Girls force overtime with Medfield
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE — The Melrose U10 girls’ hockey team finished their season in true David vs. Goliath form when they nearly upset Medfield during playoffs on March 30 at Arlington Rink.
When the the team started a few months ago they struggled coming out of of the gate but, according to coach Joe Clark, the team grew together as teammates while learning the game. “We have a few older girls and some brand new to the game. We had 7-year-olds playing against 10-year-olds. Despite this there was a huge progression over the season.” By the end of the regular season the spunky players had made playoffs. However, they were poised for a rematch against Medfied, a team who had beaten Melrose badly in the first round.
Melrose had Audrey Zinck (second grader) at the net and the dynamo fended off shots as skillfully as she has all season. Both teams swapped leads throughout the game, and when Medfield went ahead with six minutes left, Melrose’s Maggie Pierce tied it up with two minutes left. With less than a minute to go Melrose was down by one goal before Bridget McAvoy scored to tie it up with 8 seconds left. Pierce worked her magic with nearly a buzzer-beating goal as the clock expired at the end of regulation but it was ruled null. The result was a sudden death overtime game that no one would have predicted.
Ultimately Melrose fell to Medfield in sudden death, 5-4, but the plucky Melrose athletes, with plenty of games left in them, proved they saved best for last.
“What was most special was seeing these girls go from strangers to teammates who learned to be a competitive team in the process,” says Clark.
Leading their 2015 campaign were their players: Lucy Clark, Kate Doucette, Nanina Fabrizio, Ellie Ferris, Freya Gukelberger, Gwen Gukelberger, Ciara Kovacev, Sofia Leung, Bridget McAvoy, Julia McNeely, Meghan Palmer, Maggie Pierce, Bridget Price, Caitlin Price, Emily Waden, Erin Walsh and Audrey Zinck.