Mass. Girls HS Hockey – Middlesex League Preview: Arlington The Early Edge In Liberty; Freedom Wide Open

Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopouloshttp://www.hnibnews.com
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.

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League heavies Arlington and Woburn have had quite the rivalry the past two years. Each handed the other their only loss of last year. The Tanners had the last laugh, downing the Spy Ponders in the ML championship tilt after tying and losing to them the first two games of the season.

In the Freedom Division, Melrose is back as as stand-alone program after being in a co-op with Stoneham the past two seasons. Wilmington has joined forces with Stoneham this winter.

Maddie Krepelka Arlington

LIBERTY DIVISION

ARLINGTON (10-1-2)

Coach: Jeff Mead

If the Spy Ponders can get some adequate secondary scoring and a youthful defense can deliver, they will be tough to beat. Arlington has lost just four games over the last two seasons, two in post-season play.

Junior forward Maddie Krepelka is back after an MVP season that saw her score 23 pts in 13 games. Senior Gabby Russo (8 pts) is another solid option, as is junior Molly Conneely. Three freshman forwards to watch, all younger sisters of current Arlington players, are Julia Krepelka, Kelsey Partridge and Libby Corsetti.

Senior captains Grace Corsetti and Devin Norman will be defensive anchors for coach Mead. Rounding out the unit are returning sophomores Keeley Smith, Riley Broughton and Jenna Partridge. Freshman Mia Culhane will be in the rotation as well.

In goal, Elise Rodd is back for her senior year. Freshman Avan Scannell and junior Allison LaBarge give Arlington some great depth at the position.

WOBURN (10-1-2)

Coach: Steve Kennedy

Despite its shortness, the Tanners made the most of last season, winning the Middlesex League tournament, getting revenge on Arlington as well for their only loss of the season. A good nucleus returns which bodes well for this winter.

Freshman Maddie Soderquist is coming off a 30-point season as an eighth-grader and will be a key offensive player for Woburn, along with senior ML Pineros (17 pts) and junior Katie Pica.

Sophomore Taylor Buckley (10 pts) leads the blue line contingent with junior Meaghan Keough and freshman Kate Sullivan. Senior Alyssa Wackrow is back as a starter in the nets.

Eighth-grader Ari Murgo looks to have a role.

Solana O’Shea Readinjg

READING (1-4-4)

Coach: Alexa Hingston

With a full season on the horizon, the Rockets hope to compete for a state tournament berth.

Maddie Rzepka Reading

Offensively, senior Maddie Rzepka is back after leading the team in goals and points a year ago. Senior Solana O’Shea, junior Lacey Carciero and sophomore Aly Sumner will be involved in a big way.

Junior Cara Joyce will be a mainstay on the Reading blue line, which adds new junior Jayda Hayes to the lineup. New freshman Alex Herbert is in line to take over in goal.

Irene Mandile Winchester

WINCHESTER (3-5-2)

Coach: Craig Seabury

The squad welcomes 12 freshmen to the program, which will help boost numbers. That added depth will be a key.

Annie Ettenhofer Winchester

Look for junior Irene Mandile (10 pts), senior Maggie Fortin (7 pts), Carly Blumsack and Alexandria Dente to be assets on the front lines, where freshmen Georgia Costello, Ellie Parks and LuLu Murphy look to contribute right away.

A rebuilt defense for the Black & Red will have junior Annie Ettenhoffer (13 pts) and senior Devon Krayer as important cogs.

Winchester will find a new goaltender after pre-season practices.

Lily Duffy
Belmont

BELMONT (3-5-3)

Coach: Ken Murphy

A nice mix of returning talent and newcomers could make the Marauders a tough team to play against.

Junior Lily Duffy will be a vital cog to the offense, which also welcomes back seniors Roxy Kelleher-Durkop and Jaelyn Marchette. Sisters Mia Taylor (sophomore) and Sadie Taylor (freshman) will have roles.

Lola Rocci
Belmont

A young defense is comprised of junior Cece Carere, sophomores Lola Rocci and Alex Townsend, and freshman Charlotte Wright.

Junior Bridget Gray is back in the Belmont cage. She had 11 shutouts her freshman season two years ago.

LEXINGTON (1-9-1)

Coach: Jay Rush

New head coach Rush comes in with loads of coaching experience at the club level and his aim is to improve the team. “Passing and structure will be the team’s foundation for success,” he said.

At forward, senior captain Erica Riley will be a big factor. A couple of eighth graders ready to show what they can do are Anika Singh and Madison Dolci.

Seniors Angelina Minasian and Katie Murray will hold down the fort on the blue line. Helen Zeaske, another eighth-grader, is in the mix for play between the pipes.

FREEDOM DIVISION

MELROSE

Coach: Frank Sorrenti

After two seasons in a co-op arrangement with Stoneham, the Red Raiders are back out on their own. “We have a very young team,” Sorrenti said. “(We) plan to do our very best and try to develop the program along the way.”

Melrose will have seven eighth-graders and a seventh-grader on the roster. There is some experience that will need to provide leadership as the younger players develop.

Seniors Itia Figueira and Caitlin Price, and sophomore Lucy Clark will be key forwards, while senior Bridget Price will log a lot of minutes on the blue line.

Abby Boudreau Wakefield

WAKEFIELD (4-5-1)

Coach: Jacqui Mansfield

The Warriors should be in the running for a Freedom Division crown, led by their strength in the defensive end.

Senior captain Maeve Recene (12 pts), senior Kayli Porter (9 pts) and sophomore Fiona Recene lead the offensive charge.

Olivia Johnsen Wakefield

On defense, senior captain Olivia Johnsen (9 pts) will be a backbone. Junior Charlotte Rossicone is another key returner on the blue line, while look for eighth-grader Rory McNeil to get some time.

Senior captain Abby Boudreau gives Wakefield a solid presence between the pipes.

Kaylee Cronin Stoneham

STONEHAM/WILMINGTON (0-8-0)

Coach: Cassandra Connolly

The Spartans welcome Wilmington to a new co-op arrangement which should result in higher numbers for the program.

Senior Kaylee Cronin and junior Ava Krasco, both captains, will be looked of for scoring punch.

On the blue line, junior Gabby Sacco is a veteran varsity performer. Newcomer Isabella Shirtcliff, a freshman, expects to help right away.

** Burlington and Watertown will also be in the Freedom Division this season.

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