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The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

New girls varsity hockey coach has an immediate impact

Girls varsity hockey team commemorates win with a photo

As the daylight in winter gets shorter, days of commitment and hard work only grow longer for members of the girls varsity hockey team (GVH).

Guided by a new coach, their passion and motivation are stronger than ever as they take on the new season.

Sarah Schwenzfeier is the new head coach of GVH, and just over one month into the season, her positive impact is evident, and the team has already improved on their record of 3-17 from last year to 4-8.

Schwenzfeier began playing hockey at 7-years-old at a youth program. She played at the high school, club and then the collegiate level at Norwich University, a Division III women’s hockey program. Following her four years at the collegiate level, Schwenzfeier played professionally for the Connecticut Whale.

Schwenzfeier said that after working at numerous camps and clinics, she wanted to get back into coaching and start developing teams. Schwenzfeier, along with new assistant coach Brandon Beal, decided to coach GVH.

“This opportunity opened up, and it kind of was the right time. I think this team has a lot of potential, and they just needed a new refresh, and it’s a great time to start here,” Schwenzfeier said.

Junior and captain Izzy Paes has been playing on GVH for three years. She believes that the new coaches have aided in changing the narrative of hockey and have inspired players to work harder.

“I think it’s changed how people see hockey. People are trying a lot more and they’re working hard and they’re dedicated to getting better,” Paes said.

According to Schwenzfeier, she takes a hands-on approach when it comes to coaching GVH. She said that highlighting specific elements of hockey in practice and working on them benefits the players during game time.

“We try to incorporate different aspects of the game and use different drills to mimic those to work and perform better when it comes to game time,” Schwenzfeier said.

Sophomore Clara Thibault said this coaching method helps the team because they are more prepared for games.

“It’s really good because it means that we can always be ready for different games because every game is different, and if we were repetitive, we wouldn’t get strong in every department,” Thibault said.

Schwenzfeier said she emphasizes the importance of having fun while playing as it helps players feel more relaxed, leading them to perform better in games.

“If you’re kind of harping too much on scoring goals or winning games, you start to kind of get nervous and start making wrong choices even though it’s just your nature to know stuff,” Schwenzfeier said. “I think if you have a little bit more upbeat, happy atmosphere, they start to naturally remember stuff and just do it out of habit versus always thinking.”

Thibault said that having a good coach is imperative to the team as it makes players more comfortable and further bonds them.

“We have a better bond, and we always know where each other are when we’re playing and we just work better together,” Thibault said.

Schwenzfeier said she is taking a step-by-step approach for the remainder of the season. Schwenzfeier believes that taking things slower will eventually have a big impact on the team.

“I think right now it’s more beneficial just to look at the next game ahead and prepare for that one,” Schwenzfeier said. “If you do that one game at a time, it’ll progress into more throughout the season.”

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