Having climbed a good portion of the mountain for the past few years, the Norwood Girls Hockey team has yet to get to the top. Having lost in the semi-finals in overtime four years ago, the Lady Mustangs have been ousted from the Division 2 South Hockey Tournament in the quarter finals for the past two seasons.
Norwood has racked up a total of 28 regular season wins and two tournament victories and although they will be losing six skaters, including five starters, Coach Tim Coskren is optimistic that his team will once again be ascending the mountain this winter, but unsure how high they will get.
“As I coach you would like to repeat last year’s performance, buy unfortunately we lost some really strong dependable players,” Coskren said. “I’m not going to lie, it’s going to be tough, but things are unseen until the season begins. We will definitely be competitive in the league; how we do will all depend on the girls stepping into the skates and how they react.”
Defensively, the Mustangs said goodbye to Bay State League All Star Heather Folan and Katie O’Brien. On the other end of the ice, Norwood lost forward Karen Colomey and center Jenny O’Donnell, the team’s number three and four scorers respectively.
On the bright side Coskren will have his top two snipers returning to the lineup this year. Coming back for another season will be leftwing Kacie Smith and center and co-captain Emily Kelly; last season each athlete scored around 40 points.
“In order to have any success, we need these two to repeat what they did last year,” the coach said.
Freshman Corey Hayes will be paired with Smith and Kelly, while Lisa Moynihan, Shelia Carroll and Sammy Hayes will make up the second line. Bella Asrinwall may also see some time on that second line as well.
“Sheila and Bella are somewhat similar players,” Coskren said. “Most likely one will play defense and one will play offense. At this point it looks like Shelia will be on defense and Bella would be a forward, but who knows, things could change.”
Other lines will consist of Samantha Shea, Hannah Gillis and Sydney MacQuillen and Casey MacDonald, Molly Newman and Abey Glaser. Defensively, Norwood will have Shannon Gillis and senior co-captain Colleen Glaser as well as sophomore Erin Kelly and freshman Tori Phillips vying for time.
Between the pipes will be third-year starter senior Samantha Baturin, with Marguerite Lee as the back-up. The Coach has seen Baturin progress all three years she has played for the Mustangs.
“Samantha has improved every year since she began playing for us,” the coach said. “She was shaky that first year, but this past season played a lot and although it’s still early this year, she has already looked much better.”
If the likes of Smith and Kelly can put up the numbers they posted last fall and the younger athletes step up, Norwood should have no problem at making that climb up the mountain, and who knows, may actually reach the peak.