She doesn’t play like an eighth grader

8th grader Liv Doucette is a goalie for Marblehead’s girls hockey team. Photo by Libby O'Neill

The Marblehead girls hockey team lost its starting goaltender prior to the season. That said, in the flash of a pad, disaster turned to a dream.

Eighth grade goalie Liv Doucette  – whose role on the team has drastically changed – has taken advantage in impressive fashion.

There was a time when Marblehead coach Brittany Smith was unsure if Doucette was going be a part of the team this season.

“Liv decided to join the team later in the process,” Smith said. “Liv has been on the ice since the first practice, and I am grateful that she is on the team as she has been a big part to our success this season.”

Speaking of that first practice, Smith saw Doucette’s talent right away.

“Liv was solid in net immediately,” Smith said. “Liv is fast and is very good going side-to-side while in net. She is just a good, all-around goalie, which is rare considering her age.”

Since then, Smith has seen tremendous growth in Doucette’s play.

“Liv was a little nervous in goal at the beginning of the season,” Smith said. “But as she gained more experience throughout the season, she has now become an aggressive goalie which is her true style of play. It has been a pleasure to watch her development progress this year.”

A perfect example of Doucette’s development came in a game against Beverly. The Magicians may have fallen 3-2 in overtime, but you-know-who recorded 39 big saves.

“Liv was amazing against Beverly, and really gave us a chance to win,” Smith said. “Beverly is a good team, and for Liv to have that kind of performance against them speaks volumes. This was only Liv’s sixth start of the season, so I cannot wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for her.”

Despite all of the praise and encouragement, there are areas Doucette would like to improve in.

“I really want to continue to get better at controlling rebounds and making more stops in net,” Doucette said. “I feel confident that I can, and will, continue to improve in these areas.”

That said, Doucette is aware of other aspects in her game that have improved since the start of the season.

“I feel my communication when I am on the ice has gotten so much better,” Doucette said. “I also feel much more comfortable when I am in net, which has helped me have better performances, especially lately.”

The biggest change, according to Doucette:  competition.

“I felt pretty good about how I would perform coming into this season, but the biggest difference was the level of play and competition at the varsity level,” Doucette said. “These games are played at such a faster pace, which did take some time getting used to. I feel I have gotten used to this pace and can handle it much better now.”