What promises to be a wild and exciting MIAA Girls Division I tourament is slated to get underway on Wednesday, February 25th with six preliminary round games. In all, 22 teams make up the field, including defending state champion Duxbury (seeded 10th), 2014 finalist Arlington Catholic (seeded #2) and top-seeded Reading.
Here is a look at the field listed in order of seeding:
Girls Division I Tournament Players to Watch
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#1 Reading (18-2-0): If you take Arlington Catholic out of the mix, the Rockets were perfect in the regular season, just losing both encounters with the top-ranked Cougars. Be sure that Reading wants one more crack at AC, as they can’t meet until the state final.
“I could not be more proud of our girls’ accomplishments this regular season,” said coach Mike Golden. “I think the team realizes and is focused on the ‘second season,’ now that we have wrapped up our 20-game regular season. The team realizes there are a number of talented teams in Division I.”[one_third] [/one_third] [one_third] [/one_third] [one_third_last] [/one_third_last]
In junior forward Ali O’Leary (38-23-61), the Rockets have one of the premier offensive talents in the state. Junior Tori Grimmer (11-22-33) must be watched as well, as are senior Ashley Tango (22 pts) and junior Gabby DeCologero (19 pts). Junior Caroline Seibold (23 pts) is a defensive anchor along with senior tri-captain Andrea Uglietta.
#2 Arlington Catholic (17-2-1): The Cougars are ranked #1 in the HNIB News Girls D1 poll heading into the post-season, and are maybe playing their best hockey so far. Team defense has been immense, as AC has allowed just 12 goals all season.
“As a coach one plans and prepares their team the best way they know how,” said Arlington Catholic coach Maggie Taverna. “We have a strong defensive core and great back-checking from our forwards. We were able to play both goaltenders and both were very successful. I am very proud of this team. They show up and work hard. That is all a coach can ask for.”
Four-year seniors Adrieana Rossini (20-11-31) and Jessica Piracini (11-15-26) drive the offensive bus for the Cougars. Having senior Jackie Sindoris back healthy is a key. Freshman Margaret Sullivan (10 pts) was a key contributor. Junior Erin Healy (7-6-13) keys the defense in front of either Katherine Crane or Jasmine Mucci in goal.
#3 Barnstable (15-1-4): The Red Raiders enjoyed an outstanding season, losing only one game and owning a win over Arlington Catholic. Depth is a key as this club can roll four lines.[one_third] [/one_third] [one_third] [/one_third] [one_third_last] [/one_third_last]
Senior Lindsay Phelan (11-17-28) and junior Callie Rogorzenski (14-10-24) power the offensive attack along with junior Amanda Piknick (12 pts) and sophomore Bryn Mendes (13 pts). Senior Morgan Richard is a standout on the blue line, while freshman Olivia Sollows is as solid as they come between the pipes.
#4 Watertown/Belmont (18-3-1): The Maraiders have closed the season on a 10-game winning streak, which gives them momentum into the post-season.
Senior Emily Loprete (43-22-65) can score goals with anybody, and fellow senior Erin McLaughlin (22-32-54) had a huge offensive season as well. Senior Pauline Ayer (29 pts) is another key contributor. On defense, junior Serena Nally (18 pts) and senior Suzanne Noone (11 pts) will be vital for coach Steve Russo. Freshman Jonna Kennedy saw the bulk of action in goal.
#5 Austin Prep (15-3-2): Coach Stephanie Wood’s club is capable of beating anyone on a given day, so this team can not be taken lightly at all.
“We rely on playing a team game and having everybody playing their role and contributing to the team’s success,” said Wood. “Our success is also reliant on being the hardest working team on the ice every time we step on.
Caroline Benson, Annie Richards, Maddy Ricci, Kylie Currier, Olivia Finocchairo and Meghan Hanlon have been key contributors up front for the Cougars. Jaimee Cook is the leader on defense, while junior Caty Flagg handles matters between the pipes.[one_third] [/one_third] [one_third] [/one_third] [one_third_last] [/one_third_last]
#6 Acton-Boxboro (15-3-3): The Colonials don’t have the depth they have had in the past, but they have good players. Their goalies have been excellent, and A-B has a first line that can match up with anybody.
