Williston girls’ hockey is dominating on the ice this year. They are also, undeniably, a family.
“The girls are an awesome awesome group, and they’re so close and tight knit,” said Coach Alex Tancrell-Fontaine. “I’ve never been a part of a team as close as these girls.”
Gabby Dicomitis says that, “I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we’re pretty much together almost the whole day. Honestly, our team chemistry this year has been outstanding compared to the past two years I’ve been here, and it’s just because we have a lot of positive energy.
“I think it [the team dynamic] has changed so much,” Ryan added. “I think people actually like each other and aren’t afraid to talk in the locker room or even work hard on the ice.”
“I feel like the freshman feel like so much more comfortable than I did,” Tori Palumbo reiterates.
The Girls Varsity Hockey team is one of the most successful on campus, and has been this way for years. Over the last four years, their record has been an incredible 71-14-9, and 13-1-1 this season.
This team plays in Division 1 of the NEPSAC and has a 28 game schedule, including two holiday tournaments.
Girls Hockey has had five postseason runs over the past six years. They have won the Winchendon Invitational for the past four years, since it began. The Winchendon Invitational is the second of their winter break tournaments.
Head Coach Christa Talbot Syfu, Coach Tancrell-Fontaine and Coach Erin Davey run the team. Their commitment to working together, just like their players, is evident.
“We sort of all are experienced and know information about each position. As far as on game day like standing on the bench,” said Tancrell-Fontaine. “I sort of handle the defense, because that’s what I played in college. Ms. Davey helps on the forward end, and Ms. Talbot sort of covers everything.”
Tancrell-Fontaine played hockey at Union College. Talbot played at Providence College and Davey played at Connecticut College.
The team has gotten so much better over the last few years. Alexis Ryan said, “My freshman year we weren’t as strong. We made it to playoffs but we were [a] seventh seed and didn’t make it any farther than that, so it was a growing year and then we got so good so I think it’s good to know where the team came from.”
Talbot believes that the team’s success comes from the players themselves.
“Our team’s success is based on our girls wanting to be their best and having high expectations for themselves,” Talbot says. “They work hard on the ice, in the off season and are committed to bringing their best every day.”
The team does “not have captains this year… there is leadership in all the grade levels throughout the team,” according to Coach TF.
Many of their players go on to play both Division 1 and Division 3 ice hockey in college. Seven players are currently committed. Last year there were eight seniors; five went Division 1 and three Division 3.
Alexis Ryan is committed to Middlebury for both Ice Hockey and Track & Field. Tori Palumbo ’18 is committed to the University of the New Hampshire for Field Hockey and Ice Hockey. They are one of two pairs of defense partners on the team.
Coach Tancrell-Fontaine is confident Palumbo will succeed next year both on the ice and on the field.
“Tori I think, out of anyone I’ve ever known, she’ll be able to manage it the best,” Tancrell-Fontaine says. “The way she’s able to balance things is amazing, both she’s very passionate about so it’ll be really great to see her pursue both at UNH.”
Williston has one of the oldest girls’ team. It began in 1983.