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Girls Prep D-2 Poll: Southfield hasn’t missed a beat

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Girls Prep Division II Poll

RankTeamPrevious RankingWLT
2Worcester Academy2921
* Updated 1/11/15

With a lot of new faces, including behind the bench, the thought was that it would take a little time for Southfield, a perennial top Division II team, to get everyone on the same page.

Mary Grace Kelley Southfield

Mary Grace Kelley

But it has been a quick transformation. Through nine games, Southfield is cruising along at 7-1-1 and amongst the heavyweights in the division, claiming the #3 spot in this week’s HNIB News Girls D-2 prep poll.

New head coach Julie Pesta says that team play has been the key to the early-season success.

“Even with a large class of freshmen, we have played as a unit all season long,” she said. “Our younger players are rising to the occasion and our seniors have been incredible leaders. This combination has allowed us to succeed. I knew that we had a couple of strong players and a good young goalie in Kelly Lavelle, but we have incredible depth on this team. Every player is working hard to get playing time and this pushes everyone to be better. We also have great team chemistry.”

This past week, Southfield knocked off a pair of Division I opponents in Milton Academy and St. Mark’s. Senior Mary Grace Kelley has been an offensive leader, while Cassidy Sullivan, Annie Berry and Meghara McManus have provided great offensive opportunities as well. Meredith Vlachos and Emily Tabeek have been consistent on the blue line.

Southfield’s only loss has been to D-1 Phillips Andover, and it has a 1-1 tie with Worcester Academy.

Rivers (7-2-1) stays in the poll’s top spot this week. The Red Wings have a huge tilt today (Monday) against D1 power Nobles, then will take on St. George’s and Winchendon.

#2 Worcester Academy (9-2-1) also came up short against Phillips Andover, losing 3-1, but posted a key win in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over St. Mark’s to stay in the mix.  The Hilltoppers play Exeter on Wednesday, then have an interesting battle looming on Saturday with unbeaten Berwick.

GIRLS_FESTIVAL_AD#4 Gunnery (3-3-1) had a 2-1 win over Hotchkiss and the two-time defending champs may be ready to make a run. After facing off against Vermont Wednesday, they get D1 powerhouse Williston on Saturday.

Canterbury (5-1-0) posted back-to-back shutouts this weekend over Kimball Union (2-0) and Tilton (5-0), and gave Division I’s #1 team – Kent – all it could handle in a 2-0 loss, to move up to #5. Games with Millbrook, Kingswood and Greenwich dot this week’s schedule.

#6 Berwick (10-0-0) returned from break with a 5-1 win over Portsmouth Abbey. Hebron is Wednesday’s opponent, followed by Newton Country Day on Friday before the Worcester Academy games.

Two newcomers to the poll are #7 Proctor (5-3-0) and #8 Hebron (8-5-0).

Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopoulos has been covering prep school hockey for the HNIB News for over 30 years, and has been the editor of the HNIB News since 2005. A former sportswriter and news editor at the Woburn (MA) Daily Times Chronicle, he has been the HNIB News' key reporter for Mens Prep School hockey since 1988, as well as womens hockey, both at the prep school and high school levels. for almost 20 years. Gary also helps organize and oversee HNIB's many summer tournaments and festivals for scholastic players.
Gary Demopoulos
- 1 day ago