By Gabriella Sorrentino, Assistant Sports Editor
The ice hockey team, led by coach Frankie Francese, assistant coach Cathryn Danielczyk and senior captains Riley Francese and Carolyn Litwin, began its second season in early November. The team is currently ranked second in New Jersey on nj.com’s ranking as of Jan. 30.
The team opened with its first game on Dec. 10 and have already improved upon their inaugural season’s record of 0-4 by earning an overall record of 6-2 so far. Notable victories include a 3-0 victory over Princeton Day, a team the Monarchs lost to last season, a 5-3 win against the formerly-undefeated Pingry School, and a 5-3 come-from-behind win against Oak Knoll in the first round of the Prep State Tournament. They also displayed their talent and skills with deciding victorious against the Academy of the New Church (Pa.) (9-0) and Randolph High School (14-0). The team’s only two losses this season were against the top-ranked team in the state, Morristown-Beard, by a score of 5-0 in the regular season and by a slimmer margin of 5-3 in the second round of the Prep State tournament.
“It feels really good to be winning so many games this year,” sophomore Elisabeth Clements said. “We’ve been working hard during practice, and it’s cool to see it pay off in games.”
Their record has been a reflection of the hard work of the athletes as well as the addition of new members. The team gained six new freshmen this season, which almost doubled the size of their roster. The returning athletes have also increased their skills and, as a team, they have been putting together systems and strategies that have given them a competitive edge over the competition. This includes practicing in the mornings at the Red Bank Armory, where they run drills, review plays and occasionally scrimmage.
“My experience with the girls has been outstanding,” coach Francese said. “They always bring such a high work ethic and level of competition to the rink…I have never worked with more dedicated and coachable players in all my years of coaching. Their knowledge of the game is very strong and their desire to learn more and improve their game is even stronger.”
Sophomore Maddie Reynolds, the team’s goalkeeper, was recognized as nj.com’s Dec. 10-16 player of the week for her shutout against Princeton Day School. Clements leads the team in scoring with six goals, sophomore Noelle Turek has five goals so far this season and freshmen Alyse Borras and Alyssa Laurino each have four. Sophomore Adriana Crepaldi leads the team in assists with eight. (Statistics were as of Jan. 30.)