MIAA Girls Division 2 Tournament Preview: Top-Seed Duxbury Leads Talented Field; Braintree, KP, Sandwich, Natick Hope To Have Their Say

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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What could be the most competitive of all the Massachusetts state tournaments, the Girls Division 2 field is stacked with many talented squads capable of winning it all.

Here is the 32-team field by its seed:

Ayla Abban

#1 Duxbury (17-2-2)

The Dragons have been at the top of the D2 rankings all season, but know the playoffs are a different breed altogether. Still, there depth will be a major factor.

Lily Sparrow Duxbury

Coach Dan Najarian: “We have to make sure we don’t take anything for granted and continue to do the little things that have made us successful to this point. We will need to continue to play the way we played at the end of the season. Goaltending and secondary scoring will be key for us. We have a lot of freshmen playing in big roles in all situations so we will need them to continue to contribute in all facets of the game.”

McKenna Colella Duxbury

In all, 18 different players have scored at least one goal, led by junior Ayla Abban (32-11-43), one of the state’s top forwards. Other top scorers up front include junior Lily Sparrow (19 pts), freshman Meghan Carney (19 pts) and freshman Madeleine Greenwood (11 pts).

Junior McKenna Colella (7-6-13) is a key on defense that likes to get involved offensively. Sophomore Camryn Holloway will be a factor. In goal, sophomore Anna McGinty allowed just 16 goals all season.

Ella Woods

#2 Braintree (14-5-1)

The Wamps finished atop the Bay State Conference Herget Division and like to play in grind-it-out defensive battles.

Coach Kevin Burchill: “We have a very defensive mindset. Ugly goals are our specialty.”

Offensive leaders project to be senior captain Maggie Burchill, junior Ella Woods and sophomore Savanna Littlewood.

The solid blue line is anchored by senior captain Maeve Holland and juniors Kelsey Littlewood and Molly Witman. Sophomore goalie Eva Surette has been solid with eight shutouts on the season.

#3 King Philip (18-4-0)

The Warriors come into the post-season as one of the hottest teams in the division, having won their last nine straight games. They have one of the top offenses in the tournament.

Coach Ken Assad: “King Philip is poised for the tournament with the challenging schedule we had, but we must maintain our defensive composure and offensively continue to be a threat.”

The big four up front for KP includes seniors Morgan Cunningham (25-14-39), Sydney O’Shea (14-18-32) and Jen Daniels (10-15-25), and sophomore Kelly Holmes (22-25-47). Other keys are freshma Cate Hart (17 pts) and eighth-grader Catie Putt (21 pts).

Senior captain Alison Donovan and senior assistant captain Meg Sherwood backbone the defense with junior Kat Precobb and sophomore Mara Boldy. In goal, junior Mallory Johnston fashioned a solid 1.88 gaa.

Jen Birolini Pembroke

#4 Pembroke (15-5-0)

Another team hot down the stretch were the Titans, who also have won their last nine games.

Coach Bill Flynn: “I think where we struggled early in the season, we realized we needed to work together. Supporting one another on and off the ice has been very important to the turnaround. It all starts with our work ethic. The girls work hard in all three zones and lately it’s been very impressive to watch them. If we keep that up we will be a tough out.”

Freshman Jen Birolini (24-10-34), senior captain Megan Dorsey (14-18-32) and eighth-grader Mary Quatrale (16-8-24) have been the keys up front. Freshmen Hannah D’Angelo (13 pts) and Lauren Perry (13 pts), and senior Erin Doran (10 pts) are more offensive options.

Keys on defense are senior captain Alison Zeoli and sophomore Ava Dunphy. Senior captain Kaleigh Murphy has been solid in goal.

Colleen Quirk

#5 Natick (12-6-2)

With their tough schedule, the Redhawks will be battle-tested for anyone they face in the post-season.

Coach Bruce Ihloff: “I believe we are capable of competing with anyone. We played the toughest competition in the state and done very well. I believe everyone on our schedule has made the tournament.”

Hadley Green

Senior captain Colleen Quirk (25-9-34) and junior Emma Tavilla (12-16-28) are the catalysts up front for Natick.

