As of Tuesday, March 19, the New Trier girls hockey team approached the end of a successful season.
With a record of 25-0-2, these girls continued the strength, leadership and commitment from last year’s state championship to play Fenwick Tuesday night in the State Semi-Final.
That game decided if the girls would play in the championship at the United Center against either Loyola or their rivals from last year, Lake Forest.
With their incredible record so far in the regular season and playoffs, it’s exciting to see the progress and achievements this team has accomplished.
They defeated Loyola in the Quad-header, the first time in years, and are ranked number one of teams in the Scholastic cup and State tournament.
Nelson Forsberg, the head coach, has been at the helm for seven years and played back in ’99 when he was a student at New Trier. Proud and impressed with the performance the girls have showed throughout the season, Forsberg feels the team is looking positive and continues to improve.
“We have a ton of depth this year, and are very well rounded,” said Forsberg. “I think everyone continued to improve throughout the season. The passing has looked great towards the end of the year, and we are heading into playoffs with a lot of confidence.”
Other coaches include Jenna Maser and Gary Knabe, the goalie coach.
With an outstanding season, comes outstanding leadership. This year, senior Carolyn Hickey took the responsibility of being the team’s captain. Being in a different position this year compared to last, Hickey feels that in order to be an effective captain, you must be driven.
“It was a hard adjustment going from a junior to stepping up to be a senior captain,” said Hickey. “It’s a completely different role and a very different experience. I’m not the loudest or the best player, but I lead by example by being on time, being ready for games and performing my best.”
Having help from seven other seniors, the group leads with poise, determination, and a mindset to win. One of their senior stars, Katie Ratty, who is headed off to Dartmouth in the fall to play hockey, is a new player for New Trier this year and enjoys having a different experience.
“This has been my first year playing with New Trier,” said Ratty. “It’s fun and not as much pressure as my travel team, Chicago Mission. I love hanging out with the girls and experiencing school spirt.”
Even with such success, the team has experienced some hardships throughout the season.
In a game against Lake Forest, both Grace Dynek, a senior, and Nicole Diesling, a junior at Hersey High School, who is the team’s goalie, both broke their collar bones. Both plan on making a full recovery, but will be out for the season and will continue to motivate their teammates.
With a sudden need to replace their goalie, senior Claire McCain stepped up to the challenge, having never played the position of goalie before.
“It was a little rough at first, but my teammates had my back,” said McCain. “We have a goalie coach, so I get to practice separately with him once or twice a week. The team has been very supportive, I don’t feel much pressure from them, but I do have high expectations for myself.”
Claire’s twin sister, Sheila McCain, who is an assistant captain, knows the struggles that have hurt the team, but doesn’t allow them to effect their progress.
“We’ve had to overcome lots of adversity by losing two girls to collar bone injuries,” said McCain. “But you can still see the team dynamic on and off the rink.”