Cross Excited About Young Team’s Potential
By: Rich Maclone
Prepare yourself to be surprised. On paper, the Falmouth High School girls’ ice hockey team does not look as strong as ones in years past. There aren’t any true marquee names on the roster and none of the players have put up the type of statistics that jump off the page.
Still, Head Coach Steve Cross can’t help but smile when he talks about the potential for this year’s team and beyond. Sure things are going be a bit tough early on this season, with games against Milton and Hingham to start. They’re bound to be difficult, but when February rolls around and the MIAA is releasing the brackets for the Division II state tournament, there’s a very good chance that Falmouth will be in the mix and a better chance that they’re going to be a team that no one is going to want to have to play.
Cross’ optimism stems in large part to an influx of talented, young players and a nice chemistry that already seems to be forming around the team. This year’s Clippers have more of a happy-go-lucky feel and enough talent to turn some heads.
“Oh I think that we’re going to surprise a few people,” Cross said. “I think we’re going to be one of the harder working teams and it’s going to surprise a few people.”
Falmouth’s top line is brimming with speed and will leave opponents gasping for air. The two wings, sophomore Ally Skelly and freshman Alexa Scribner, both have the ability to put the puck in the net and boast good skill sets. Skelly played a good deal last year as a freshman and is looking to break out this year. Scribner has the hands to put pucks away and also plays with a controlled edge.
Centering the top line is another youngster, sophomore Amy Wilson. Last year Wilson got better and better with each game, and as the quarterback of the top line, she will get the puck where it needs to be and use her smarts and abilities to make things happen for the maroon and white.
The second line could be just as dangerous for opposing foes. Center Devin Seibt, a senior co-captain, has been a regular since her freshman year and will probably contend for the team’s top goal-scorer spot. On her wings will be junior Abby Haddad and senior co-captain Allie Gage. Haddad is a tough player who will score some goals and brings both speed and muscle to the ice. Gage, who is also one of the three co-captains on the team, is a smart player who works her tail off and is always hustling.
Tay Kitts is the third-line center and the sophomore has been Cross’s most pleasant surprise during the preseason. After sitting out her freshman season, Kitts returned to the ice this winter with gusto and has shown that she can make things happen as both a strong skater and a shooter. Catherine Parkinson will also see time as the third-line center for FHS. The strong, physical player is working her way back from a concussion suffered in soccer season. Shannon Spellman and Mikaela Beaton, both juniors, will be the wings on the third line.
“All four of them are going to see plenty of time,” Cross said.Leading the defense is perhaps the best blue-line player in the league, two-time all-star Brenna Callahan. The junior is a physical player who likes to get into the mix on the offensive side of the ice. Also a highlight for the FHS defense is the third member of the captaincy, senior Anna Bohnenberger.
"Anna’s tough and a she’s a good role model. With Anna, you know what you’re going to get,” Coach Cross said.
Alexx Good and Maddie Tasha will also be in the starting mix of defenders. Good had a strong freshman season a year ago and is looking to build on that. Tasha is a big-time prospect with a ton of talent that according to Cross “is going to open some eyes.
”Also playing defense for Falmouth will be Emily Lennox, a junior, and Brittany Lawler, a freshman. Both will see time and work their way in.In goal Casey Eustis is the go-to person between the pipes. Eustis came on during the second half of the season a year ago and showed that she had No.1 stuff, and now the job is hers.
“We’re relying on her a lot,” Cross said. “She showed that she had what it took to be a legitimate number one goalie and now we need her to continue that.”
Elizabeth Rennie will be the team’s backup keeper. Rennie is a good leader and role model and is working her way back into the mix in terms of hockey skills. She’s looking forward to improving with each practice and could contribute as the season goes on in a positive way.
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