Three of the league’s eight teams have new head coaches this winter, with Kelli Mackey taking over at St. Paul’s, Annie Smyth-Hammond at Holderness, and Madison Paydos at Vermont Academy.
BREWSTER ACADEMY (5-18-2)
Coach: Jamie Smith
Coach Smith enters his fifth season behind the Bobcats bench and will have team that features a good mix of returners and newcomers.
At forward, senior Zoe Tamborello (Trinity College soccer commit), senior Shannon Murphy and senior Delphine Tamborello are key holdovers. Among the program’s new players looking to challenge for serious time are sophomore Lexie Davies (Lancaster, MA) and freshman Grace Rizzitano (Abington, MA).
Senior Noelle DeMagistris is a defensive anchor. Sophomore Alexis D’Angelo (Monroe, CT) and freshmen Tori Hayden (Duxbury, MA) and Melanie Rundall (Kent, CT) will be in the mix.
Goaltending will be strong with the return of junior Rhyan Pitari. A freshman, Sophia Rock (Portland, OR), joins the rotation.
Coach: Annie Smyth-Hammond
The Bulls have a new head coach in Smyth-Hammond, who is looking forward to seeing the impact the new additions to the club will have this season.
Senior Ella Cedrone, a Nazareth commit, heads the offense along with juniors Grace Adams and Marissa Lafferty. Bolstering the attack will be new junior Alyssa Barbossa, sophomore Ashley Bergeron and freshmen Claire Brown, Claire Eccleston and Stella Regan.
Welcomed back on the Holderness blue line are senior Phoebe Fisher and juniors Caitlin Slider and Lily Spooner. A freshman – Abby Brennan – will press for time.
Holderness also has experience in goal with the return of sophomore Mia Gonsalves and senior Megan Cunningham.
KIMBALL UNION (13-11-1)
Coach: Sam Ftorek
The Wildcats will be somewhat younger this winter, but expect to have more depth, which bodes well for the future.
The offensive nucleus will see senior Mo McBride (Elmira commit), senior Kate French, senior Rachel Sites and junior Ainsley Lonczak back in the fold. Adding to the mix are new junior Summer Combe (Vermont Academy transfer), sophomore Portia Berard (Spaulding, VT) and freshman Evelyn Finch (York Devils).
A pair of juniors – Julia Chedel and Molly Sites – will see key minutes on the blue line. Junior Reese Combe (Vermont Academy transfer) is ready to go.
KUA has three goalies who all could play in returning junior Sydnie Oliva and newcomers Audrey Faller (junior, Lawrence Academy) and Maddy Pope (freshman, Lady Blue Devils).
NEW HAMPTON (17-10-2)
Coach: Craig Churchill
Depth will be a strongpoint for the Huskies, which will make them a serious challenger for the Lakes Region title and potentially an Elite 8 post-season berth.
Leading the way up front is senior Julia Pellerin, a Boston College commit who was named NEPSAC Small School Player of the Year last winter. Other returners are senior Jansen Lucas, also a BC commit, seniors Lilli Bills (Plattsburgh St. commit), Averi Curran (UNE commit) and Isa Healey, junior Julia Loughlin and sophomore Kennedy Walker. Adding to the arsenal are sophomores Katelyn Barcza (Team Colorado), Trinity Walsh (Team Colorado) and KK Michaud-Nolan (Valley Jr. Warriors), and freshman Kelsey Baker (Valley Jr. Warriors).
On defense, senior Lucy Legro (UNH commit), senior Brenna Young (St. Anselm commit) and junior Abby Tattersall form a solid nucleus. Junior Izzy Prentice (NAHA) and sophomore Drew Hayhurst (Team Colorado) fortify the grouping.
Returning junior goalie Vera Lee is a member of the South Korea Sr. National Team. A new goalie to the program is freshman Cara Kuczek (Valley Jr. Warriors).
PROCTOR ACADEMY (8-12-4)
Coach: Hunter Churchill
Added depth and consistency from an impressive group of newcomers will be a key for the Hornets.
A solid quartet of forwards return to lead the offensive attack in seniors Ella Maher, Mia McNamara and Reilly Desmond, and junior Lucy Girouard. Post-grad Grace Flannery (Wellesley HS), a University of New England commit, and new junior Jodie Gratton (BFA St. Alban’s) will play immediate dividends.
Veteran seniors on the Proctor blue line are Caroline Pekkala, Lola Randolph and Emma LaRiviere. A pair of freshmen looking to slot in are Christina Fossum and Reagan Martens.
ST. PAUL’S SCHOOL (17-6-1)
Coach: Kelli Mackey
Former assistant Mackey ascends to the head coaching position for the 2022-2023 season in this the 41st year of the varsity program, looking for a return trip to the NEPSAC Elite 8.
The Big Red are always built on senior leadership and will look to just that from captains Skyler Sharfman (Defense), Bree Ricker (Forward) and Tessa Demain (Defense). Two more seniors – Alex Chisdak (Forward) and Kaitlyn McKinnon (Forward) – provide additional support.
Junior defenseman Gabbie Martiniello, junior forwards Charlotte Wensley and Cami Bell, and junior netminder Ally Martiniello all will have key roles with the squad.
Coach: Keith McLean
Starting his second year behind the dasher, coach McLean is excited about the upcoming season, feeling it is the most competitive team Tilton has had in a while.
Senior veterans Sophia Brea, Samantha Babbitt and Chevy Irizarry will be offensive leaders for the Rams. New freshmen Lilly Shaughnessy (Medfield HS) and Shae Gould (North Shore Vipers) should pay immediate dividends up front.
Seniors Conley Ladabouche and Sophia King will be book-ends on the blue line. A pair of freshmen – Alexine Beaulieu (East Coast Wizards) and Ava Decourcey (Mass. Spitfires) join the rotation.
New junior Katelyn Cardoso (Medfield HS) will challenge for Tilton’s starting goaltender job.
VERMONT ACADEMY (19-4-2)
Coach: Madison Paydos
With a bunch of new faces, including Paydos in the head coaching position, the Wildcats still will be a force, and challenge for the league title. They did advance to the Lakes Region final a year ago, and the Small School tournament.
The returning forwards consist of seniors Liv Brooks, Emma Laroche, Marketa Mazancova and Jenna Johnson, and junior Kiersten Rasmussen. Post-grade Ella Oakes (Hogansburg, NY), sophomore Michaela Heiden (Guilford, VT) and freshman Calie Burnett (Grafton, MA) will contribute.
Senior Eva Hofmeister is the lone holdover on the VA blue line. A host of new rearguards – Post-grad Lola Russel (Falmouth, MA), junior Tereza Maskova (Czech Republic), sophomores Dana Burns (Morgan Hill, CA), Aubrie Adaire (Mays Landing NJ) and McKenna Raymond (Ripton, VT) and freshman Carley Guarino (Fairfield, CT) – will help form a solid unit.
In the nets, senior Lea Grassia and junior Delaney Cox will be joined by newcomer Juliette Belanger (Quebec) to form a deep goaltending group.