By BOB YORK —
When you have as many freshmen as you have seniors dotting your roster, and the game you’re playing is an all-hands-on-deck-sport such as hockey, you can feel pretty sure you’re looking at a pretty long season. A bunch of seniors usually means extended play due to a postseason invite. An overload at the freshmen level, meanwhile, can often translate into youth, inexperience, and rebuilding – and a long season, period.
With the Big Green girls hockey program splitting its senior-to-freshman ratio right down the middle this season at five each, the season’s outcome might still have been in doubt. After tossing four juniors and three sophomores into the mix, however, it appeared Deerfield’s long season would take the latter course.
“We were a young team this year and therefore, had some rebuilding to do,” said coach Genevieve Triganne of a team that went 6-17-1 on the season. “The kids hung in there all season long, however. They took their lumps and learned from the experience. “
Triganne’s praise of her players’ ability to hang in there all season long certainly rang a chord, as her charges claim to fame may have well been that trait. Of the 17 losses they suffered, 10 of them came by a margin of two goals or less. And the close calls followed them all season long. Their first loss – in their second game of the season – came via a two-goal deficit, while they went down to defeat in their season finale by a two-goal margin as well.
Not all the close ones went the other way for the Big Green this season, however, as it hung in there to knock off Exeter by a 2-1 margin in overtime, while it outlasted Andover by a 1-0 count. If Deerfield were able to reverse heartbreaking 1-0 losses to Hotchkiss and Pomfret and 2-1 setbacks by Northfield Mount Hermon and New Hampton, it could have closed down the season inching toward a .500 season.
The good news out of all this is inevitable, despite still having a young squad, Triganne will have plenty of experience. In fact, probably the best news of all is that she has her top six scorers returning to the roster.
That list of firepower is led by Kayla O’Connor (”14), who finished the season with 19 points on eight goals and 11 assists. Second on that list is Katherine Jackson (’15), who was named this year’s Most Valuable Player after collecting five goals and 10 assists for 15 points. Next in line is Devinne Cullinane (’14), who produced 14 points on nine goals and five assists. Senior forward Mettler Growney , meanwhile, carted off the team’s Seventh Player Award.
Maryanne Iodice (’14), the team’s top scoring defenseman this winter, contributed four goals and five assists to the cause, as Lucy Lytle (’15) had seven points via a pair of goals and five assists. Taylor Morash (16) got her prep school hockey career off to a fast start by netting five goals and one helper to ring up six points.
Joining Iodice along the blue line this season were Kylie Davis (’14), as well as Ryan Logie (’13), Elana Van Arnam (’13) and Kelsey Gallagher (’13).
In goal, Triganne was blessed with both experience and youth as Hannah Insuik (’13) and Emily Yue (’16) shared the goaltending chores. The duo combined for a 2.79 goals against average and four shutouts. Insuik finished her career with a 2.61 goals against average and a .903 save percentage, while Yue maintained a 3.0 goals against average and an .865 save percentage.