The only post-season hockey tournament with no preliminary games, the MIAA Girls Division 1 state tournament gets underway Wednesday with the 32-team field.
One thing is for sure, there will be a new state champion, as last year’s champ, Austin Prep, has moved to the NEPSAC ranks.
St. Mary’s and Notre Dame Academy received the top two seeds. Here is a look at all 32 teams:
#1 St. Mary’s (21-1-0)
The Spartans have been the top-ranked team in Division 1 from the pre-season and look to take home the D1 title. But, they know it won’t be easy.
“We never focused on polls, rankings, or individual games, just growing as a team and individually,” said coach Frank Pagliuca. “We are award that there has been a target on our back since the pre-season. There are a lot of Division 1 teams capable of winning. We are fully aware everyone is back to 0-0 and we are at the point where it is a 45-minute season.”
Up front, seniors Jenna Chaplain (22-25-47), Maggie Pierce (19-22-41) and Amanda Forziati (11-13-24) have powered the attack up front. Junior Gabbi Oakes has 13 goals and freshman Abigail Poole has nine.
Junior Kasey Litwin (22 pts) and seventh-grader Vanessa Hall (20 pts) have figured in offensively from their defensive position. In goal, senior Ang Catino has allowed just 14 goals all season.
#2 Notre Dame Academy (14-6-0)
Of the Cougars’ six losses, five have come to St. Mary’s and the top two seeds – ABW and Duxbury – in Division 2. This certainly is a team you could see at the TD Garden later this month.
NDA boasts balanced scoring in its forward group, paced by senior Ava O’Donoghue (21 pts), sophomore Morgan Brady (21 pts), senior captain Maggie Donahue (19 pts), senior Lauren White (18 pts), sophomore Sarah White (18 pts) and sophomore Emily Coughlin (13 pts).
Coach John Findley’s group is just as deep on the blue line, with junior Sarah Francis (21 pts), junior Lucy DeGallo, senior captain Avery Engel, sophomores Ashley McGuire, Dana Leahy and Kaitie Ryan, and eighth-graders Reese Engel and Ella Faherty all seeing time.
Findley has used three different goalies this year – junior Ava Larkin, sophomore Delia Logan and freshman Erin Kral.
#3 Shrewsbury (16-2-2)
The MVC/Dual County Large co-champs were a final four team a year ago, and would like nothing more than to finish the job this year.
“I tell my team we play 12 league games and it is like playing 12 playoff games it is so competitive,” said coach Frank Panarelli. “I always tell the team ‘let’s go 1-0 every game and don’t look past anyone.'”
Like the two seeds above them, the Colonials are balanced up front led by senior Taylor Ryder (24 pts), senior Maddie Mrva (23 pts), sophomore Mia Ryder (19 pts) and senior Katie Vona (19 pts).
Sophomore Yasmine McKenzie (21 pts) headlines the Shrewsbury defense, getting help from the likes of juniors Bridget McLaughlin and Kealy Fey. Junior Risa Montoya is a veteran presence in goal.
#4 HPNA (12-6-2)
A team that battles the whole 45 minutes, HPNA is capable of making a long run. It has all the ingredients.
The duo of senior Kaitlyn Bush (16-13-29) and senior Shelby Nassar (9-19-28) power the attack. Secondary scoring has come from sophomores Kendall Lariviere (14 pts) and Gabby Locke (13 pts), and junior Gabby Harty (12 pts).
Senior Cassy Doherty (19 pts) is a solid two-way rearguard. Junior Rachel Keating and sophomore Paige Nottingham are vital defenders as well. Sophomore Julianna Taylor has been solid all year in goal.
“Our greatest strength is our speed physically and our resilience mentally,” said coach Gary Kane. “We have scored late when down on several occasions and we feel as though we have a chance as long as there is time still left on the clock.”
#5 Winthrop (18-0-0)
The only team statewide, both boys and girls, that made it through the regular season undefeated. The Vikings certainly hope to continue that trend. They have outscored opponents 102-17 this year.
“We have taken the one-game-at-a-time approach all season long,” said coach Anthony Martucci. “We look at each game as a one-game championship, and we try to play at an elite level everytime we step foot on the ice.”
Captains Emma Holmes (24-22-46), Julia Holmes (15-20-35) and Mia Norris (9-17-26) have been offensive catalysts, as have sophomore Talia Martucci (15-13-28) and juniors Hannah Parker (18 pts) and Sami DiMento (16 pts).
