Facing setbacks, PHS girls ice hockey turns to team bonding and new talent

Being one of the only sports teams at PHS with morning practices and long commutes for games, the girls’ ice hockey team recognizes the importance of team bonding and camaraderie in order to overcome the hardships this sport brings.

“We can all count on each other and trust each other with anything…[hockey is] a good way to make new friends,” said Ella Chauder ’20, a goaltender and first-year player on the team.

“It’s a real team sport. You always work together and you’re always bonding with each other,” said Co-Captain Maggie Herring ’17, who plays both forward and defense.

This season, Herring scored seven goals and seven assists, scoring a total of 39 goals and tallying 29 assists over her four years as a starter. She has had the highest number of points among her teammates for the past three years and has been named MVP as both a freshman and a sophomore.

<span class="credit credit- "><a href="/credit/"Valeria/" title="View all of this person's work">"Valeria</a></span> Alexa Zammit ’18 defends against a forward from Summit High School in an 8–5 loss.

photo by Valeria Torres-Olivares
Alexa Zammit ’18 defends against a forward from Summit High School in an 8–5 loss.

Along with co-captains Alexa Zammit ’18 and Olivia Corrodi ’19, Herring uses her experience to help the newer, less experienced players on the team keep a positive mindset and improve on the ice while strengthening friendships and bonding as a team.

“I have to remind the team that [we] can’t get too down if we lose…we just have to try our hardest and score as many goals as we can,” Herring said.

“I really enjoy being a captain because I get to help out the younger players a lot and give them tips”  Zammit said. “It’s really amazing to see how much they improve over a whole season.”

Zammit plays defense and scored seven goals and tallied three assists over this season, contributing to a total of 15 goals and five assists over her three years so far.

As of February 14, the team has an overall record of 2-8 and is soon going to play in the Women’s Interscholastic Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic playoffs as one of the only public schools participating. Head Coach Christian Herzog sees this playoff as a chance for his players to both experience something new and learn from the sport itself.

“I think it is a great opportunity for female athletes that might not have had the opportunity to learn the game of ice hockey,” Herzog said. “It’s not always [about] the wins and losses…[ice hockey] builds character, accountability…it will help you define who you are.”

After losing some strong players last year, such as former captains Izzy Sohn ’16 and Sophie Corrodi ’16, the team has gained experience as a result of new players in the underclass. This group includes Victoria Zammit ’20 who, in her first season, has already scored 14 goals and tallied six assists.

“This year we have a lot of new skaters [who] picked up on stopping and pivoting much faster… it was a big improvement,”Herring said.    

Despite facing some tough losses, such as a 3-13 loss against Mater Dei on February 10, Herzog is confident in his players’ ability to improve over time, bounce back, and hold their heads up no matter what. Herzog hopes that this year’s struggles will drive the girls to improve in upcoming seasons.

“I tell the girls…‘Look up at the scoreboard; remember what the score is… at this time next year, there is no way the score is going to be like this. Next year, it will be flip-flopped and we will be putting the beating on them,’” he said.

“[Hockey] is a positive experience for the girls…It’s not only a great time and opportunity, but something that is worthwhile as well,” Herzog said.

 

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