Published February 22, 2019
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—The Melrose High School girls’ hockey team was crowned Middlesex Freedom League champs after a 6-2 victory over Burlington on Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Burlington Ice Palace. With playoffs poised to begin next week, the 13-4-2 Lady Raiders are ready to keep the celebration going into the postseason and have cracked Top 20 lists.
This is Melrose’s second consecutive Freedom League title and the first for first-year coach Frank Sorrenti.
“This was a big win for us,” says the coach. “Much of this credit goes to the kids. They’re the most motivated players and hardest workers in this league. It’s terrific.”
He also gave the Red Devils their due on Saturday. “Burlington was a much improved team this time around, and in many ways, this game felt closer than the score indicated. But we were able to grind it out the win.”
Melrose enjoyed diverse goal contributors, with Marie Maher leading the pack with two goals. “This was a big game for her,” says her coach. Also scoring over the evening were Mairead Clark, Mckenzie Cerrato, Maggie Pierce and Maggie O’Donnell.
At the net, Courtney O’Connor limited Burlington to 2 goals over the game.
Melrose gave up penalties that resulted in the Red Devil’s two scores (one in the first, the other in second) But otherwise, the Lady Raiders defense was as fine as it has been all year. They’re also a group who’ve been able to score goals for Melrose. Says the coach, “Our defenders are a solid group, and we’ve seen players like Maggie O’Donnell generating offense. She’s one of the highest scoring defenders in the league.”
Offensively this year, Melrose has counted on double digit contributions from McKenzie Cerrato (a big 24 goals) and Maggie Pierce (11 goals). Meanwhile, freshman Emily Crovo has been an offensive mastermind.
“Emily is definitely a playmaker,” the coach says of his selfless forward. “Her work is what has set up those goals from McKenzie and Maggie. They benefit from her. She’s just dangerous with the puck.”
Melrose anticipates the Div. 1 North playoffs which begin this coming week. Seedings are released on Saturday. Melrose hopes to continue their stealth, under-the-radar campaign to earn some early-round wins.
The coach predicts good things. “We have stuff that we need to work on, sure. But the way our offense and defense is clicking, I wouldn’t want to play Melrose right now.”
Fans are encouraged to visit www.miaa.net and our Facebook and Twitter pages for up-to-date game information.
Middlesex Freedom League Standings
Melrose 11-3-2 13-4-2
Stoneham 11-4-1 11-6-2
Wakefield 6-8-2 7-11-2
Wilmington 4-8-4 6-10-5
Watertown 2-13-1 2-17-1
Burlington 0-16-0 0-20-0