The Winthrop defense also likes to get involved offensively, led by senior captain Abby Holmes (18 pts), junior Adrianna Rizzotto (14 pts), sophomore Amelia Spencer (15 pts) and freshman Avalina Coffey (10 pts). Freshman Riley Towse took over in goal for five-year starter Summer Tallent.
#6 Hingham (14-5-2)
The Harborwomen started off the season slowly under first-year coach Courtney Turner, but have sinced turned in on, heading into the tournament on an 8-0-1 run.
“I think it took a couple of weeks for the girls to mesh and get to know a new coaching style,” Turner said. “The team is really buying into our systems and playing smart away from the puck. To go into the tournament 8-0-1 gives the team gives the team a huge confidence boost.”
Hingham boasts a premier goal scorer in sophomore Caroline Doherty (40-17-57). She is helped up front by sophomore Addy Garrity (17-16-33), senior captain Abbey Kennedy (11 goals) and junior Reese Pompeo (20 pts).
Senior captain Piper Jordan, senior captain Erin Packard and freshman CC Flynn have been consistent on the blue line in front of freshman goalie Izzy McGarr.
#7 Bishop Feehan (12-7-1)
Battling injuries and illness, the Shamrocks started off 0-3 but have been rolling since. A signature win was a 1-0 decision of Division 2’s Duxbury, handing the Dragons their only loss. Depth is a key.
“We are able to play three lines and pairs of defense regularly,” said coach Mike Cripps. “The girls have come to believe in themselves, so it doesn’t matter if we are up or down by one or two, they battle for 45 minutes each game.”
Junior Caitlin Kelley (17-14-31) and sophomore Chloe Bryda (18-9-27) are Feehan’s top two scorers. Right behind are junior Molly Braga (15 pts), junior Grace Campbell (15 pts), junior Grace Nelson (13 pts) and senior captain Brooke Borges (14 pts).
The teams other three captains – Riley LeClair, Mary Lamoriello and Avery Gugliotta – reside on the blue line, minding the store in front of goaltender Avery Blanchard (2.09 gaa).
#8 Peabody/Lynnfield/North Reading (16-4-0)
PLNR continues to be one of the top teams in the state. Of their four losses, one was to #1 St. Mary’s, one was to #4 HPNA and other two to #5 Winthrop.
Coach Michelle Roach has several options on offense, including senior captains Jenna DiNapoli (17 pts) and Hannah Gromko, junior Catie Kampersal, sophomore Ava Buckley and freshman Angela Fabbo.
Senior Penny Spack (13 goals), an All Conference pick, takes care of things on the blue line. Another NHL All Conference pick, sophomore Alyse Mutti, had nine shutouts during the regular season.
#9 Methuen/Tewksbury (12-5-3)
The third MVC/Dual County Large team seeded in the top 10, the Red Rangers find low-scoring games to their liking. They have scored just 40 goals all season, but allowed only 23.
“Our team has improved thoughout the season by working hard and playing some really challenging competition so we are ready to battle,” said coach Sarah Doucette. “We have a strong defensive mindset and will focus on driving the net and scoring goals at key times.”
Tasked with scoring those goals will be sophomore Breena Lawrence (17 pts) and junior Kat Schille (12 pts) and junior Riley Sheehan (11 pts).
Sophomore MJ Petisce (12 pts) and Sarah Doherty lead the stingy defensive unit. Senior Taylor Bruno has had an impressive year in goal.
#10 Arlington (13-5-2)
A state finalist a year ago, the Spy Ponders have excelled despite key losses from that club. Can they make another run to the Garden? It remains to be seen.
“I think its wide open for all teams that play smart,” said Arlington coach Jeff Mead. “Obviously we want to manage the puck and not turn it over in critical areas. Hopefully we get timely goaltending, solid D and scoring.”
Arlington boasts five players with 20 or more points, which is a plus, in sophomore Julia Krepelka (18-12-30), sophomore Libby Corsetti (11-18-29), junior Taylor Broughton (8-19-27), sophomore Kelsie Partridge (10-14-24) and senior Molly Conneely (8-14-22).
A deep defense is led by juniors Riley Broughton and Jenna Partridge, sophomore Mia Culhane and freshman Devin O’Day. Senior Allison LaBarge is in goal.
#11 Longmeadow (9-6-3)
The Lancers have been their usual tough self again this year, and are certainly capable of putting together a run.
Senior Jane O’Connor (26 goals) has been the go-to forward for coach Melissa Vandermyn, but opponents can’t overlook sophomore Margo Watkins (18 pts), junior Maeve Doherty (10 goals) and sophomore Rylee Welch (13 pts).