Senior captains Hadley Green (10-14-24) and Caroline Gates (9 pts), along with junior McKenna Doucette (15 pts) are defensemen active in both ends of the ice. Freshman Ellie Beigel (4 SO) will handle the goaltending.

#6 Sandwich (16-4-1)

The Lady Knights won the Cape & Islands League and scored an impressive 92 goals in the regular season.

Associate Head Coach Billy Ferreira: “Three goals at beginning of the season were to make the tournament, win the league, and make a March State run. So far we’ve accomplished two out of three. D2 is very tough this year with the new alignment and every game should be competitive and contested. We have only two seniors on the team and very few players with tournament experience. We have to rise to the occasion and continue to play good team hockey.”

The offensive production comes from the likes of senior captain Caroline Barrett, sophomore Adrianna Kelsch, and impressive eighth-graders Katie Barrett and Emma MacPherson.

A talented rearguard contingent features juniors Olivia O’Brien and Meghan Barrett, and freshman Darby Rounseville. Coach Ferreira calls junior captain goaltender Sophia Visceglio the key.

#7 Westwood (14-4-2)

The Wolverines had a great second half of the season, going 8-1-1, and look to continue that strong play in the post-season.

Coach Lauren Hillberg: “The team knows that even though we ended our season strong we have to carry that and continue to up our play each playoff game. Throughout the season a goal of the team has been to play a full 45. With that being said, being well conditioned has been a huge stress point for us. The team understands that taking a shift off could be a determining factor of the game.”

Up front, Westwood has received big years from senior captain Kendall Blomquist (22-14-36), sophomore Tessa Jones (22 pts), sophomore Sasha Marino (19 pts) and freshman Kate Sullivan (16-9-25).

Senior captains Mia O’Donnell and Meghan McDonough have led the defense. Freshman Ava Thimistocles has contributed as well. Junior Marissa Poma is in goal.

Lauren Adams Andover

#8 Andover (12-6-2)

Playing in the primarily D1 MVC/Dual County Large will have the Warriors battle-tested for the D2 post-season.

Ashley Chiango Andover

A well-balanced offensive attack features senior Lauren Adams, juniors Rose MacLean and Eliza O’Sullivan, sophomore Rose Memmolo and freshman Scarlet Glass.

Three seniors on the blue line – Ashley Chiango, Jacqui Haney and Abigail Murnane – bring valued experience. Senior Lillian Jagger is a veteran between the pipes.

#9 Canton (14-6-0)

The Bulldogs had a sluggish start but have since turned in on. They will be a tough out in the post-season.

Coach Dennis Aldrich: “Our team’s recent success can be attributed to our goalie being fully recovered from her early season injury, and our predicted scorers finally producing as expected. As long as we play our system as a group, we have proved that we can beat anyone.”

On offense, the Bulldogs will rely on senior Tess Khoury (21 pts), junior Audrey Koen (20 pts) and senior Payton McDonough (18 pts).

Canton’s usual stingy defense is backboned by senior Allie McCabe (15 pts), the Hockomock League MVP, junior Maya Battista (15 pts) and sophomore Devan Spinale. Junior Carolyn Durand is one of the state’s top netminders.

Mallory Farrell

#10 Algonquin/Hudson (14-3-2)

The T-Hawks had a banner regular season, losing only to D1 Longmeadow, King Philip and Natick.

Coach Mike Hodge: “To make a deep run it’s from the net out. Lana Pacific has been a three-time All Star. Her stellar play, coupled with solid defensive zone coverage, will hopefully lead to a deep run. Great goaltending and team defense, where the forwards backcheck aggressively has allowed for quick transition to offense.”

A trio of sophomores – Mallory Farrell (25-15-40), Emily Johns (22-11-33), Bryn Domolky (14-12-26) – have been integral to the Algonquin offense. Senior Grace Sciacca (17 pts) is a key as well.

Senior defensemen Sabrina Ferro and Jillian Johanes, both captains, are leaders on defense with freshman Lauren O’Malley. Senior Lana Pacific is more than solid in the cage.

Erika Stanton Needham

#11 Needham (10-5-5)

One of a number of tourney-bound teams that had been D1 entries the past several years, the Rockets will be a force.

