By Melanie Cane
In their first year as a member of the Women’s Interscholastic Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic (WIHLMA), which is comprised of 11 teams, Rye Country Day School's Girls’ Ice Hockey team garnered first place and won the league championship tournament. The Wildcats achieved an 8-0 record in the league and shut out both teams in the Annual WIHLMA Tournament in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, over the February 18 weekend.
The Wildcats pummeled Princeton High School 8-0 for the semifinal win. They defeated Mater Dei Prep from New Jersey 4-0 for the championship title. Freshman Caroline Appleyard netted a hat trick. She scored her first goal shorthanded, off a breakout pass from Olivia Friedberg. For her second goal, she went with speed off a deflected pass. An empty net goal completed her hat trick. Ryan Hammil rounded out the scoring on a tip from a screen in front off Selia Coady shots from the point.
Wildcat goalie Lexi Secreto had 18 saves. Her teammates got off a total of 31 shots.
This was coach Elizabeth Bennett’s first year with the team. She attributes their success to a seamless blend of experience and leadership from the upperclassmen and energy and enthusiasm from the underclassmen and eighth graders.
“Senior captain Olivia Weaver and junior assistant captains Maddie Zuber and Katherine Holtby brought an intensity to the team that the younger girls bought into,” said Bennett. “Maddie Lyons, who attends Holy Child and has been on the Rye Country Day team since eighth grade, was very vocal and motivational for the girls. Kristen Brown provided quiet leadership and positivity that is unrivaled and fellow senior Elena Kim, a first-year player, a willingness to try something new, created an infectious return to the simple love of the game for many of the more experienced players.”
Bennett added, “The girls played their best when it really mattered. They made it very easy for me as a coach. It’s an easygoing group of girls who get along terrifically and come to practice ready to work hard and try new things.”
Rye Country Day School is the only high school in Westchester County with a girls’ ice hockey team, and it’s something to shout about.
The Wildcats with the WIHLMA championship trophy
Photo courtesy of Wendy Haft