“My first line can play, so for us to win some games in the tourney they have to score goals and my goalies have to play well,” said Acton-Boxboro coach Brian Fontas. “I do have top players and they know how to find ways to win big games.”
The first line consists of senior Leah Cardarelli (24-34-58) and juniors Meghan Barrett (21-30-51) and Olivia Keefe (12-28-40). Senior Alex Loblundo (21 pts) is the quarterback on the blue line, while the junior duo of Cali Loblundo and Melissa Bambery split time in goal.
#7 Needham (13-4-3): The Rockets quietly had a very solid campaign in the Bay State League and hope to do some damage in the post-season.
“We committed to a ‘team first’ philosophy and concentrated on preparing for the game in front of us,” said coach Allyson Furano. “In order for us to be successful in the tournament, we need to continue to focus upon what we’re doing and take things one game at a time.”
Sophomore Elizabeth Hernberg (44 pts) led the team in scoring, along with senior tri-captain KT Belval (35 pts) and senior Emma Slicklen (31 pts). Senior tri-captain Regina Longley contributed 19 points, and senior tri-captain Dana Campbell played every game in goal for Needham.
#8 Haverhill/Pentucket/North Andover (13-4-3): A tournament berth in year two of the program. Not bad for HPNA.
“It was our goal to make the post-season within two years of starting the program,” said HPHA coach Gary Kane. “We are are very young team (only 2 seniors). We are getting healthy at the right time. The team will need to continue to play solid team defense.”
Junior Kim Carroll (10-12-22), freshman Rebecca Harty (9-11-20) and sophomore Jess Chicko (9-9-18) power the offensive attack. Junior Michaela Kane played every minute in goal for HPNA.
#9 Beverly/Danvers (13-5-1): The champions of the Northeastern Hockey League head into the post-season on somewhat of a roll, so that bodes well. A quarterfinal matchup with Reading could loom down the road.
Sophomore McKinley Karpa (24-20-44) and juniors Kristen McCarthy (19-15-34) and Anna O’Neil (5-26-31) are the cogs up front for the Panthers, as is sophomore Isabel Primack (17 pts). Senior Caitlin McBride (10-21-31) is one of the state’s top blueliners. Freshman Madison Jalbert should get the nod in goal.
“We are fortunate to be playing our best and are hoping that will continue,” said coach Brian Seabury. “Every team in the tournament will be strong.”[one_third] [/one_third] [one_third] [/one_third] [one_third_last] [/one_third_last]
#10 Duxbury (13-5-2): The defending state champs start this post-season in an unfamiliar spot, seeded 10th. It doesn’t mean anyone should take this club the least bit lightly, though. The Dragons take on Needham in a first round game this coming Saturday.
“I think the experience of the last few years will help our team because the upperclassmen know how hard they will have to work to be successful,” said Duxbury coach Friend Weiler. “Although every year is different, our past success has everybody gunning for us. I am really proud of this group because they have responded well to a tough regular season.”
Senior Jane Dudley (39 pts) leads the Dragons in scoring, while Kelly McCarthy (15-10-25), Marissa Fichter (13-10-23) and Julia Nolan (13-9-22) will be offensive players to watch as well. Junior defenseman Payton Donato will be key on the blue line.
#11 Chelmsford (12-5-3): The Lions hope to do some damage in the post-season under first-year head coach Jason Fletcher.
Seniors Julianne Sheehan and Rachel Bossi power an attack that scored 80 goals this season.
#12 Winthrop/Lynn (11-6-1): The ‘Dawgs were coming down the stretch in an 0-3-1 rut before beating Medway/Ashland in the regular season finale. “The win over Medway was huge for us,” said coach Butch Martucci, “because we had not been able to put three solid periods together in the last couple of games. We played well in spurts, but also played poorly in spurts as well.”
Winthrop/Lynn is not a high scoring team, as senior Caroline McKinnon led the club with 21 points. Flora English added 17, and eighth-grader Caroline O’Keefe had 12. Senior defenseman Kasey Harris had 11 points. Sophomore Gretchen Howard gives the ‘Dawgs good goaltending night in and night out.
#13 Andover (11-6-2): The Golden Warriors had some big wins this season for first-year coach Kevin Drew that proved they can play with anybody.