Coach Allisyn Furano-Foster: “In order for Needham to have success in the post-season we are looking to do the following:1. Play tough in all three zones; 2. Play three consistent periods; and 3. We need to be solid in the defensive zone in order to create offensive opportunities. We are excited for and appreciative of post-season play!”

Needham’s offense is spearheaded by senior captains Maddie Ledbury (28 pts) and Maeve Hymovitz (18 pts).

A defense that likes to get involved in the offense are senior Erika Stanton (16 pts), junior Sofia Berejik (10 pts) and freshman Abby DeAnzeris (12 pts). Junior Mina Brown handles the goaltending duties.

Maddie Soderquist

#12 Woburn (15-4-2)

Division 1 co-state champs in 2020, the Tanners will look to be a big factor in Division 2 this season. Don’t be fooled by their small roster.

ML Pineros Woburn

Coach Steve Kennedy: “I’m very proud of the girls for wrapping up the regular season the way that they did. Hopefully they can take away just how difficult it is to beat tough teams and to win close, one-goal games.”

Taylor Buckley Woburn

It will be tough to stop freshman Maddie Soderquist (30-11-41) and senior ML Pineros (15-18-33). Other key offensive players up front are junior Katie Pica (11 pts) and freshman Ella Spinazola (11 pts).

Sophomore Taylor Buckley (13-21-34) is a top-flight defenseman, assisted by junior Megan Keough (14 pts) and freshman Kate Sullivan (11 pts). The goaltending duties fall on senior Alyssa Wackrow.

Karaline O’Toole Archbishop Williams

#13 Archbishop Williams (12-5-3)

The Bishops have made great strides under first-year head coach Doug Nolan and could be a factor.

Coach Doug Nolan: “In order to do well we will need to use our speed and forecheck to create turnovers. I think the team is playing with a lot of confidence this year and they believe in each other. They push each other in practice every day and it is showing in the way we play.”

Grace Mottau Archbishop Williams

ABW’s offense is built around senior Karaline O’Toole (20 pts), junior Grace Mottau (24 pts) and freshmen Caroline Batchelder (22 pts) and Shea Nolan (22 pts).

Defensive duties fall on juniors Tori Bellew, Abigail Dunn and Abigail Murphy, and freshman Lily Donovan, while senior Amy Donnelly and eighth-grader Evelyn Lacey have given the Bishops solid netminding play.

Morgan Roach Norwood

#14 Norwood (17-3-1)

The Mustangs exploded out of the gates and kept on going to put up an impressive 17-win season, which they hope can continue for a little while longer.

Molly Federico Norwood

Solid offense has been provided by senior Marissa Cataldo, senior Morgan Roach, junior Jenna Naumann and freshman Molly Roach.

A defensive nuclues is built around senior Caeli Reed and sophomores Molly Federico and Lindsay Rogers. Junior Lily Newman takes charge in goal.

Irene Mandile Winchester

#15 Winchester (13-3-4)

A tough Middlesex Liberty Division schedule will have the Red & Black ready for anything they face in the tournament.

Coach Craig Seabury: “Our strengths have been secondary scoring and depth. We have three solid lines and solid team defense that limits opponents quality chances. We need as most teams know is solid goaltending. It’s the biggest factor throughout the state tournament.”

Annie Ettenhofer Winchester

Junior captain Irene Mandile (10-16-26), sophomore Carly Blumsack (13-11-24) and freshman Georgia Costello (14-11-25) have been the leaders up front for Winchester.

On defense, look for junior Annie Ettenhoffer (6-17-23) to be a huge factor. Freshman Luisa Ferrari had a solid year.

In goal, Winchester can go with either sophomore Molly Hillier or freshman Claire Zhang.

Sam McKenzie Falmouth

#16 Falmouth (12-7-1)

The Clippers will be a tough team to defend, as they have several players capable of putting the puck in the net.

Lucy Armour Falmouth

One of those players is senior Samantha McKenzie, who cracked the 100-career point mark earlier this season. Sophomores Jane Hostetter, freshman Hailey Ferreira and junior Taytum Cox can score. Juniors Chloe Champani and Abby McDonald are equally adept at forward or defense.