On defense, senior Maddie Murphy, senior Elyse Eidinger, sophomore Ava Saunders, and freshmen Mia Laudato and Nina Semanie form a solid group. In goal, look for senior Abigail Rafuse.
#12 Bishop Stang (13-5-2)
Putting the puck in the net is certainly not a problem for the Spartans, who averaged 4.5 goals per game.
They boast three 40-point scorers in senior Lexi Yost (24-25-49), senior Mikayla Brighman (33-14-47) and sophomore Kacey Curran (15-25-40).
Junior Emily Curran is a backbone on defense, as is senior Jordan Theriault. Senior Cheyenne Dutcher will be in goal
“We will need to play as a team to win any game,” said Stang coach Bill Theodore. “We will need to finish plays offensively and play well in our defensive zone in order to be successful. When we play this way we have had success this season.”
#13 Billerica/Chelmsford (8-11-1)
In a testament to how tough the MVC/Dual County Large is, B/C gets the #13 seed despite winning only eight games. They can not be overlooked.
Senior captain Tori Apostolakes (22 pts) and sophomore Giovanna Gulinello (18 pts) have been offensive leaders, followed by junior Kate Harrison.
Captains Remore Serra (12 pts) and Julia Williams (16 pts), who moved from her forward position, have been key in the defensive zone. Sophomore Hailey Graybeal gets the nod in goal.
“Playing in our rugged league is extremely beneficial to playoffs as every game has that playoff feel to it,” said coach Ray Monroe. “Having the second toughest schedule in the state has really prepared us for a playoff puch as our team is battle-tested.”
#14 Pope Francis (10-6-2)
The Cardinals program continues its upward trend with its second straight playoff appearance, this year getting a first round home game.
“Our tough schedule should help us through through the nighly tournament battles, as we’ve been involved in several grind-it-out wins this season,” said coach Chris Connors. “It’s going to come down to which team has the stronger ‘will to win.’ For our team to experience success, it’s going to come down to limiting our turnovers, staying disciplined, sound goaltending and a little bit of puck luck.”
Pope doesn’t possess a prolific goal scorer, but a solid nucleus of forwards capable of putting the puck in the net in junior Ivorie Arguin (20 pts), sophomore Camryn Rogowski (18 pts), senior captain Kellie Harrington (18 pts), junior Lily Hayes (17 pts) and junior Ela Rabidoux (15 pts).
Junior Kaitlyn Ondrick (13 pts) and junior Grace Sands (10 pts) are keys on defense along with sophomore Sarah Tatro and senior captain Lila Roche. Sophomore Felix Goeckel has been steady between the pipes.
#15 Cape Cod Furies (11-8-1)
Reading will be the Furies opening round game for the second straight year. They look to be victorious in this one, and move on in the post-season with a well-rounded squad.
“We defintely have shown we can play with anyone,” said first-year coach Zach Wells. “I think for the team to be successful it’s about us ‘starting on time.’ The first five minutes of games/periods show what type of Furies team we are going to be. When we dictate pace of play and are able to play aggessively we have always seen success.”
Freshman Gaby Bassett (25-15-40) has had a breakout year and leads the offense, along with sophomore Sophia Boucher (20 pts), freshman Julia Kipperman (21 pts) and senior captain Emily Underhill (18 pts).
Junior captain Sienna Reeves backbones the blue line and has put up a 10-23-33 line for her defensive position. Freshman Samantha Clarke (16 pts) has had a key role. The Furies also possess one of the state’s top goalies in junior Olivia Avellar.
#16 Plymouth (10-6-4)
Coming out of the rugged Patriot League, the Plymouth co-op can’t be taken lightly. They have played tough against several of the top teams.
Senior captains Jen Diercks and Maeve Campbell have spearheaded the offense.
On the blue line, junior Megan Petrarca and sophomores Lauren Anderson and Danica Coffey will lead the way. Sophomore Gabbie Sidman has been steady in goal.
#17 Bishop Fenwick (7-10-3)
Despite having just seven wins, the Crusaders have played some solid hockey and will be tough for anyone they face.
Senior captain Abbey Millman (8-13-21) and sophomore Penny Levine-Stein (10-6-16) power the attack up front for coach John Kasle, along with senior captain Abi Bruner (11 pts) and sophomore Molly Sullivan (10 pts).
On defense, sophomore Ali Sprissler (6-8-14) and captain Zoe Elwell have been key fixtures.
#18 Reading (12-6-2)
The Rockets did not miss a beat under new head coach Carolyn Avery and hope to make a post-season run.
Up front, Reading has gotten a lot out of a first line of sophomore Gianna Bonfilio (23 pts), junior Ally Sumner (15 pts) and senior Jayda Hayes (10 pts).
