A look at Girls Prep Independent programs from the west. There are new coaches at Canterbury with Molly Gintoli, and at Frederick Gunn School with Dan Allen.
Coach: Laura Marshall
Now in her fourth season at Berkshire, coach Marshall says due to the pandemic, about half of this year’s club has not experienced a prep school season. “The excitement is palpable,” she added.
A vital cog in the forward ranks for the Bears will be senior Ashlyn Ham, who has committed to Clarkson. Junior Liz Della Penna is back and ready to contribute as are junior Cate McLean and sophomore Emma McGowan, who both joined the program last winter.
Senior defenseman Liz Angioletti is a Trinity commit. Junior Margaret Culkins is another key rearguard. In the nets, senior Abby Hornung is solid; she is a Holy Cross commit. Junior MK Braun is back and another excellent option.
Marshall anticipates five new additions to the club, potentially including four freshmen.
Coach: Molly Gintoli
After three years as an assistant, Gintoli takes over as head coach for the Saints. “The kids have been working hard all summer and fall in preparation for this full season,” she said. “Not only will it be awesome to get 25-27 games in, but being able to do all the off-ice activities that are so important to building a team culture is pretty exciting as well.”
Offensive leaders project to be juniors Riley McPhee, Amanda Regina and Alex Meola, and sophomore Kerstin Ambruso.
Junior Erin Flaherty and sophomroe Maddie Diglio are defensive cornerstones, while the team returns a pair of juniors between the pipes in Bella Gould and Rose Kozub.
FREDERICK GUNN SCHOOL
Coach: Dan Allen
New head coach Dan Allen, who coached the boys squad at Vermont Academy last year, feels his club should have the ability to score goals and create offense. A veteran defense is also key as the team will be young in goal.
The offense will be built around returning seniors Anabel Lota, Katherine Porrello and Anne Scovill, and sophomore Bea Flynn. An influx of talent includes post-grads Sydney Frank and Jenna Hunt, and the sophomore quartet of Julia Bella, Jo Wimler, Bella Schifano and Natalie May.
The Highlanders return four blue liners in senior Abigail Agrodnia, senior Kayla Clark, senior Kike Shelters and sophomore Erin Duffy.
The goaltending duties will fall on sophomore Emily Krauss and sophomore Emma Eschweiler.
Coach: Erin Brawley
The Gators will look to their seven seniors to provide skill and leadership as they get back into regular game play. “There will be bumps along the way but we are looking forward to the challenges ahead of us,” Brawley said.
A host of skaters return up front from last year’s group in seniors Lindsay Hasapis, and Kate Boer, juniors Ellie Volpe, Nina Herceg, Elia Zea, Rebecca Arpanno, Winnie Welch and Peyton Williams, and sophomores Phelan Bryant and Molly Roth.
The rearguard contingent boasts four seniors – Ava Butz, Cameron Brower, Jordan Pittignano and Lucy Burdett, and a sophomore in Cameron Butz.
In goal, Greenwich can look to senior Emily Greenhaw or junior Lianna Seeley.
Coach: Bill Ward
The Owls are excited to enter their first full season playing in NEPSAC. They hope to make some noise. In addition to players from the states and Canada, the Hoosac roster features players from Great Britain, Spain, Germany and Northern Ireland.
Key forwards back for coach Ward are seniors Adriana Crepaldi, Abigail Grady, Hannah Johnson and Maria Pais, and juniors Emily Wroblewski and Ashley Gillies. New players ready to get to work up front are junior Pilar DuGard, sophomores Ellie Patrick, Isabella Gale and Maya Stoeber, and freshman Sara Carrion.
Seniors Molly Dukesherer and Jordan Pond, and juniors Adriana Urban and Isabella O’Leary form the defensive nucleus. New senior Lucy Beal is a member of Great Britain’s senior National Team. Also in the fold is junior Valeria Ansoleaga.
Junior Lacy Bigelow returns in goal, to be joined in the rotation by freshman Alisha O’Doherty.
Coach: Erica Shapey-Freymann
A nice blend of returning, experienced players and some impressive new talent has the Mustangs optimistic. “Everyone is beyond excited and prepping for a big season ahead,” said coach Shapey-Freymann.
Seniors Brysha Schmidt and Abigail Ainley, and sophomore Caleigh Murphy are key holdovers up front. Joining the Mustang forward ranks are Natalie Danyluk, Piper Smith, Sophie Schwartz and Lillian Ainley, all freshmen.
Senior Julia Zangre and sophomore Shaye Jasiel are book-end defensemen. New juniors Lila Pannacciulli and Charleigh Newman, and freshmen Emily Morin and Jayla Stever will look for key roles.
Millbrook is deep in the nets with the return of junior Morgan Ainley and sophomore Jessica Trocchio.
NORTHFIELD MT. HERMON
Coach: Kirsti Hussey
It will be a bit of a rebuilding season for Northfield, although the Hoggers will have a nice group of experienced upperclassmen.
Up front, senior Sydney Miles (Johnson and Wales commit) and juniors Mackenzie Graham and Abby Mellen will provide key leadership for coach Hussey. Newcomers ready to step in are junior Bella Cloutier, sophomore Mia Ollari and freshman Carmen Whitney.
Defensively, senior Lauren Carpenter and junior Tilly Pethrick will have big roles. New sophomore Amelia Rizzo wants to contribute.
Goaltending will be a strongpoint with senior captain Breese Burlingame (a Utica College commit) back for her final year. Freshman Avery Olson provides depth at the position.
Coach: Shane Dunphy
With better numbers throughout the program, the Griffins are excited to get going. “We were ready last year, so the anticipation for this season is huge,” Dunphy said. “We’re ready to bounce back big time.”
Offensively, senior Emma McLean and juniors Grace Long, Lily Brook and Bridget Fallon will form a solid nucleus. New sophomore Anna Weaver is a welcome addition.
Solid defensemen include junior Tara Valas, junior Riley Millard and junior Dava Dudek. Post-grad Erin Barbakoff (Washington Pride) and sophomore Paige Anderson (Martha’s Vineyard HS) join the blue line crew.
Senior Cate Gallagher has loads of experience in goal for the Griffins.
Coach: Christa Talbot Syfu
The Wildcats have seven seniors who have played together for a long time. And all seven have college commitments already. That alone will make Williston a serious challenger for some hardware in March.
Leading the charge up front for coach Talbot Syfu will be senior Maeve Reynolds (Amherst) and senior Teaghan Hall (Endicott).
An impressive defensive nucleus includes veteran seniors Jules Constantinople (Northeastern), Sophia Jones (RPI), Cora Webber (UMaine) and Emma Merrill (Bowdoin). Goaltender Natalie Stott has committed to Amherst.
Be sure that the Wildcats will also have a host of talented underclassmen on the roster.