(written and photographed for Somerville Patch)
With the 2011-12 Somerville High winter season about to begin, Somerville Patch will be previewing all seven of the Highlander teams. Unsure how the Highlanders did last year? Want to know who might impact the upcoming season? Just want to know when the first game is? Read on and find out.
Girls’ Ice Hockey
2010 record: 12-6-2 overall; 2-4-0 in GBL
Somerville girls who want to play ice hockey have since 2007 played on a co-op team with girls from Cambridge Rindge & Latin. Though they’re called the Falcons and wear Cambridge’s black uniforms, coach Kevin Mitrano says integration hasn’t been an issue for his Highlander players.
“It’s been pretty seamless,” Mitrano says. “The girls, they know they’re here to play hockey. There are really no problems.”
Somerville-Cambridge qualified for last year’s postseason, but they lost in the opening round to Westford. With a 2011-12 squad composed entirely of returning players, Mitrano says his team will try to make it deeper into the playoffs despite a small roster.
“We’re going to have two solid lines,” Mitrano says. “And because I knew that we weren’t going to get a lot of new players, we did some off-ice training before our on-ice practice.”
“It shows on the ice that they have the stamina to play the whole game with only the few players that we have.”
First 2011 game: Sunday, 12/11 at Beverly, 6 p.m.
Home Opener: Saturday, 12/17 vs. Marblehead at Simoni Skating Arena, 5:20 p.m.
Somerville players: Kelli Hagerty, sophomore defenseman
“Probably our top defenseman,” Mitrano says. “Just a good all-around defenseman. She’s very smart when she rushes the puck. She can get back quick and really defend in front of the net.”
Rachel Cooper, senior forward; 2010 Greater Boston League All-Star
“She’s good at feeding the puck to the middle, to people in front of the net,” Mitrano says. “She’s good at pushing the puck up the ice and really being an offensive threat.”
Cambridge player to watch: Nicole Giampa, junior forward; All-Conference Team
“I think she had 36 or 37 points [last season], which are big numbers,” Mitrano says. “She’s a girl that other teams double-team all the time, and they really focus on her.”
Key to the season: Smart hockey
“Not staying on the ice too long,” Mitrano says. “Really picking and choosing when you’re going to rush the puck, or when you’re going to exert that great amount of energy.”