A stout defense features sophomore Libby Quinn (8 pts), senior Elise Verrier (10 pts) and senior captain Cara Joyce. Freshman goaltender Alex Herbert has had a standout season.
“We have a lot of momentum heading into the tournament and our team chemistry and energy is the best it’s been all season,” Avery said. “The team is confident, motivated and ready for the tournament.”
#19 Stoneham/Wilmington (13-6-1)
This co-op program, in its second year, has made great strides, winning 13 games this winter.
“They have done a phenomenal job bringing two towns together and really making it work,” said coach Cassandra Connolly. “Our team success was no surprise as we watched the kids work.
A go-to forward is junior Lily MacKenzie, who led the club with 24 goals and 14 assists. Right behind her is senior Katelin Hally (16-17-33). Senior Gabby Daniels (18 pts) and senior Ava Krasco (14 pts) are two more scoring options.
Senior Gabby Sacco has been a force on the blue line for S-W. Junior Ashley Mercier (16 pts) is key on defense as well. Junior Maddie Sainato has been solid in goal.
#20 Westford Academy (9-10-1)
Just 5-15 last year, the Ghosts have improved tremendously, getting key contributions from some younger players.
” The MVC/Dual County League is one of the strongest leagues in the state and we believe that if we can compete strongly within the league that it helps us to compete with the top teams during the state tournament,” said Westford assistant Cory Brown.
Sophomore Kailey Hannon (22-10-32), eighth-grader Zoey Smith (13-7-20) and eighth-grader Kiley Carmichael (16 pts) make up an impressive top line. Senior Faith McDonald has chipped in with 11 points.
Taking care of things on defense are senior Hannah Kennedy, junior Emily Lux, senior Zoe Musante and sophomore Dorothy Galvin. Freshman Kiera Tucker and eighth-grader Alexis McDonough have both seen time in goal.
#21 Whitman-Hanson/Silver Lake (10-6-1)
A team with no seniors and eight eighth-graders, WH-SL had a solid campaign, and things bode well for the future.
“The team has been resilient all year,” said co-coach Colin Foley. “Our biggest strength for the post-season is playing together as a team. We are all trying to work together as a cohesive unit.”
Junior Jules Connors (21 pts) has been a welcome addition to the lineup and leads the forward group in scoring. Linemates Chloe Duff (sophomore) and eighth-grader Camryn Dematos have scored some key goals as well.
From her blue-line position, junior captain Caitlin Dilley leads the team with 22 points. Also on the blue line are junior Jocelyn Moore, eighth-grader Calliegh Vurpilatte and sophomore Brenna Hohmann. The goalie is freshman Sadie Watchorn, who fashioned a 2.24 gaa this season.
#22 Newburyport (8-10-2)
The Clippers look to be a factor in the post-season. They finished the regular season fourth in the Northeastern Hockey League.
“Our goalie (Teagan Wilson) has been outstanding this season,” said coach Dan Robinson. “We will need to play better in front of her and commit as a team to be better in the D-zone. When our transition game is on and we play with speed, we’ve had success.”
The team has received clutch scoring this winter from sophomores Jenna Oliver and Maggie Fitzgerald. Senior captain Kiara Farrar is another key up front.
Playing in front of Wilson, the Northeastern Hockey League MVP, are defensemen Kayla Gibbs (junior), Charli Madill (eighth grade), Holly Sullivan (freshman) and Olivia Wilson (freshman).
#23 Beverly/Danvers (10-9-1)
Another team looking to upset a higher seed are the Panthers, who get Arlington in the first round.
“We need to stick to our game that we practice day-in and day-out,” said coach Matt Lampert. “It’s anyone’s game. Who wants it more?”
Junior Halle Greenleaf (13 goals), sophomore Bradie Arnold (10 goals), eighth-grader Clara Carey (10 goals) and Shea Nemeskal lead the offensive attack.
Senior Sadie Papamechail and freshman Morgan Linskey are defensive anchors and junior Megan McGinnity will be in the nets.
#24 Acton-Boxboro (2-20-0)
With the power rankings formula taking into account strength of schedule, the Revolution are in the post-season despite winning just two games.
“I think the team is looking to the tournament like we have a nothing-to-lose attitude,” said veteran coach Brian Fontas. “Our schedule was one of the toughtest in the state this season so we feel we are battle-tested for tournament play. It will take a perfect game from us. We need everyone on board to have a chance.”
