BY RANDY SCHULTZ –
The St. Mary’s of Lancaster girls high school hockey team is entering it’s third season of play in the Girls High School Varsity Ice Hockey Federation.
There has been improvement shown in each of their first two seasons of play. In that maiden season of play, which saw the Lancers go winless (0-14-1) and finish in ninth place in league standings, to last season which saw St. Mary’s finish 2-12-0 and an eighth place finish.
This season sees nothing but continued improvement for St. Mary’s. And that is the way St. Mary’s coach, Marty Gilano, sees it as well.
“When we play our game which is high intensity, play our system, trust each other, get the pucks deep, put a lot of pressure on the opposition and get a lot of shots on goal.
“That is our recipe for winning.”
There is more to Gilano’s coaching philosophy.
“The first thing is to stay healthy,” continued Gilano. “I want the players to be good to each other and be good teammates.
“I think if we play for each other and fight for each other and really build the culture that we’re going to win the Lancer way. It starts in the lockerroom and goes from the inside out.”
Like many coaches, Gilano believes experience can help any team. He believes that the experience many of these players have received over the past two seasons can only help to improve his team this year.
“I’d say these players have grown up quite a bit over the past year,” stated Gilano. “A year makes a big difference.
“Plus, we have two freshmen on the team this year in Shea Hall and Meg Donnelly. Plus, we got one transfer student, Emma Babcock. These three will help the team.”
The veterans the coach referred to are returning juniors Gabby Bellacose, Riley Kumrow, Danielle Cottrell, Alanah Pagano and Samantha Hatt, as well as the lone senior on the team, Reece Gall.
Add to that the sophomores returning who include Gabe Lowell, Lauren Gilano, Avery Szczesek, Brooklyn Vitez and Julia Durkin.
The one position Gilano feels solid about is goaltending.
“We feel very fortunate to have two number one goaltenders on our team with Avery Hall and Betsy Accurse.” Said Gilano. “Whoever gets hot is going to play more.
“It’s exciting to know what whomever I put in goal for a game we’re going to be good.”
(Photos by Janet Schultz Photography/NY Hockey OnLine)