Even though the Princeton Day School girls’ hockey team won 10 games for the second straight season, Lorna Gifis Cook believes her squad made progress this winter.
“Overall, I was happy,” said second-year head coach Cook, whose team posted a final record of 10-8.
“I thought we played well. I thought we were competitive in just about every game. We stayed competitive against the better teams, we only lost 3-0 to Rye Country Day and 6-3 to Morristown-Beard.”
The Panthers proved to be more competitive in the Women’s Interscholastic Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic (WIHLMA), finishing in the top four to move up to the league’s “A’ bracket after winning the ‘B’ bracket the year before.
While PDS fell 6-1 to Portledge School (N.Y.) in the ‘A’ semis, Cook thought the score was deceiving.
“I was very happy with the effort, we played them three times and we made improvement each time,” said Cook.
A key factor in PDS’s consistently good effort this winter was the contribution of the team’s trio of senior captains, forward Zeeza Cole (12 goals and 8 assists this season), defenseman Louise Hutter (1 goal, 3 assists), and goalie Daisy Mase (480 saves, .897 save percentage).
“They made the contribution that I expected,” said Cook. “Having a senior at each position, every one of the younger players had a captain they were comfortable talking to. They showed a strong work ethic on the ice. The program is moving forward and a lot of that is due to them.”
In Cook’s view, her team’s come-from-behind victory over Pingry in early January exemplified the progress PDS displayed this winter.
“I look at our home game against Pingry where we went down 3-0 and then came back to win 4-3 as an example of our attitude all season,” said Cook.
“We never gave up, we were always working hard, and we concentrated on scoring one goal at a time. In that game, we moved Colby [Triolo] to forward and moved Mimi [Matthews] back to defense. Mimi reinforced our defense and Colby had a lot of big plays on offense, she made her teammates better. Seeing her score her first high school goal on her first shift at forward was cool. Mary [Travers] getting a hat trick showed what kind of player she was. She got big goals for us, she had two against Shady Side and the game winner against Summit.”
With a group of juniors that features Lexie Fairman (1 goal, 5 assists), Abby Sharer (3 assists), and leading scorer Robin Linzmayer (19 goals, 7 assists) in addition to Triolo (4 goals, 7 assists), Matthews (2 goals, 9 assists), and Travers (10 goals, 5 assists), Cook sees better things ahead for the program.
“I am excited about having a big senior class next year,” said Cook. “They are important to us and we have players on the way to help them and give them as good a senior year as possible.”
In Cook’s view, PDS is on track to be a major player in the WIHLMA.
“I want us to consistently finish in the top four in WIHLMA and to be able to compete for the title,” said Cook. “It is within reach if we add more depth.”