Junior defenseman Allison Corrieri scored 18 of the team’s 31 goals this season. She was named the MVC/Dual County Large Player of the Year. Senior Rebecca Kniker and seventh-grader Elise Penny are on defense as well. Junior Claire Burkowski is in goal.
Freshman Clover Logan (14 pts) leads the offense with senior Erin Gamble.
#25 Shawsheen/Bedford (10-10-0)
A thin roster did not prevent this co-op team for making the post-season, a solid accomplishment seeing they were 1-19 a year ago.
“Everyone comes every day with a positive attitude and course that attitude only gets better with the wins,” said coach Kate O’Shea. “I couldn’t be any more prouder of these girls coming off a one-win season last year.”
Eighth-grader Becca Sobol has had a big season with 20 goals and 11 assists. She is helped up front by fellow eighth-grader Sophia Demeo (25 pts), junior Paige Fuller (17 pts) and junior Alexis Fox (15 pts).
Injuries have the team down to three defensemen – freshman Macy Savage, senior captain Kelsey Giordano and eighth-grader Olivia O’Brien. Junior Elianna Munroe is in goal.
#26 Auburn (8-10-0)
The Rockets get seventh-seeded Bishop Feehan in a first round contest Wednesday.
Offensive leaders for coach Peter LaPrad are sophomore Olivia Viens and sophomore Izzy Spencer. Senior captains Madeleine Langevin and Finola Wall are also part of the offensive game.
Senior goalie Rachel Proulx is among the best netminders in the tournament.
#27 Arlington Catholic (4-15-1)
The Cougars are another young team, just one senior, that got some decent experience playing in the Catholic Central League.
Junior Kathleen Simmons headlines the offense for coach Natalie Flynn. Junior Leah Gobbi and junior Anna Corcoran will help out.
Freshman Lucy McGaraghan has been steady on defense, while sophomores Kaitlin Sacco and Mia Crones are the team’s goaltenders.
#28 Hopkinton/Dover-Sherborn (6-12-2)
Hopkinton/D-S won the Kelly O’Leary Tournament in mid-February and hope to use that momentum for a solid showing in the D1 tournament.
Key players include senior Kaley Merkle and senior Liana Patrick.
#29 Marblehead (4-15-1)
If the Headers are to spring an upset, it most likely will need to be in a low-scoring game. As a team Marblehead scored just 21 goals this season.
“We know that teams will underestimate our abilities based on our record,” said coach Brittany Smith. “We have competed against top teams in D1 this year. We need to work as a team to get it done in the the playoffs.”
The team’s top two goal scorers this year have come from the defensive position in senior Hannah Tsouvalas and Ava Vautour, who both potted six goals. Senior Sophie Zerilli has moved back to defense, and will pair with freshman Paige Waldman.
Junior Ava Shultz and freshman Teyah Fleming are two keys up front.
#30 Old Rochester (7-12-1)
ORR has been a decent offensive team with 69 total goals, so a key will be defensive play.
“In order to have success in the post-season we need to play our best defense as a team,” said first-year head coach Braly Hiller. “We need to backcheck hard, force opponents to the outside and make sure the back door is covered.”
Liz Kilpatrick (19-13-32) paces ORR’s offensive attack. Chase Harmon (19 pts), captain Kellen Geake (10 goals), Isa Rioux (13 pts) and Ainsley Hopwood (13 pts) have all contributed as well.
Defensive standouts have been captain Kassidy Hill (13 pts) and Emma Hanoian. Senior Ryan Tripp handles the goaltending.
#31 Newton Co-op (5-15-0)
A first round date with Notre Dame minus a few key parts isn’t the best recipe for an upset, but the Newton Crush will give it their all.
“We know we are up against one of the best teams in the state,” said coach Scott Heslin. “That said, we will focus on our strengths – working hard and stayng positive.”
Junior Danielle Morrill has been a key up front. Junior Gabriella Bonadio is the Crush’s netminde.
#32 Medford (3-15-2)
When Lexington opted out of tournament play, it opened the door for a young Mustangs team to get a shot, albeit against top-ranked St. Mary’s in the first round.
“Our team is relatively young,” said coach Brittani Lanzilli. “For many of my players, this is their first experience in the state tournament. While we recognize the task at hand and the strength of our opponent, we embrace the challenge and are ready to compete.”
Eighth-grader Avery White (11 pts) is a Northeastern Hockey League All Star at forward.
On defense, junior Julianna Steriti (9 pts) was an NHL All Conference pick. Seventh-grader Isabel Taddia has six goals. Senior Abigail Keenan (5 pts) will see a lot of time. Seventh-grader Erin Alves should get the call in goal.