With a three-goal flurry in the second period, the top-seeded Williston Northampton Girls Varsity Hockey team secured a second straight NEPSAC Chuck Vernon Elite 8 championship trophy Sunday—and in the process an undefeated season.
Skating to a 4-1 win over No. 2 Phillips Andover at Taft, the Wildcats put the exclamation mark on a 27-0-1 campaign.
In the 2023 final, it was the high-scoring second period that put the game out of reach. Zola Piekarski ’26 got the scoring started on an assist from Emily Crovo ’23 and Ava DeCoste ’23, then Crovo scored on an Andover turnover it its own defensive zone to put the Wildcats up 2-0. Three minutes later and on the power play, the Wildcats got their final goal of the period when Miranda Calderone ’23 scored on assists from DeCoste and Corvo.
The final goal for Williston came late in the third, as Monique Lyons ’24 scored on an empty net.
Williston maintained a dominant advantage in the game through strong forechecking, as the Wildcats kept Andover penned up in its own zone for large swaths of the contest. But as the third period wore on, Andover tried ratcheting up the pressure on Williston. That’s when Wildcat goaltender Olivia Ferebee ’25 made her presence known.
The goaltender came up with several big saves in the period, including on a pair of dangerous breakaway opportunities, to keep Andover from building any momentum. By the time Andover’s Julia Simon scored on a power play opportunity late in the third, the game was all but over.
Crovo was named the Outstanding Player of the Tournament. The win in the championship game came 24 hours after a dramatic 1-0 semifinal win, in which Williston and No. 5 Noble and Greenough needed an overtime period to find a winner. In that game, Crovo scored the winning goal 30 seconds into the extra frame. To see pictures from that game, click here.