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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

Girls varsity hockey comes together as a team

Girls varsity hockey at one of their many bonding events to bring their team together.

Every year, teams watch their players come and go. A group of players leave and make room for brand-new additions, ready to turn a new page and gear up for a fresh season. However, a new team also brings on a series of new challenges to be faced.

The girls varsity hockey team has seen some changes this year, including a new head coach and having a team on the younger side. The players are working hard to have a great season and build a cooperative community.

Junior and captain Izzy Paes said the new additions to the team have been helpful and she has high hopes for their potential.

“With the new coaching this year, you can tell that they actually want us to win. They are really dedicated to making the program better than it was last year,” Paes said. “We also have a bunch of new freshmen who are really dedicated to getting better, and I see potential for us to be good this year.”

Freshman Seraphina Ritzenthaler said the upperclassmen on the team create a great environment where everyone feels welcomed.

“When I first joined, I thought the older girls were really intimidating. But, we’ve all formed a great connection, and we did it pretty quickly,” Ritzenthaler said. “I think we’re good at playing as a cohesive team.”

Despite this, the team lost 11 members from last year’s team, either those who just graduated or who chose to discontinue participating in high school hockey this year to focus on playing for a club or switching to a private school.

According to Paes, this can be attributed to the unsteadiness the team has experienced in the past couple of years.

“Our freshman and sophomore years, for my grade, it was hard. A lot of us that came in really cared about hockey, but there were a lot of people on the team who didn’t try, and many of the coaches just gave up and stopped caring,” Paes said. “Our coach, Nick, left in the middle of the season, which messed us up a little, and we started not playing as well. People got frustrated with the team, it was tough on everyone, so some people probably felt that the best thing to do for themselves was to leave.”

Junior Suejin Koo chose to balance playing for both the East Coast Wizards Junior Club (Juniors) and the Warriors. Koo said the decision to play for both teams stemmed from the value she holds in both experiences.

“A week or two before the high school season started, my friend told me about what playing on Juniors was like. So, I decided to go try out and they offered me a spot and I took it, but I ultimately decided to do both because I really wanted to keep playing with the people on high school,” Koo said.

According to Koo, a major factor in the decision to play club for herself and many others is the resources clubs offer for college recruiting.

“The environment in club is very different. Not everyone on the high school team wants to play in college, but the environment at Juniors is specifically for people trying to be recruited, and they give you a lot of support for that,” Koo said.

Paes said while it is not unexpected that players want to leave to focus on recruiting, it’s rare that the team loses so many players in one season.

“You see it more with our grade in particular because we had such a big group of hockey players in our class. Freshman year there were about ten of us that have been playing hockey since we were about three, making a bigger group of people looking to commit,” Paes said.

Koo said despite the challenges they’ve come across with losing older players, the team has still become relatively successful with more potential to grow.

“I’m really excited to see us develop,“ Koo said. “We’ve got some great additions, and I really want to see how our team changes from last season and also how we will change throughout this season.”

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