Seniors Charlotte Davis and Ella Sieger have lots of experience on the back line, along with junior Katie Shanahan and sophomore Gabby Ferreira. Junior Lucy Armour is very solid in goal.

#17 Medway/Ashland (13-6-1)

This team enters the post-season on a high, with a six-game winning streak. if M/A can keep the momentum going, they will be tough in the tournament.

Coach Karl Infanger: Our strength is our team chemistry. We have tremendous leadership in every grade and each school in the co-op.”

Medway/Ashland can score, as witnessed by the big numbers put up by offensive leaders senior Katie Crews (17-21-38), senior Maggie Lester (18-21-39) and junior Jenna Fitzsimons (15-24-39).

Senior captain Kathleen Fitzgerald (14 pts) and junior Emilie Infanger (6-17-23) anchor the defense, with help from sophomore Maggie Monaghan (12 pts), in front of senior goaltender Zoe Ratcliffe.

Danielle Cimino Wellesley

#18 Wellesley (11-8-1)

The Raiders also enter the post-season playing well, having won six of seven.

Morgan McGraw Wellesley

Coach Bob MacDougall: “One of the reasons for the turnaround was we found the right line combinations and we found confidence and trust in each other. We were a very inexperienced team early on in the season. We have very few players with significant varsity experience and with this being my first year, there was some adjusting to each other.”

Wellesley depends on all three lines, but scoring punch has come from senior captains Danielle Cimino and Grace Flannery, and sophomore Annie Gallagher.

Senior captains Kaitlin Braun and Morgan McGraw, and juniors Reese Griffin, Elie Maul and Rory Morton form the blue line group in front of sophomore Magnus Saunders in goal.

Laney Harrold Malden Catholic

#19 Malden Catholic (12-7-1)

The Lancers not only qualified for the tournament in only their second year as a program, they had a handful of notable wins, beating Woburn, Andover, Peabody/Lynnfield/North Reading and HPNA among others. They can’t be taken lightly.

Associate Coach Steve Hunt: “It is an amazing feeling to make the tournament in only our second year. It’s a testament to the type of young ladies that are on the team, and the hard work they have put in all season. We are a blue-collar team, so to make a long run in the tourney we will need to continue to play as a team, outwork and outskate teams.

Danielle DeJon Malden Catholic

Sophomore captain Antonia DiZoglio (25 pts), freshman Alyssa Jankowski (17 pts), sophomore Bella Gillis (14 pts) and freshman Mikayla Holland (11 pts) have spearheaded the offensive attack.

A stingy defense is fronted by juior Laney Harrold (10 pts), freshman Ava Baker (10 pts), freshman Aviana Panacopoulos and sophomore Julian Angiuoni. Junior captain Danielle DeJon has handled the bulk of the goaltending duties.

Isabell Hajjar Weymouth

#20 Weymouth (10-8-1)

The Wildcats had a solid campaign, with 10 wins, including a late-season victory over Braintree.

Ella Bates Weymouth

Sophomore Wren Abboud and freshman Ella Bates have been keys up front for coach Kaleigh Fratkin.

On defense, sophomore Isabelle Hajjar and freshman Angelina Palmer look to come up big.

#21 Barnstable (10-8-0)

The Hawks have been up and down all season. Nevertheless, they will still bear watching in the post-season.

Up front, sophomores Ally McEneaney (16-13-29) and Claire Hazard (8-12-20) have been providing some good scoring punch. Sophomore Grace Holden (9 pts) and senior Reagan Hicks (9 pts) have been involved as well.

On the blue line, senior Laura Cogswell (19-13-32) is a skilled, two-way performer. Sophomore Ryley King is another key on defense for Barnstable. The goaltending falls on sophomore Jayden Ghelfi or eighth-grader Codi Pickering.

Cassie McDonald Medfield

#22 Medfield (13-7-0)

The Warriors finished strong, winning three of four games. They own victories this season over higher-seeded teams Norwood and Medway/Ashland.

Katelyn Cardoso Medfield

Junior Cassie McDonald, senior captain Grenne Campbell, juniors Emily Hollander and McKayla Matthews and freshman Lily Shaughnessy are keys up front for coach Sarah Small.

