent being able to step up, especially on the back end.
Forward leaders for coach Nicole Stock will be senior Amanda Reisman (committed to Williams) and junior Kristina Schuler. New senior Sabrina Huett, a Dartmouth recruit, and freshman Kaitlyn O’Donohoe look to be big contributors.
Defensively, sophomore Lexi Takshima will log a lot of minutes. Junior goaltender Cam Leonard has committed to Penn State.
With many experienced returners back in the fold, expect some improvement at Cushing (8-18-3). The Penguins should be able to put the puck in the net.
Up front, coach Courtney Sheary welcomes back top scorers Ronnie Callahan (committed to Syracuse) and Blossom Truel, both juniors and senior Brianna Bermingham. Junior Kristina Cheverie is another returning forward. Joining the forward group will be freshman Sara Abrahamson.
Juniors Emma Kowalka and Remy Bragg will be defensive cornerstones.
Cushing will have two solid goalies in returning junior Chiara Pfosi (from Switzerland) and new sophomore Gloria Bilafer.
Building team chemistry will be a key at Deerfield (8-13-2), where the Big Green will have about half a new roster. If Deerfield can get some adequate scoring, it will be tough, as the team should have solid defense and excellent goaltending.
Senior Taylor Morash and junior Meghan Halloran will spearhead the offense for coach Genevieve Pitt. New senior Isabel Perry and freshman Mary Edmonds hope to contribute to the attack.
On defense, senior Katherine Goguen and sophomore Ali Dougal are back with experience. Freshman Dierdre Mullowney comes in highly-regarded. Fellow freshman Ali Fujiyoshi will help out.
Deerfield is solid between the pipes with the return of Harvard commit Emily Yue, a senior.
Hotchkiss (7-15-1) looks to be competitive in the always-tough Founders League. Veteran coach John Cooper is banking on his team playing a solid two-way game.
Goal scoring comes from the likes of senior Avi Romoff and senior McKenna Ingerson, two key returners at forward. New sophomore Steph O’Brien and freshman Abby Hillebrecht will chip in as well.
A pair of seniors, Kess Notargiacomo and Calla Khilnani, will anchor the Bearcats defense. Freshman Maddie Rego hopes to grab some blue line minutes.
A memorable season for Kent (20-1-1) last winter fell just short with a loss in the New England semifinals. So, it is not hard to figure out what will drive the Lions this year.
Coach Shawn Rousseau returns a quartet of top forwards that will power this year’s attack in seniors MacKenzie Ebel (19 pts) and Alexis Banquer (10 pts), junior Keely Moy (26 pts) and sophomore Tina Paolillo (11 pts). Three newcomers ready to have an immediate impact are sophomores Lizzy Gross and Jesse DeVito, and freshman Haley Uliasz.
Junior Jessye Ebzery and sophomore Ashley MacDonald will be leaders on the blue line. Kent also welcomes three new players on defense in sophomores Melanie Anderson and Delaney Szlezyngier, and freshman Meara Burns.
Senior goaltender Alyson Baldwin is back, and she has committed to Wisconsin.
A strong returning core and substantial depth should keep Loomis Chaffee (17-6-3) up in the top echelon of Division I this year, provided they can fill the shoes of graduated goalie Brittani Bugalski, a New England First Team All Star now at Northeastern.
A trio of committed forwards return and will power the Pelicans offensive attack in senior Bailey Coyne (Northeastern), junior Sharon Frankel (Princeton) and junior Linda Essery (Yale).
Coach Liz Leyden’s three captains all reside on the blue. Seniors Paige Capistran (Northeastern), Abby Marmer and Michaela Giutarri give the Pelicans a solid presence on defense.
The goaltender’s job will fall to either Julia Benjamin or Taylor Stadeli.
With talented players returning at both forward and defense, included several college committed players, this could be a banner season for New Hampton (17-7-3), provided it can get solid goaltending play, as both netminders are new to the squad.
Scoring punch for the Huskies will come from juniors Taylor Curtis (38 pts, Harvard recruit), Sierra Lee (20 pts, Brown recruit) and Taylor Shelden, sophomore Savannah Norcross (26 pts, Boston College recruit) and senior Elizabeth Cho. More firepower will come from new senior Morgan McGinn and freshman McKenzie Haberl.
Defense will also be a strongpoint for coach Craig Churchill, with the group anchored by junior Cayla Barnes (40 pts), a member of the USA U-18 team and a Boston College commit. Junior Julia Lee is committed to Brown, and seniors Krista Evans and Jayne Lewis also return. Add to that mix sophomore Caelin Flaherty and freshman Lauren DeBlois.
New Hampton’s two new goalies are junior Cierra San Roman and freshman Olivia Sollows.
Northfield Mt. Hermon (11-13-4) will have a young squad, so developing team chemistry will be crucial, according to head coach Ted Kenyon.
Seniors Ellen Arena and Alyssa Roof (can also play defense), junior Alli First , and sophomores Melissa Alexander, Ellie Follows, Sophie McLaughlin and Maya Swamp form a pretty good returning group for the Hoggers. Freshmen Alisa Canney and Ally Watrous provide solid depth for the forwards.
