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Mass. Girls HS Hockey – Bay State League Girls Preview: Wellesley, Braintree Rebuilding; Keep An Eye On Needham

Defending Herget Division champ Braintree was hit hard by graduation from a team that made the D1 Final Four last winter. Needham has a veteran group back that will pose a serious challenge. Over in the Carey, three-time D2 state champion Wellesley also will have a lot of new faces.

HERGET DIVISION

BRAINTREE

Last Year’s Record: 20-3-1

The Wamps lost a lot of firepower from last year’s powerhouse club that advanced to the Mass D1 semifinals. Despite that, expect them to be one of the top teams playing in the Bay State League with a solid defensive game.

Senior Avalon Morris and junior Maggie Burchill will be offensive leaders for head coach Kevin Burchill. Sophomore Fiona Holland will contribute.

A stingy defense has the likes of senior Fiona Hume and junior Maeve Holland. They will front senior goalie Juliet Barney.

Coach Burchill says that a host of freshman and sophomores will be in the hunt for playing time.

Needham’s Maddie Ledbury in action in 2020 MIAA Tournament game.

NEEDHAM

Last Year’s Record: 15-6-2

With a veteran nucleus back from a team that performed very well a year ago, the Rockets project to be a solid squad this winter.

Needham should get some ample scoring production from a forward group led by seniors Grace Kelley and Maddy Foster, and juniors Maddie Ledbury and Maeve Hymovitz.

Book-end seniors Cammy Foster and Erika Stanton will be defensive anchors in front of veteran goalie Kenzie Kelly.

“Needham AD’s Dan Lee and Mike Jackson, as well as the Bay State Conference ADs have worked to provide a competitive and safe season,” said coach Allisyn Furano-Foster. “It may end at any minute, recognize that, and play for your teammates and school, and play for the love of the game.”

Lindsey Dunn
Milton

MILTON

Last Year’s Record: 6-13-2

If the Wildcats plan on showing some improvement from last year, increased offensive production will be a must.

That task will fall on a trio of returning regulars in the forward ranks in junior Grace deBenedictis (10 goals), sophomore Christina Sweeney (13 pts) and sophomore Caelan Leddy (8 pts). Hoping to add to the mix will be freshman Molly Lovett.

On defense, senior captain Maggie Mitchell (8 pts) will be a leader for second-year coach Matt Lodi. Freshman Cate Howley will look for a big role.

The Wildcats are strong in goal with the return of senior Lindsey Dunn (2.88 gaa).

Lucy Verderber
Walpole

WALPOLE

Last Year’s Record: 8-11-0

The Rebels boast a nice returning nucleus that will keep them in the thick of things in the league. “The primary goal this year is not only competitive play towards victories but more so the ability to get back in the game and let the girls simply be able to play,” said coach Joe Verderber.

A solid scoring attack will be spearheaded by seniors Kerrin MacMillan (captain) and Emily Desimone and juniors Kate Devlin and Jess Tosone.

Senior Elizabeth Desimone and sophomore Lucy Verderber will be keys on the blue line in front of sophomore goalie Maddie Clark.

A couple of freshmen to watch are Elena Govoni and Kerin Birch.

Isabella Hajjar
Weymouth

WEYMOUTH

Last Year’s Record: 4-17-0

The Wildcats are under new management with Kaleigh Fratkin taking over the head coaching reins.

Senior Emily Bisbee and junior Mairead O’Connell will be offensive leaders, aided by younger players like Wren Abboud and Ella Bates.

On the blue line, seniors Grace Laubenstein and Sofia Buccheri are back.  Newcomers Isabella Hajjar and Angelina Palmer will be a big help defensively.

CAREY DIVISION

Danielle Cimino
Wellesley

WELLESLEY

Last Year’s Record: 22-1-0

With three straight MIAA Division 2 state titles in their pocket (shared with Canton last year), things could be a bit different this winter for the Raiders, who will have plenty of new faces to integrate into the lineup.

Not that the cupboard is bare for coach P.T. Donato. An offensive will be led by a trio of junior stars in Danielle Cimino, Kaitlin Braun and Grace Flannery.

Senior Lauren Burke and senior Maja Desmond will be asked to be leaders on the Wellesley blue line.

Two new freshmen will split time in goal.

Claire Maxwell
Natick

Colleen Quirk
Natick

Laini Schneider
Natick

Hadley Green
Natick

NATICK

Last Year’s Record: 15-7-0

Solid goaltending, and tenacious backchecking and forechecking will be key if the Redhawks are to at least duplicate last year’s success, when they were amongst the top teams in Division 2.

Coach Bruce Ihloff will look to senior captain Claire Maxwell to be an offensive catalyst along with a group of returning juniors including Colleen Quirk, Abby Beigel, Caroline Gates and Mackenzie McDonald.

Junior Hadley Green will be a big presence on the Natick blue line. Senior captain Laini Schneider is ready to go between the pipes. New freshman Keira Dempsey could see time at both defense and forward.

Rachel Marinofsky
Framingham

Ava Sullivan
Framingham

Jaclyn Puumula
Framingham

FRAMINGHAM

Last Year’s Record: 0-19-1

A host of younger players will be asked to log some big minutes on a team that should be able to produce some more offense than it did a year ago if they can get clearance to play this winter. The program is currently on pause indefinitely.

Three sophomores – Jaclyn Puumala (4 goals), Molly Clark (3 goals) and Amber Welch (3 goals) – would power coach Casey Diana’s offensive group. Freshman MacKenzie Coleman looks to show what she can do.

The Flyers do return four defensemen in seniors Rachel Marinofsky and Mel Cotta, junior Ava Sullivan and sophomore Ryen Taylor. Looking to crack that group is freshman Abigail Russo.

Returning in goal is sophomore Mikal Franklin.

Olivia Sliwa
Newton

NEWTON NORTH/SOUTH CO-OP

Last Year’s Record: 5-12-2

With a focus of remaining safe, healthy and having fun, the Orange Crush will look to compete in the Bay State League.

Senior veteran Olivia Sliwa will spearhead the offense for coach Scott Heslin, who is also looking for big things from junior goaltender Camille Kouroriez and junior defenseman Samantha Mealey.

BROOKLINE

Last Year’s Record: 6-10-5

With seven seniors having moved on, the Warriors will be a young team, led predominantly by the junior and sophomore classes.

Coaching Nick Sama is banking on some solid offensive production from junior Olivia Boyd (12 pts), junior Kellyn McNamara and sophomore Julia Jankowski (10 pts).

Senior Nina Luby (7 goal), a four-year varsity player, will be the cornerstone on defense. Sophomore Sophia Hauser will have a key role.

Look for sophomore Roz Carew-Lyons between the pipes.

Gary Demopoulos
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.
Gary Demopoulos
- 16 hours ago
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