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Mass. Girls HS Hockey – Central/West League Preview: Keep An Eye on Shrewsbury, Algonquin; Pope Francis Joins Loop

The Girls Central/West League will be comprised of six teams this winter in one division. Pope Francis, which had been part of the co-op at Longmeadow, fields its own team. Shrewsbury and Algonquin should make some noise.


Last Year’s Record: 14-6-2

The Colonials lost some key seniors of last year’s highly successful club, but nevertheless return a good group that will be highly competitive.

Junior tri-captain Kaci Ryder comes off a 35-point campaign and will be relied on heavily again on offense, along with senior captain Gabby DeSouza (8 pts) and sophomores Maddie Mrva (28 pts) and Taylor Ryder (14 pts). New freshman Natalie MacCausland will need to be watched.

Aislinn Bennett

Kaci Ryder

Taylor Ryder

On defense, senior tri-captain Claire Mullen and junior Aislinn Bennett (12 pts) will be anchors. Freshman Kealy Faye joins the crew.

In goal for coach Frank Panarelli, five-year starter Riley MacCausland has graduated (Endicott), leaving the netminding duties to returning senior Nora Frederick and freshman Risa Montoya.

Kerryn O’Connell

Lana Pacific

Sabrina Ferro


Last Year’s Record: 13-5-3

With some nice experience on the blue line and between the pipes, the T-Hawks will be solid presence again this year.

Coach Mike Hodge’s club is also in good shape up front, led by senior standout Kerryn O’Connell (29 goals), already committed to Sacred Heart, and senior Heather Hodgkins (23 pts).

Defensive mainstays will be juniors Sabrina Ferro and Jill Johannes, while junior Lana Pacific is back to handle things in goal.

Abby Hartley


Last Year’s Record: 9-8-4

Anticipating a strong defense and some offensive power, the Lancers figure to be right in the hunt in this competitive division.

Coach Melissa Vandermyn will look for scoring from senior Abby Hartley (6 pts) and returning juniors Kayla Russ and Anna Chrisanthopoulos. New sophomore Mia Ollari will contribute.

Senior Madison Fox, a Johnson & Wales commit, anchors the defense. Sophomores Madison Murphy and Elyse Eidinger will make the step up from the JV. Senior McKenzie Rae is rock-solid between the pipes.

Morgan Peritz
Pope Francis


Last Year’s Record: New program

Chris Connors, a former head coach with the boys program at Saugus, takes over this new varsity program and feels the key to success will be “how quickly our group of talented underclassmen come together as a team.” The school will co-op with several other programs.

Leaders up front for the Cardinals look to be juniors Morgan Peritz and Lauren Crocker. Sophomores Eleanor Jacoby, Kellie Harrington, Sara Wright, Brooke Weinman and Mia Alfonso will provide offensive support.  Freshmen Ela Rabidoux and Lily Hayes hope to have an immediate impact.

Sophomore Lila Roche will have a key role on the Pope Francis blue line. Freshman Grace Sands is primed to show what she can do.

Junior returner Rowan Howe projects to be the top option between the pipes. Backing her up is Mary Styspeck.

  • Leominster and Oakmont will also be in the division this year. No information was available on these teams as of post time.
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
- 6 days ago