Norwood Girls Hockey in Tournament Play

Christopher Tremblay
Issue Date: 
April, 2018
Article Body: 

The last time the Norwood girl’s hockey team graced the MIAA Division 2 Girls Ice Hockey Tournament was 2015 when the Mustangs opened up with a convincing 5-1 win over Dedham, but then found themselves on the short end of a 2-1 game against Plymouth North/South. Entering this season, Norwood was looking to advance back into the tournament after a two year absence.
“We haven’t played in the tournament the last few years and our goal coming into this year was to change that,” Norwood Assistant Coach Molly Barefoot said. “Our goal was to definitely go .500 and make the tournament, but we were hoping to be north of ten wins.”
The Mustangs accomplished that by finishing the regular season with an 11-8-1 record earning themselves a 12 seed in the Division 2 Tournament.
Entering the season, Norwood had only lost one senior in addition to a couple of other skaters who decided not to return to the ice. Head Coach Tim Coskren and Barefoot knew they had holes to fill, and if they could, returning to the tournament would be in their sights.
“We knew that we had issues to fill, but it was rumored that the incoming freshman class was very strong,” Barefoot said. “Six freshman made the team, with three of them taking regular shifts for us this season.”
The three first-year varsity players making an impact was Kayla Clifford, Maeze Glavin and Maggie Curran. Clifford, a defenseman ,and Glavin, a right winger who started on the third line but found herself on the team’s topline by the end of the season, are both very natural athletes. Glavin, a soccer player in the fall for Norwood, was a very disciplined and skilled player that came into camp with a very strong work ethic.
Curran, the tallest player on the team at 5’ 9” without skates, played the wing on occasional shifts possessing a strong presence on the ice.
In addition to the incoming freshman, Norwood was surrounded by its talented seniors: Captain Franki DeVingo (defense) and Assistant Captains Meghan Quinn (center), Maddy O’Rourke (wing) and Ally Naumann (defense). All four take regular shifts on the ice for the Mustangs, but it is the captain who is the leader.
“Franki is as strong leader, who leads by example,” Barefoot said. “She is respected by her teammates for her hard work and dedication and is the only one on the team who has been here since her freshman year.”
With a majority of their games being within one or two goals either way, goaltending has been a very key factor in Norwood’s success this winter. Sophomore Jenna Mazzolla, last year’s back-up, moved up to take control of the starting position between the pipes and has solidified the position with her strong play.
“She has come up huge for us this year,” Barefoot said. “We knew that she was going to be good, but she has definitely exceeded our expectations. We were confident in her ability and she quickly proved that she could handle the position.
Having Mazzolla as the last line of defense on the ice has been of importance to the Mustangs success as Norwood doesn’t really have that stud scorer.
“We don’t have a super star goal scorer," Barefoot said. "Look at our point sheet and we are very even across the board. It took us almost have a year (8 games) to figure out the top lines, and when we eventually did, the girls started scoring.”
Sophomores Allie McDonough and Allie Martin ended up being the Mustangs top snipers. McDonough was the team’s top goal scorer last year and Martin has added another threat to the Mustang’s offense.
After qualifying for a trip to the tournament, the Mustangs grabbed a 3-2 win over Cohasset-Hanover in the preliminary round with Martin scoring the game winner with just four minutes left in regulation in what was a very even game throughout.
“Entering the game, the girls were really excited to be there, but found it very stressful as they were in unfamiliar territory," Barefoot said. "Once the game began, they settled down and played an even game with each team taking 27 shots on goal. Winning a tournament game was an unbelievable feeling, but the girls knew that had they lost they’d be going home. They didn’t want that and buckled down and played tough.”
After getting though the preliminary round, Norwood saw their season come to an end with a 2-0 loss to Dennis Yarmouth.