Sophomores Ellinore Todd and Stephanie Voge will have key jobs on defense. Freshman Jilly Crane looks to get right in.
New sophomore Grace Smith and returning sophomore Amanda Aalto will be in the goaltending rotation.
It was quite the turnaround season for Phillips Andover (16-6-3) last year, one that can be duplicated provided the Big Blue can replace a lot of offensive production lost to graduation.
That task will fall on junior Kaitlin Hoang (22 pts) sophomore Elizabeth Welch (14 pts), and sophomore Charlotte Welch (27 pts). Several other forwards return, including seniors Jenn Davis and Maddie Murphy, junior Courtney Masotti and sophomores Tookie Wilson and Elizabeth Tso. Post-grad Jackie Diffley, committed to St. Lawrence, will pay immediate dividends, as should new junior Meggan Rodriguez. Freshmen looking to get a spot include Meghan Ward, Jackie McCarthy, Emily Batchelor and Jackie Ng.
Coach Martha Fenton welcomes back five varsity defensemen in seniors Miranda Nestor, Kasey Welch and Kelly McCarthy, and sophomores Sarah Rigazio and Elizabeth Holubiak.
Phillips Exeter (13-8-2) will go as far as its incoming class with take it, as the Big Red project to have many new faces on the roster.
Senior forward Kirsten Nergaard, committed to Yale, will drive the offense for coach Melissa Pacific, along with returner Deziray Desousaa.
Johna Vandergraaf anchors the defense in front of returning goalie Allegra Grant.
Former Williston Assistant Davey Takes Pomfret Coaching Job
Some key players from last year’s New England finalist have graduated from Pomfret (17-4-2), so the team will rely on its strong senior class to keep things running smoothly. The Griffins also have a new coach, as former Williston assistant Erin Davey has taken over behind the bench.
Senior veterans Lauren McMaster and Elisabeth Berard will spearhead the offensive attack, along with sophomore Mariella Catalano. New sophomore Angelica Mushenko looks to chip in.
On the blue line, senior returners Lauren Ferraiuolo and Alex Wallin will be the cornerstones of the Pomfret blue line. Senior Remy Wells will takeover as the starting goaltender.
Like Pomfret, Tabor (18-5-1) lost some key players to graduation, and the Seawolves will rely on the newcomers to gel early.
Senior Erica Lunn and junior Martha Peppes (a UNH recruit) are a pair of solid returners at forward. There is a lot of talent in the new group. Senior Rachel Moore and sophomore Olivia Finocchiaro have both committed to Boston College. Sophomore Kelly Browne will be an immediate threat and is a D-1 prospect as well. Freshman Olivia O’Brien will be a plus.
Union College recruit Abby Ellis and Holy Cross recruite Victoria Young will handle things defensively for coach Eric Long.
Junior Lizzie Hanson is a returning starter in goal.
Taft (6-15-2), under the guidance of second-year coach Gretchen Silverman, looks to be more competitive this winter and some increased numbers on the roster.
Senior co-captain Maggie Leidt will lead the offensive attack for the Rhinos. Senior co-captain goalie Becky Dutton has committed to Harvard for the 17-18 campaign.
Returning senior Kate Tewksbury will backbone the Taft defense, while incoming sophomore Sarah Ince will step right in on the blue line.
It was a rare playoff miss for Westminster (13-4-6) last winter, so the goal is obvious for 2016: get back to the post-season. The Martlets won the New England D1 title in 2014.
Leading the way offensively for coach David Pope includes seniors Sarah Migliori (Brown), Catherine Crawley (UConn), Emma Stevens, Hayley Martini and sophomore Lilly Holmes (Vermont). Freshman Jillian Parsons hopes to contribute.
Senior defensemen Sarah Melanson (Amherst College) and Ashley Carbone could also play some at forward. Sophomores Ashlee White and Emma Lange are varsity returners on the blue line. Freshman Hannah Carbone is in the mix
In goal, junior Leah Klassen is a returning netminder.
Williston (20-1-4) lost just once last year, a 1-0 defeat to eventual New England champion St. Paul’s in the New England semifinals. With all but one player back from that group, the Wildcats will be feared. Coach Christa Talbot Syfu is expecting great leadership from the team’s eight seniors.
Senior Delaney Belinskas will key the forward group; she is committed to Boston College. Other seniors up front ready to go are Hannah Touzos, Meg Rickard, Lizzy Sheline and Lauren Helm.
Providence recruit Rachel Rockwell and Izzy Tegtmeyer are returning seniors on the blue line.
In goal, Williston will have one of the prep’s top netminders in senior Morgan Fisher, a UConn commit.
Only three players graduated at Winchendon (9-14-3). Six seniors and six juniors are back in the fold for coach Jacques Delorme.
Newcomers hoping to see some time include junior forward Arianne Charette, sophomore forward Marisa Cabral, freshman forward Kiley Robles, freshman defenseman Katie Campoli and freshman goalie Cesira Barrett.