Seniors Jessica Leone and Caroline Hughes, and senior Joanna Olson will be key up front. Juniors Brenna Keefe and Jillian Hughes will be keys on the blue line in front of senior goalie Megan Johnson.[one_third] [/one_third] [one_third] [/one_third] [one_third_last] [/one_third_last]
#14 Lincoln-Sudbury (11-7-2): The Warriors open up tourney play by hosting Marblehead on Wednesday. Leading the way for L-S will be eighth-grader Danni Liu (10-12-22), senior Marylou Cummings ( 21 pts), junior Ally Marcoux (17 pts) and senior Julie Reinhold (16 pts). Alyssa Lee will get the call in goal for coach Paul Hardy.
#15 Westford Academy (10-6-4): The Grey Ghosts came on strong in the second half of the season. “It is definitely a total commitment to team defense,” said coach Bob Ware. “Our goaltender Kerry Pouliot has been playing like a veteran. Our defense and forwards have committed to playing well in our own end. If we are to have success moving forward it starts in our own D-Zone.”
Sophomore Katie Hargrave (13-10-23) and junior Alayna Serpa (8-15-23) and senior Kathryn Walker (10-10-20) drive things offensively for Westford. Sophomore defenseman Kelly DeMarco chipped in with 10 points. Pouliot saw the bulk of the action in goal.
#16 Arlington (10-8-3): The Spy Ponders return to the post-season with a club that likes to play low-scoring games. Freshman Holly Russell (20 pts) and eighth-grader Jenna Hallice (16 pts) are the team’s leading scorers. Senior Kristen Sullivan and junior Laura Shea each compiled 14 points. Sophomore defenseman Jillian Denton fired home seven goals.
#17 Woburn (12-10-0): A perennial power in Division 1, the Tanners will be tough to beat. They get league rival Arlington in the preliminary round and will move on to Reading if they prevail.
“We need to be consistent and play well in all three zones,” said Woburn coach Bob MacCurtain.
Senior Erica Lissner (12-14-26) and senior Hannah Sullivan (11-11-22) are key cogs up front, along with promising freshman Georgie Santullo (14 goals). Freshman Marissa Gregory contributed 14 points. On defense, sophomores Brianna Jewett (11 pts) and Lily Mallard (9 pts) were involved offensively. In goal, look for Kaitlind Ciarvadone.
#18 Masconomet (9-8-3): The Chieftains clawed their way to the post-season in Ryan Wood’s first season behind the bench. “The MIAA Tourney was an expectation for our team from the get-go,” Wood said. “We had the same team returning from last year and we had gained a tremendous amount of experience playing a very competitive schedule.”
Senior Jensena Moner (10-14-24) is the catalyst up front for Masco, and she will be helped out by junior Maddie Werner (11-6-17) and sophomore Izzy Sarra (11-2-13). Senior Molly Kelley will take care of the goaltending duties.
#19 Marblehead (9-8-4): The Magicians qualified for the post-season for the first time since the 2011-2012 season, and it came down to the final day. “The girls are super-excited. This is huge,” said coach Emily Hudak.
A player to watch will be eighth-grader Brooke Keough, who fired home 32 goals this season. Fellow eighth-graders Codi Butt (13-15-28) and Sydney Cresta (25 pts) also figured prominently in the offense. Junior Hadley Woodfin contributed 22 points.
#20 Billerica (8-8-4): The Indians just made it for tourney qualification but will be a formidable opponent. They get league rival Andover in a preliminar round game.
Coach Tina Carrabba will look to junior forward Macy Vercellini and junior Samantha Ginsburg for production. Junior Amanda Fantasia is a leader on defense and junior Amanda Burns gets the goaltending nod.
#21 Melrose (9-9-2); The Red Raiders qualify for the tournament for their second straight winter. “We are looking forward to going past the first round,” said coach Samantha Tetreau. “As long as we play at the level I know we can, then I think we will be successful.”
Freshman Rachel DiFraia (12 pts) is an offensive leader. Freshman Sam Kroon (13 pts) will be involved offensively. Anchors on the Melrose blue line will be junior Alyssa Gorman and freshman Jill Mercer.
#22 Newton North (6-12-2): The Tigers were awarded a post-season berth thanks to their second place finish in the Carey Division of the Bay State League. They will play at #11 Chelmsford on Wednesday in a preliminary round game.