Girls Prep Hockey – Founders League Preview: Kent Ready For Big Year; New Coaches At Hotchkiss, Taft, Westminster

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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Three of the league’s seven teams welcome new head coaches this winter. Both Hotchkiss and Westminster turn to alums in Kelsie Fralick and Sara Ugalde respectively. Meanwhile, Mackenzie Keith is the new bench boss at Taft.

CHOATE (11-9-5)

Coach: Laura DiCarlo

With a strong returning core, including two of last year’s top scorers, the Wild Boars expect to have more depth. “The team needs to build chemistry and find consistency to be successful,” said coach DiCarlo.

Those two returning scorers are juniors Norah Morris and Caroline Holm. Other key returnees are senior Ava Dent and junior Delaney Ellsworth. A new junior up front is Emilee DeGrand (Shoreline Sharks), while the team has three freshmen in Annie Forker (Mid-Fairfield U16), Maggie Swanson (Mid-Fairfield U16) and Adele Ding (Mid Fairfield U14).

A veteran defense is led by senior Sophia Rodham (Hamilton commit), senior Cadence Secreto, senior Sarah Hearns and junior Alison Giebler. Freshman Kate Tortorella (Mid Fairfield U16) will press for minutes.

Choate will have three new goaltenders with the arrival of junior Elsa Haakonsen (Trumbull HS), sophomore Molly Nelson (Casco Bay) and freshman Clara King (Washington Pride).

CC Deslauriers Deerfield

DEERFIELD (10-6-5)

Coach: Brooke Fernandez

Despite dealing with some adversity, Deerfield put together a pretty solid campaign a year ago. “The team is looking forward to proving what we can do with a healthy roster and a full game schedule,” said coach Fernandez.

Annie Dinges Deerfield

A forward leader for the Doors will be junior Annie Dinges, who has committed to Harvard. Anchoring the defense is Vermont recruit, CC DesLauriers, a senior. Junior Lauren Sobczak is a returning goalie.

Key newcomers project to be post-grads Kaley MacDonald (Nobles) and Callia Ferraris (Taft) on defense, and promising freshman Ava Giroux on the forward lines.

HOTCHKISS (9-10-1)

Coach: Kelsie Fralick

With 15 juniors or seniors, the Bearcats will certainly have the needed leadership and experience, which will be a plus for new head coach Fralick, a Hotchkiss alum.

A pair of seniors – Luna Lu (Bowdoin commit) and Sofia Marcktell – will have key roles in the offense. Sophomore Caroline Bliss looks to have a big season.

Junior Annabel Raffin and senior Charlotte Moody are slated to be defensive cornerstones.

There could be some competition between the pipes, with returners Stephanie Ionescu (junior) and Kristen Pariseau (senior) joining with newcomers Heather Wolff (sophomore) and Nikki Ferraro (freshman).

Ryann McDonald Kent

KENT (12-6-2)

Coach: Shawn Rousseau

A solid group of returners, coupled with a big incoming group, have the Lions excited for the upcoming season.

Up front, senior Aylah Cioffi (RPI commit) and junior Megan Duplantie (Dartmouth commit) will lead a group that also sees senior Elise Payne, and juniors Ryann McDonald, Caitlin Pierce and Mia Montanari returning to the fold. Looking to make their mark are new sophomores Louise Roper (Kennebunkport, ME), Eva Maya (Honeoye, NY) and Kendall Shima (Ridgefield, CT), and freshmen Renee Bishop (Baie D’urfe, QUE) and Anika Berry (Springfield, VA).

The Kent defense also has a pair of commits in senior Chayce Hyndman (Wilkes) and junior Sophie Rousseau (Quinnipiac). Senior Lulu Landsman and junior Elizabeth Bonner return with experience as well. Young newcomers providing depth are sophomore Clara Cumming (Rye, NY), and freshman Rachel Bishop (Baie D’urfe, QUE).

Junior Lauren Ferrari is returning goaltender. Freshman Mack Sunderbruch (No. Richland Hills, TX) joins the club.

LOOMIS CHAFFEE (14-6-4)

Coach: Liz Leyden

The Pelicans were an Elite 8 Tournament participant a year ago, and the foundation is there for another strong run with a deep, returning class.

Seniors Maggie Johnson (Princeton commit) and Hamilton Doster (Dartmouth commit) lead an offensive attack that includes seniors Grace Puskar and Cam Devenney, and sophomores Grace Morin and Chloe Obser. A new freshman to watch is Lindsay Stepnowski.

On defense, senior Annie Sun is a Harvard commit. Sophomore Catie Collins will get key minutes, while freshman Megan Hosman is ready to step in on the blue line as well.

Loomis will have a new starter between the pipes, with the job projected to go to returning junior Leila Fournier.

Angelica Megdanis
– Taft

TAFT (11-9-2)

Coach: Mackenzie Keith

Ashley Wright Taft

There is new management behind the bench for the Rhinos, with coach Keith ready to embark on her first season as head coach. She says her team is excited to build off last year’s success.

Harvard commit Angelica Megdanis will spearhead the offensive attack for Taft, while senior Ashley Wright (Franklin Pierce commit) will handle leadership duties on the blue line.

Returning in goal is junior Truss van Wees, who has committed to Michigan for lacrosse.

Hailey Tullo Westminster

WESTMINSTER (7-10-5)

Coach: Sara Ugalde

The Martlets also have a new coach, as former Westy star Sara Ugalde returns to take over at her alma mater.

Emma Budke
Mid-Atlantic

Key returners up front are senior Hailey Tullo, senior Amelia Molin, senior Olivia Fernandez and sophomores Adrienne Hall and Talia Ondy. A newcomers looking to contribute right off the bat is freshman Caroline Justicz (Acton-Boxboro HS).

Defensive cornerstones for Westminster will be Alexandra Whalen and Sydney Courtmanche, both juniors.

The goaltending duties will fall on two seniors – Emma Budke and Shannon Moran.

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