Seniors Lily Goodman and Megan McTavish and junior Casey Donovan hold things down defensively in front of junior goalie Katelyn Cardoso.

Brynn McPherson Matignon

#23 Matignon (6-9-2)

The Warriors knew going in that low-scoring games would be the norm. They scored just 28 goals during the regular season, but don’t count them out.

Coach Tommy Scarpa: “I think our style of hockey frustrates opponents to the point where we’re patient and try to capitalize on their mistakes. We are more than capable of upsetting ranked teams when we play our best hockey.”

Gianna McCusker Matignon

Senior Kyleigh Green scored 10 goals during the regular season. Senior captain Alexa McKim (9 pts) and junior Mae Lafferty (8 pts) are two more scoring options up front.

Defense is a team strength thanks to senior Brynn McPherson (13 pts), junior Emma Pessia (10 pts) and sophomore Mia Moretti. Matignon is strong in goal with junior Gianna McCusker and sophomore Taylor Daly.

#24 Watertown (15-5-0)

The Raiders quietly put up a 15-win regular season, winning the Middlesex League Freedom Division.

Coach Erika Kelly; “Though I believe we may be under the radar, above or below the radar we focus on what we need to do each day. Our strengths are our team unity, grit and the ability to defy odds by never giving up.

Junior captain Margaret Driscoll and sister Molly Driscoll, a sophomore, are keys offensviely. On defense, junior captain Elizabeth Loftus and sophomore Aislin Devaney have big responsibilities.

Julia Flynn

#25 Franklin (6-10-4)

The Panthers boast a young, gritty team, with five freshmen playing regularly. They have been in every game they have played.

Coach Margie Burke: “We will depend on strong defensive play and offensively look to our veteran first line to lead us and give us the spark we need.”

Shaw Downing Franklin

That first line features senior Maggie McCaffery (10 pts), junior Molly Hurley (10 pts) and junior Avery Greco. Freshman Julia Flynn leads the team in scoring with a line of 12-7-19.

Defensive cornerstones in front of freshman goalie Izzy Brown are sophomore Lindsay Dennett and freshman Shaw Downing (12 pts).

#26 Boston Latin (11-7-2)

Being a Boston school, the Wolfpack were shelved for a handful of weeks early on, which led to a busy end of season. Still, Latin got to play just about every game on its schedule.

Coach Tom McGrath. “It was very tough scrambling for ice and sacrificing practice time to get them in .I believe we had three practices in the month of February. I know the kids would rather games over practice anytime but it is a must to practice. Special teams suffered the most, as you know special teams wins tournaments. We just compete like we have all year, stay loose as we have only five players with State Tournament experience. We want the girls to have fun especially with what these kids have been through last two years.”

Ava Enright
Boston Latin

The team’s only two seniors – Sarah Young (17 pts) and Sydney Hanlon (15 pts) – are integral parts of the offense, along with freshman Kiera Bruen (15-8-23), freshman Ava Enright (11 pts) and sophomore Maeve Murray (11 pts).

Sophomore Maeve Greeley and eighth-grader Phoebe Niese are keys on the blue line, fronting freshman netminder Kelly McKenna.

#27 Burlington (12-8-0)

With only three players that are either juniors or seniors, safe to say the Lady Devils will be one of the youngest teams in the tournament.

Coach Rick Sheehan: “We are young and play hard. We need to be consistent to be successful in the tournament. We are excited to be back in the tournament.

Offensive leaders are freshmen Lexi McKinnon (14-22-36) and Caitlyn Tremblay (11-24-35) and sophomore Shea McDonald (20-13-33).

Senior Sofia Wojtaszek, juniors Lizzie Boulos and Abby Sousa, and sophomore Mia Lauder make up the Burlington defensive crew.

Torrey Winrow Lincoln-Sudbury

#28 Lincoln-Sudbury (10-8-2)

The Warriors boast a bevy of talented younger players that could pose problems for whoever they match up with. First off it will be Natick in the opening round.

Coach Paul Hardy: “LS has focused more on moving and sharing the puck especially in the offensive zone. We’ve been getting plenty of zone time and scoring opportunities. We just have to work harder & smarter on burying those opportunities.”

