Girls’ Hockey Moves On To Section Finals

Bartosz Janczuk, Sports Editor

The Girls’ Hockey team has been playing terrific hockey as of late. Riding a 5-game win streak into the first game of Sections, the girls smothered Woodbury in a 6-1 victory at home and will look to keep the momentum going.

Oddly enough, though, the expectations set for this team before the season began were not quite as optimistic as they evidently should have been. Junior captain Brooke Madsen explained, saying, “I think we’ve actually over-performed. We weren’t expected to be top 3 in our conference or the number-one seed in Sections, we just finished out really strong.”

Indeed, the team’s season seems to be defined by the split between its forgettable first half and its much-improved second half; the girls achieved an acceptable record of 9-6-1 in 2014 before finally picking up steam in this calendar year and finishing out with an impressive 7-2 record.

“I think we’ve just come together as a team,” stated freshman phenom Taylor Anderson. “We had some problems at the beginning of the season but we overcame them,” and Madsen added that, “At the start of the season, we were kind of “Meh” with the coaches [who are new this year], but now it’s gotten a lot better and we’ve got a ton of respect for them.”

Not surprisingly, both girls also mentioned each other when discussing the team’s success. Madsen is first on the team in points with 39, but Anderson is close behind with 36 goals or assists of her own. The freshman also highlighted the work of Katelyn Vrieze, the girls’ goalie, saying that “she’s made a lot of good saves and she’s just helped the team out a lot.”

Now, with an abundance of momentum and a healthy amount of talent heading into the second round of Sections, the girls aren’t selling their opponents short as they seek another State tournament birth. “We’re looking out for Hastings and Eastview, because we lost to Hastings in OT earlier this season and because Eastview is just always our biggest rival,” explained Anderson.

“No doubt, those’ll be good games,” concluded Madsen, “but I still definitely think we can make it to State if we play the way we want to play.” That sort of optimism has served the girls well this whole season as they’ve overcome inattention and underestimation, and one can only hope that they’ll be able to continue this win streak for a large portion of the remaining postseason.