The Marblehead girls hockey team (3-9) is looking to finish the season strong after a difficult start. With just seven games remaining, head coach Brittany Smith is looking for her team to “put their all into each game.”
“We were so close in many games,” Smith said. “I think there’s a little bit that we’re lacking and I think that comes with maturity and understanding of the game.”
Understanding of the game, indeed. Marblehead didn’t have many returners from last season, with Smith adding she had to “relearn” some systems to adapt to all the newcomers – even some first-time hockey players.
“Power play, forecheck, and our penalty kill system,” Smith said of some changes. “Some girls are new to hockey, which has its own challenges.”
However, those who returned have been more than helpful according to Smith, calling the returners “strong” and a “good group.”
Captain Hannah Tsouvalas, in particular, has been playing an important leadership role.
“Hannah has been a great captain, and one of our top goalscorers. She leads the team both on and off the ice,” Smith said. “She knows when to help the girls and how to help them. It’s great to see her develop in that role.”
The Lady Headers have suffered from some tough competition (December into early January). That said, Smith has tried to keep the locker room positive.
“We were in a little bit of a rut. We just tried to keep the motivation up for the girls. All the games for the most part were close,” Smith said. “It was just a couple of tweaks we had to work on and we did that last weekend.”
They certainly did. The Lady Headers beat Gloucester (2-1) and Newburyport (3-0) which Smith described as a “nice pick-me-up.” Smith called the win against Newburyport “the highlight of the season.”
“We knew we could play with them [Clippers], but only if we put in the 45 minutes of work, and that’s what we did,” Smith said. “They’re a strong team, so I was happy to see that we beat them.”
The future is bright for the Lady Headers – very bright. The team consists of a seventh grader, a few eighth graders, and several freshmen.
“Our playing roster is definitely on the young side,” Smith said.
Marblehead loses three seniors next year, but Smith is excited to see how her team ends this season. She also wants her players to prove to people in the conference – and the division – that “we are a better team than our record shows.”
Marblehead has its first chance of doing that Thursday against Medford with puck-drop set for 7:30 p.m. at Salem State.