The MVRHS girls hockey team is pumped and ready to go. After a productive preseason that included captain’s practices in the fall and recent back-to-back scrimmages against powerful Needham High, the girls eagerly await their season opener versus Latin Academy/Fontbonne Academy on Saturday at the Ice Arena.
“This is a very interesting year for our team,” said 10-year Head Coach John Fiorito. “We will begin to see the fruits of the MV youth hockey program. We have eighth, ninth graders who represent the first graduating class of the program.”
Senior captain Lauren Boyd echoed the sentiment. “We’re excited about the incoming freshmen,” she said. “They have a strong instructional background, and will bring competitiveness to the team.”
Those freshmen join a group of veterans that includes five seniors and four juniors. Every indication is that the mix is a positive one. “We have a great group of older leaders,” said Coach Fiorito, “starting with Lauren and fellow seniors Amelia Simmons, Megan Zeilinger, Skyla Harthcock, and Alex Rego. The veterans have reached out to the kids and have offered support both on and off the ice.”
The influx of ninth graders is not the only interesting twist for the upcoming season. The girls hockey team will be joining the Cape & Islands League this year. This means a tougher schedule. “We’ll be facing teams like Falmouth, Dennis-Yarmouth, Sandwich, and Barnstable twice each,” said the coach. “It’ll be a challenge for us.”
That schedule will be an obstacle as the team pursues a major objective. After a string of four consecutive state tournament appearances, the team has now missed the tourney four years running. “We hope to accomplish something this season that we haven’t done since 2014,” said Coach Fiorito. “It’s been a theme in our meetings and practices.”
The dedication is there. The captain’s practices in the fall were well-attended, and created team bonding. Two promising efforts against Needham built confidence. According to the coach, the freshman skaters “showed their potential” against Needham. He also cited the solid goaltending of Amelia Simmons, junior Maria Frangos, and freshman Sarah Hartenstine.
Lauren Boyd, another standout versus Needham, typifies the spirit of this determined, close-knit team. “I’m a senior,” said Lauren, ”and this is my last chance to make the state tournament. I think we can do it.” No one close to the team doubts that this group of girls is up the task.