Girls hockey holds its own in C&I league

In first C&I season, girls hockey on the rise.

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Lauren Boyd shoots the puck away from the Vineyard goal. — Lexi Pline

The Vineyarder girls hockey team improved to 6-10-2 on the season last week, beating Latin/Fontbonne Academy 6-4 early in the week before losing 5-0 on Sunday to Sandwich High School, in a Cape and Island League (C&I) meet.

Senior captain Lauren Boyd got the offense going early against Latin/Fontbonne with the first of her two goals in the game. Freshman Ingrid Gunderson scored her first career varsity goal before Ava BenDavid and Skyla Harthcock scored to put the finishing touches on the win.

Coach John Fiorito is a happy guy these days, because his family welcomed Rocco Fiorito into the Island community on Jan. 11, the first Island baby born in 2020.

He’s also impressed with his team’s effort in its first season in the C&I, after nearly a decade in the smaller-school Eastern Athletic Conference. “This is a tough league for us. Unlike other sports, there’s only division because of the small number of teams [seven] with girls hockey. So we get to play large schools like Falmouth and Barnstable,” he said.

With six wins, the Vineyarders have already matched their total wins in 2019, with four left to play. They won’t be going to the tournament, but “qualifying for the state tournament is always the goal; we have been able to compete in the C&I. The loss to Sandwich was an outlier. They scored in the last minute of the first period, and the first and last minute of the second. We’ve been in nearly every game. We’re just not as deep as some other teams. C&I is tough because there’s no one dominating team, but four or five very good ones,” he said.

Fiorito was pleased with the effort of young’uns like Gunderson and Skyla Harthcock, a senior and hockey newbie.

“Ingrid has worked hard, and is getting more ice time. She had her first career point, an assist, earlier in the week. Skyla shows what a smart athlete she is after playing hockey for the first time last year. She’s got five or six goals in, really, her first year,” he said. 

Like every Island high school coach, Fiorito keeps a close eye on the youth programs for his sport. “There are some great players there, maybe a year or two away [from high school], but the days of our team being dominated are over. I think we can say that,” Fiorito said.

The Purple play on Monday, Presidents Day, against Norwood, then suit up Thursday, wrapping up their home schedule with the annual senior game against Nauset.