Angelina Gleicher Lincoln-Sudbury

An all-sophomore line of MVC/Dual County League MVP Harper Friedholm (13-9-22), Torrey Winrow and Angelina Gleicher will look to score, as will a second unit of junior captain Helen Toland (11 pts), sophomore Libby Cohen (12 pts) and freshman Ally Quinn (14 pts).

On defense, the Warriors will look to senior Ellie Marchand, junior Anne-Sophie Ouellet (10 pts), sophomore Sophia Romm and freshman Anna Leverone. In goal, L-S has senior veteran Marissa Mazzochi.

#29 Walpole (8-12-0)

The Timberwolves out of the Bay State Conference are short on numbers, but not on hard work and competitiveness.

Elena Govoni Walpole

Coach Joe Verderber: “Our success will hinge on better defensive play and a continued aggressive team forecheck.  We have given up too many soft goals. Short bench so need contributions from all.”

Heading up Walpole’s offensive attack are senior captain Jess Tosone, senior Kate Devlin and sophomore Elena Govoni.

The defensive group features senior captain Bella Agahigian, sophomore Caity Colleran and freshmen Ava Dacey and Cassie Burke.

Maddie McDonald Norwell

#30 Norwell (8-10-1)

The Clippers finished their first full season in the Patriot League and look to surprise some of higher seeded clubs here in the post-season.

Coach Tori Dinger: “We need to come into the tournament with confidence in each other to play as a team. We need to remember all the hard work it took to get us to this point.”

Leading the way up front for Norwell are junior Maddie McDonald (19 pts), freshman Penny Saich (19 pts), sophomore Bella Burns (14 pts) and junior Lainey Burns (10 pts).

Three seniors – co-captain Lizzy Carnes, Lauren Bedford and Jane Smith – will be defensive keys. Nicole Prescott is Norwell’s junior goaltender.

#31 Hanover (8-8-2)

The Hawks feel like their are peaking at the right time, which bodes well for a first round matchup with second-seeded Braintree.

Coach Pam Manning: “The keys to our success this season have been balanced scoring, strong defense and great goaltending. Anyone and everyone on our team is capable of making the play that turns the tide in our favor.”

Sophomores Eva Kelliher (16 pts), Caitlin Fortuna (12 pts) and Erin Condon (11 pts), and junior captain Meredith DeCoste (10 pts) are solid options up front, along with freshman Sophie Schiller (12 pts).

On defense, junior Sarah Long led Hanover in scoring with 17 points. Junior Cailyn McCarthy and freshman Abigail Hanna, both eight points, are key blue liners as well. In goal, junior Samantha Burke has seen the majority of the time.

Ava Sullivan Framingham

#32 Framingham (8-7-5)

The Flyers are in the post-season for the first time in eight years, thanks to solid goaltending and more balanced scoring.

Coach Casey Diana: “The kids have worked so hard, and for our seniors to be rewarded with this opportunity after four years of adversity and tough times is the best send off we could ask for. For our younger kids, it sets the tone for years to come.”

Junior Mason Puumala (13 pts) and freshman Maggie Robinson (12 pts) have led the offense, along with junior Amber Welch and sophomore Mackenzie Coleman.

Senior Ava Sullivan, junior Ryen Taylor and sophomore Alix Russo have been steady on the blue line. The play of goaltenders Mikal Franklin and Liz Luong, who each started 10 games, has given the Flyers confidence.

Megan Malolepszy Central Catholic

#33 Central Catholic (14-5-2)

It is kind of odd seeing a team with the Raiders record as the 33rd and last seed of the bracket, but here they are, looking to continue their impressive season.

Natalie Belliveau Central Catholic

Coach Mike Collett: “This team is special. The first day we had practice they bought into our systems and outwork any team we play. The biggest key to our success has been our senior leadership and playing as a team.”

Top scorer for Central this year is senior and two-time league all star Megan Malolepszy. Senior Maddie Terry and sophomore Kailin Sullivan have had impact years, while senior Marissa McPherson and freshman Natalie Belliveau have contributed as well.

The defensive nucleus has sophomore Maddie Burke and freshmen Maddie DelVecchio and Sophia Powers in front of freshman goalie Cara Kuczek.

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