Girls ice hockey attributes improved record to influx of experienced players

The PHS girls ice hockey team saw a renewed interest by PHS athletes, which contributed to its record-breaking season. After finishing its two previous seasons with records of 0–16–1 and 2–11, the team finished their 2014–2015 regular season with an improved record of 7-8.

“I guess [the reason for our improvement is] a combination of returning players who have gotten better, as well as some new players who have definitely added to our skill level, … [and] we’re meshing well,” said Co–Captain Isabelle Sohn ’16. “This year it seems like things are working out for us and we’re having a lot of fun.”

Setbacks the team faced in previous years included a loss of players due to injury and a lack of scoring. This year, however, Head Coach Christian Herzog observed that the team was more skilled and concentrated overall.

“I think the focus [was] there this year; we [had] our eyes set on … [winning] games,” said Allie Callaway ’16.

Campbell McDonald ’15 and Callaway both played ice hockey as freshmen, but then left the team. However, both girls returned to play this year. “As one of the field hockey … co-captains [from last fall], I knew that both of my co-captains Lucy Herring ’15 and Julia DiTosto ’15 have been playing [ice hockey] since freshman year … so we decided [that] it would be great if we all played ice hockey,” McDonald said.

There have been a number of field hockey players who have had renewed interest in playing ice hockey this year besides McDonald and Callaway, including Jordyn Cane ’17.

“It is so great having Jordyn on the team as one of the younger, burning fires to keep us going,” Callaway said.

“Jordyn definitely was a big pick–up … She’s got good hands, as far as stick-eye-hand coordination, from field hockey,” Herzog said.

According to girls who participate in both sports, transitioning from field hockey to ice hockey is not easy. “Ice hockey and field hockey are very different, but they also have similarities, so it was [interesting] to see how the girls from the field hockey team transitioned into ice hockey [and] how those skills [carried] over,” McDonald said.

Because field hockey skills translate well to ice hockey, Herzog had regular talks with the field hockey coach ahead of the season to find out who were some possible players he could work with this year.

Along with the experience of the field hockey players,the leadership from the seven seniors contributed to the improved record this season. “I think [the seniors] have added a lot to the leadership of the team [because] they’re really focused and the younger girls always look up to older girls who have been playing,” Sohn said. “It adds to the camaraderie of the team to have senior players who are so involved and so willing to be there.”

“Players like [seniors] Lucy Herring and Brittney Coniglione [are] really nice to have in the leadership position because they’re all really strong players who help us out a lot on the ice and are just great girls off the ice as well,” McDonald said.

Next year, Callaway and Sohn hope to improve more and build upon their success. “We’ll try to [get some early practices in] … to feel each other out before the season begins,” Callaway said.

“I think we are encouraged by the success, and can do even better next year,” Sohn said.

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