Girls Prep Hockey – Eastern Independents: Andover Strong Again; Dexter Southfield Could Have A Big Year

Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopouloshttp://www.hnibnews.com
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.

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CUSHING (17-12-3)

A great core returns for the Penguins, who reached the Small School semifinals last year. Coach Val Bono reports the team will be a strong contender this winter.

A talented offensive core will center around senior Courtney Lilley, a UNH commit, junior Brooke Harb and sophomores Maddie Soderquist and Julia Lambert. A group of new young talents ready to show what they can do are junior Gabby Oakes (St. Mary’s Lynn), and freshmen Molly Bardol (Assabet), Brooke Fallon (Wizards), Stella Hunter (Vipers) and Violet Dittman (Wizards).

Juniors Taylor Buckley and Lilly Tewksbury, and seniors Emily Archuleta and Madison Twombly form a veteran blue line crew for the Penguins.

University of Vermont commit Lily Prendergast and sophomore Sadie Bellissimo give Cushing a solid one-two punch in goal.

DEXTER SOUTHFIELD (17-5-3)

A great 22-23 season for DXSF culiminated in the program’s first Elite 8 Tournament bid, where they fell to Kent in a classic overtime quarterfinal matchup. Things look just as optimistic for the coming year.

Coach Maggie Taverna has the luxury of a deep but young forward group with the return of senior Grace Lynch, juniors Maddie Bibeau and Marion Legge, and sophomores Evelyn Doyle, Liz Allen, Sawyer Merrill, Maddie Funk and Alex Mitsakis. New to the program this year are freshman Maggie Lovering and eighth-grader Leah Hafer.

In junior Maddie Murphy, Dexter Southfield will have one of prep’s top rearguards. A Boston College commit, Murphy is a USA Hockey National U-18 selection. Juniors Alaina Dunn and Emma Peterson, and sophomores Mac Sutherland and Hadley Austin all return as well on the blue line.

Sophomore Addie Sutherland and freshman Annabelle Aitken are returning goaltenders. New freshman Niamh Tobin adds depth.

Hebon Academy Program Returns To Varsity Status

HEBRON ACADEMY

After taking a year off, the Lumberjacks have reinstated their varsity program. Jake Cockrell is the head coach.

“We have a strong core of young, highly-skilled players,” Cockrell said. “Although this year will be a tough schedule for such a young team, we are confident we can build around the core.”

Two key forwards project to be juniors Cassidy Russell and Belle Beauchesne.

Newcomers looking to make their mark are sophomore goalies Addie Lyon and Samantha Jones, freshman forward Sage Joyce, and freshman defensemen Peyton Grebinar and Shaye Denning.

PHILLIPS ANDOVER (24-3-1)

The Big Blue have been one of the top clubs in New England that past few years. They will look to continue that trend with a very young team this winter, especially on the blue line.

Keira Bruen
Phillips Andover

Veteran coach Martha Fenton has a good group of forward returning in senior Shea Freda (BU field hockey commit), juniors Peyton Kennedy, Emily Mara and Margot Furman, and sophomores Caroline Averill (USA Hockey U-18 team), Keira Bruen, Lilly McInerney and Sarah Powers. Post-grads Cat Buckley and Gabby Batchen, sophomore Carly Greer and freshmen Chanel Martin and Corinne Spade are in the program as well.

Sarah Powers
Phillips Andover

Yale commit junior Molly Boyle, also a USA Hockey U-18 member, and sophomore Sarah Lackley return on the blue line. Freshman Maggie Averill, the third member of the team that is a USA Hockey U-18 member, will be a big plus. Other defensmen vying for regular ice time include Sienna Glass, Kimee Duplessis and Lily Loughlean, all freshmen.

Returning juniors Avery Rodeheffer and Annabel Curry will join with new freshman Cody Pickering at the goaltending position.

Caroline Shu
Phillips Exeter

PHILLIPS EXETER (11-10-0)

There is plenty of excitement for the new season in Exeter, where coach Sally Komarek has a nice blend of a strong returning core, and talented newcomers.

The Big Red has four of its top six scorers back in senior Jocelyn Orr and sophomores Emma Shu, Maria Gray and Lauren Xu. Joining the forward lines will be junior Yat Tik Wu, and freshmen Kiera Dowd, Paisley Meyer and Erin Sears.

Allie Bell
Phillips Exeter

Senior Caroline Shu, a Brown lacrosse commit, junior Grace Benson and sophomore Lainey Fortney are keys in the defensive zone. Adding depth will be sophomore Mia Griffith, and freshmen Sam Crowley and Luv Danielson.

Junior Allie Bell, a Villanova lacrosse commit, gives Exeter a solid presence in goal. New freshman Ellie Orr is in the mix.

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