Varsity Girls Hockey Players ‘Worked Like Crazy’ to Repeat as NEPSAC Champions

This article originally appeared in The Willistonian.

Girls Varsity Hockey defeated Andover 4-1 to take home the NEPSAC trophy for the 2nd consecutive year.

The team, led by coaches Christa Talbot Syfu ’98 and Alex Tancrell-Fontaine, won the Chuck Vernon Elite 8 Trophy for the first time in program history last year. The team repeated on Mar. 5, traveling to Taft and earning a decisive win.

After an undefeated season, ending 24-0-1, the Wildcats headed into the postseason set to battle Loomis, who had handed them their tie earlier in February.  They defeated the Winged Pelicans 3-2 and advanced to the semi-finals against Nobles, who they beat in the championship game of 2022.

Six-year team member Katherine Kang knew that after last season’s win, there would be a challenge ahead.

“Coming off of last years success, there was definitely a pressure for this season,” she said.

Junior Emily Hamann echoed Katherine.

“We obviously graduated a lot of great talent last year, and we knew many people doubted us coming into this season,” she said. “Instead of letting this intimidate us, our team put our heads down and worked like crazy.”

She continued to highlight the tremendous teamwork that went into the successful season.

“I am obviously proud of winning the trophy, but I am more proud of the team we became while winning it,” she said.

The assistant captain highlighted the team’s mantra, “always earned, never given.”

“This mantra aways reminded us that no game or opportunity is a given, and that our success only comes with constant hard work,” Katherine said.  “We often remind ourselves that no game is won by simply putting on the Williston jersey but earning every inch of every period.”

On the first day of break, the team faced off against Nobles in Lossone and after three fast periods, the teams headed into overtime scoreless.  Just 30 seconds in, Emily Crovo ’23 scored on a pass from Zola Piekarski ‘26, giving Liv Ferebee ‘25 the well-deserved shutout.

The girls captain, Emily Crovo, had quite the postseason. In the match against Loomis she earned her 100th career point in the green and blue, an honor that only eight players have received before.  The Melrose native, who is known around campus as “Crovo, ”was named tournament MVP.

Crovo reflected on her years on the ice as a Wildcat with pride.

“I feel like I’ve grown a lot since coming to Williston.  Not just as a hockey player but as a teammate and leader,” she said. “Every day showing up to the rink after that first day was filled with excitement,” she recalled. “Even as a senior I still [have] the same excitement, probably even more.”

She continued by saying, “I had tremendous upperclassmen to look up to my freshman, sophomore and junior year.  These kids taught me what it really meant to be a good teammate.”

Now the senior captain is one of those leaders for her own underclassmen teammates.

Freshman Zola Piekarski gives her captain a lot of credit.

“Crovo was the type of captain that every team needs,” Zola stated. “She never made it about [herself] and instead worked tirelessly to foster a cohesive and supportive team environment where we all had an important role to play.”

Emily Hamann agreed.

“I know I am speaking for everyone on the team when I say that Crovo is an inspiration for every single one of us, both on and off the ice.”

Crovo recognized and praised everyone that she has met along the way.

“The Williston Hockey team is my second family and I need to shoutout my current and former teammates and coaches for all their support in my career here.  They are all examples of our team motto: always earned, never given.”