BLS Girls Hockey Back on the Rink

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Boston Latin Girl’s Hockey made it to Division 1 state semifinals during the 2019-2020 season.

By Lilah Gutlerner (II), Staff Writer

Almost a full year after its impressive 2019-2020 season, Boston Latin School girls’ hockey takes to the ice once again. After clinching the Dual County League (DCL) championship title for the third year in a row, the team was hoping to get the chance to do it again this year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, their season has only just begun on January 11, a full two months later than it normally would.

At this point last year, the hockey team would have already almost secured themselves a spot in the DCL championship tournaments. But this year, they have only played two games and are still adjusting to the COVID-19 restrictions.

In response to these restrictions, senior co-captain Ellen Linso (I) says, “Masks were hard to get used to playing in at first, but eventually you get used to the new restrictions.”

Wearing a mask is not the only thing that the athletes have had to adjust to. Each day before practices or games, every player must complete a daily COVID-19 screener form, stay as physically distant as possible and drive separately to games, as there are no buses.

It’s no surprise that many of the girls on the team were incredibly disappointed that this season would be shorter and that there would be no opportunity to qualify for the state tournament this year.

Zada Stuart (I), however, remains grateful and optimistic for the season. She notes, “Since we are starting a little bit later than other teams in our league, we have to get in shape and build our chemistry faster, but everyone has been showing up and giving it their all, so I think we’ll be seeing more wins soon.”

While there are many setbacks to this 2021 season, it is also important for the girls’ hockey team to see the potential benefits it can get out of this year. Sarah Young (II) says, “We can get an idea this year of what we could improve on next year by having a few games.” She feels confident that they will be able to use this season to help prepare for next year, especially by diagnosing strengths and weaknesses and letting younger girls step into leadership roles.

Part of preparing for an even stronger season next year includes setting goals that the players hold themselves accountable for. The team lost their valuable seniors last year and their co-captain, Olivia Temple (I), who is out this year because of a shoulder injury.

Stuart adds, “[Our goals are to] definitely still to win every game we play, but I think this season will be more about building our strength as a team and coming back next year to finish what we started last season and win the tournament.”

Our BLS girls’ hockey team started this year at a deficit compared to the other teams in the DCL, who have all been practicing for over a month. They, however, still held their own and put up good fights in the first two games, which is a wonderful sign for the games to come. There is no doubt that they will continue to bring great things to the ice for BLS.

At the end of the day, Linso, just like the other girls on the team, is grateful for the chance to play this year. She says, “Last season was amazing and definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We aim to continue with the same effort as we did last year and appreciate every moment we have together on the ice.”