Warriors seek to rebound from winless campaign a year ago
Published in the December 10, 2015 edition.
By DAN MARGARITA
WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield Memorial High girls’ hockey team is preparing to begin another season this Saturday night and coach Jack Foley likes being able to return some veteran players as the Warriors seek to rebound from the winless season they had a year ago.
“We probably have eight or nine regular players coming back from last year. We have four to five forwards and probably two or three defensemen,” said Foley.
The team will be led by captains Julianne Bourque and Megan Horrigan and also see the return of veterans Gabby Nadolny, Meaghan Kerrigan, Olivia Cameron, Courtney Hill, Vanessa Kaddaras and Brooke Lilley.
Bourque and Horrigan are both seniors. Bourque, an all-league player a year ago, is one of Wakefield’s top forwards and Horrigan plays defense.
Nadolny and Kerrigan are both seniors and both played forward a year ago.
Cameron, Hill and Kaddaras are all returning sophomores. Hill played defense last winter and Cameron was a forward. Kaddaras can play either forward or defense.
Lilley, a forward, played as an eighth grader last winter. She returns as a freshman veteran.
With a fairly even split up front and in the back, Foley hopes for more consistency with this year’s squad. Wakefield posted an 0-16-4 overall record a year ago and was 0-12-3 in the Middlesex League Freedom division.
“I’m hoping that we’ll be a little more balanced. I hope we’ll be a little stronger both offensively and defensively. We struggled at both ends of the ice last year a little bit. I’m hoping that with some of the kids that have come up to kind of fill in some of the gaps, we have four or five eighth graders that are going to play quite a bit. So we’re hoping that they’ll help us be stronger across the board,” Foley explained.
The main area of concern for Foley is goaltending but the coach was able to obtain a waiver from the MIAA to bring up Cailyn Wesley from the eighth grade.
“At the moment we think we’re going to going with an eighth grader. We graduated Miriam Wood from last year and so we have a girl who’s up with the team and it looks like she’ll be our starting goalie. She’s been playing all along, playing hockey for a while so she’s going to jump in. We do have a girl who skated with us last year and is learning the position so she’ll be the back up. That’s Jackie MacDonald.”
Wood was an honorable mention in the league a year ago and was a standout between the pipes. That is a big hole to fill for Wesley and MacDonald. MacDonald is a junior and was a forward last winter.
As for the Middlesex League powerhouse teams, Foley pointed to the usual suspects, although he noted that once again the league as a whole is strong again.
“I think the teams that were strong last year should be strong again; Reading, Winchester, Woburn’s always a strong program. Lexington has a good program and we don’t have any weak teams in our league any more. Pretty consistently for the last five, six, seven years the league’s been pretty balanced. I think Burlington will be good again in our division. Stoneham will be a little better. Watertown will still be a decent team. There are no easy nights in the Middlesex League,” noted Foley.
Wakefield opens up the season on Saturday night at 7:50 p.m. when it faces Woburn at the O’Brien Rink. Since the Warriors will play Woburn twice this year, Saturday’s game will count as a non-league contest.