Girls hockey defeats South, claiming Liggett tournament title


By Lindsey Ramsdell and Michael Hartt

In a 4-1 victory, the girls varsity hockey team prevailed over the Blue Devils on Friday, Dec. 22. The win named the girls as champions of the Liggett tournament, a mini, non-district tournament hosted annually by University Liggett School.

The team was led by sophomore Clare Murphy who scored a hat trick in the game, and sophomore Maddie McIntyre who also added a point. Senior captain Kylee Banaszewski contributed an assist, and credits the team’s success to their preparation for the game.

“We changed our style of play specifically to defend (South’s) strong points, and we stuck to our planned plays really well, so we played well,” Banaszewski said.

To get to the championship game against South High School, the girls first had to defeat University Liggett High School, which they did on Wednesday, Dec. 20 with a 4-2 lead. Their wins in the tournament put the team at an overall record of 9-2. Also participating in the tournament was Ladywood High School.

The girls hockey team received an entirely new coaching staff this year. They are now coached by Casey Quick, a North alumnus, assisted by English teacher Emma Huellmantel who also played North hockey.

A decline in participation this year left the team with a smaller roster than previous years, with just 15 girls. But senior goalie Erika Benoit has seen the team unite to overcome this difficulty.

“We bond well as a team and we all work together to make our team a whole,” Benoit said. “There’s no individual players who carry the team, we all work together as a unit to win.”

Benoit adds that the team needs to maintain their motivation throughout the season to advance their winning record. Banaszewski has set a similar goal for the team.

“(My goal is) not to let our recent success make us too confident, because we still have a lot of big challenges ahead of us and we have to keep up the intensity to keep winning.”