by Blake Krantz
Girls’ Hockey, 3-10, was eliminated from state tournament contention in a 4-3 loss against Weymouth Saturday, an “energetic and fun” matchup in which the Tigers “played together as a team,” according to senior Alexa McAuliffe, a captain with senior Megan Lenihan.
McAuliffe added that it is unfortunate that the team failed to qualify for the state tournament this season, but it was still an enjoyable year.
“I think this team has a lot of heart and it shows in games we’ve played against teams like Weymouth and Needham. I think this season has had both its highs and lows, but I love this team and everyone on it,” she said.
Despite the end result on Saturday and the seemingly low number of wins on the season, the team has seen progress and improvement continually throughout the winter. Coach Bob MacDougall labeled turnovers in both the defensive end and neutral zone as an area to practice from early on, particularly in the team’s passing and breakouts.
As MacDougall explained about the process in practices, “what I find effective when things aren’t going right is to go back to the start and build back from there, and I think that has paid off for us. The girls could have easily just gone through the motions, but they are invested and they want to improve as a team and individuals, which is nice to see.”
According to Lenihan, the team has “progressed in ways such as picking each other up during the season,” and all of the girls “support each other and want each other to play their best.”
As a captain, Lenihan has tried to maintain positivity and a good mindset this year for the Tigers, a responsibility which includes “making sure in between periods that everyone picks their heads up even if we are down a few goals,” she said.
Part of this morale and unique team chemistry can be attributed to the younger players as well, in addition to Lenihan and McAuliffe as the senior captains, according to MacDougall.
This year’s team has a “great mix of kids” in the program, as MacDougall put it, with both experienced seniors and energetic underclassmen as key pieces for the Tigers.
“They have worked well together,” MacDougall said of the mix, “The seniors feel invigorated because the young kids have that excitement, and the younger kids learn how to approach the games and manage the ups and downs. They all learn from each other.”
The Tigers will now look to end the season on a positive note in the final two weeks. The senior game is this Saturday, an experience which is both “exciting” and “sad” for McAuliffe.
In the final stretch of the season, Lenihan emphasized the need of “playing our hardest every time we step on the ice for the end of the season,” one in which Lenihan has enjoyed seeing the Tigers evolve as a group.