A year ago the Falmouth High girls’ ice hockey team flourished with a young roster and scored a pair of MIAA tournament wins before bowing out to a very good Notre Dame Academy club in the quarterfinals.
The postseason was fun, but head coach Brian Ferreira and his Clippers are turning the page onto a new season, one that will begin with a trip to Martha’s Vineyard on Tuesday, December 17.
“We’re still very young,” Ferreira said. “They all have 20 or so games under their belts, but it still seems like a very young group.”
It seems that way because it is. The Clippers employed a waiver last year that allowed 8th grade players to suit up for the varsity team, which finished 11-7-2 for the year. While most of the team’s 12 freshmen did play a lot a year ago, and some in major roles, the fact of the matter is that they are still just freshmen.
“It hasn’t seemed like a continuation of last year. They’re still getting their legs. We should definitely be at least as good as we were last year, but we’re still getting there.”
A year ago the young players came into the preseason having played a full autumn schedule with their respective club teams. This year, as high school students, a number of the players were involved with other sports during the fall, with many field hockey and soccer players on the FHS girls’ ice hockey roster.
Once they are in hockey shape, and back into the flow, the Clippers should be on their way to another state tournament in March. The team returns the bulk of its goal scoring, as well as several starting defensemen and its top goaltender.
Goalie Lucy Armour was good in her first year, and played her best in big games. Coach Ferreira said that she has been playing well through the team’s scrimmages and looks ready to go. Backing her up will be sophomore Kylie Waggett, who had never played organized ice hockey before this season. Waggett, whose older sister Brianna is one of the team’s captains, is an excellent field hockey keeper who was persuaded to give the ice version of the game a try by her friends and family.
Falmouth’s defense should be strong. Leading the way will be senior co-captain Cate Brodie, a five-year varsity player who plays a physical brand of the game. Freshman Abby McDonald and junior Abby Roman were both regulars in the lineup last year on the back end. McDonald came on strong during the second half of the season, and Roman has been steadily improving throughout her career. Freshman Chloe Champani will skate a regular shift and has shown promise. Senior Rylee Green has shown improvement, coach Ferreira said, and has had a good preseason. Junior Charlotte Davis, senior Kate Cole and freshman Caroline Sullivan will round out the back end of the ice for FHS.
Up front, sophomore Sam McKenzie looks to build on an excellent freshman season that saw her jump from three goals as an 8th grader to 20 as a freshman last year. Senior Erin Boudrot, who has moved up the depth chart quite a bit the last two years, and the speedy Meghan Azzato (9 goals, 10 assists) will start the year on the first line with McKenzie.
The second line should produce a lot of goals as well. Katie Shanahan moves up to center after playing on defense a year ago. A strong all-around player, Shanahan had two goals and three assists while playing on D last year. Right wing Ryann McDonald lit it up her 8th grade season and was the second-leading scorer on the team, netting 12 goals. Caitlin O’Malley, a senior, will be on the other wing to start the season.
Sophomores Lola Russell and Jamie Roth will team with co-captain Brianna Waggett on the third line for the Clippers. Adding depth at forward are freshmen Taytum Cox, Natalie Bosselman, Ally Underhill, Eliza Roman, and Greta Oberacker as well as sophomore Ella Sieger.