The girls of the Medway-Ashland hockey team, which includes Holliston athletes, skated into a brand new season with a phenomenal start, winning their first two games.
In their first game, they won 4-3 against Mansfield-Oliver Ames and continued their success with a 3-1 win against Hingham, as noted on masshshockey.com. These wins are no surprise though because last year Medway-Ashland ended the season with a 14-5 record.
Although off to a great start, it has not been easy for the team due to recent, tragic events. A fellow player, Maddie Lamson, was killed in a car crash on October 30, 2015.
“The first two games have been emotional,” said Holliston High School junior Jennifer Tuttle, who has been a part of the team for two years. “At our first home game, we honored Maddie Lamson’s life with her family.”
Maddie’s jersey, number 11, was retired at this game to honor and remember her.
“None of us can really begin to describe the feeling of losing such a great friend and leader on the team,” said Ashland High School senior and captain Kasey Thoresen in an e-mail interview. “Whether it be a practice or a game, her jersey is always hanging up. Wherever we go, she comes with us.”
Last season, three seniors graduated from the team– Ellen Strang and Meaghan Croke of Holliston as well as Kathryn Hamer of Medway. Even with three seniors leaving, the team continues to thrive as members of the Medway-Ashland team have stepped up to fill their spots.
“This year our captains, Kerrynn Goode and Kasey Thoresen, and our freshman goalie, Rachel Gittings, have been amazing” and “have been helping to lift this team,” said Tuttle. But every member of the team in every single game has “a chance to be a hero,” she added.
According to Tuttle, Falmouth is the toughest competition for Medway-Ashland because Falmouth keeps the teams “neck and neck.”
Even though the Medway-Ashland team is a combined one, their bonds are just as strong, if not stronger, than a single town team.
“I remember them introducing themselves to each other, including which town they were from and the end of that meeting was the last time individual towns were discussed. We were one team for Medway-Ashland,” said Coach Kurt Carter, who has coached the team since its inception back in 2009.
The idea of a joint team does not bother the players one bit either.
Carter said that when he attends his player’s field hockey and lacrosse games the first thing he sees is the girls running up to hug each other before and after the games.
“We play very well together. We act like a family on and off the ice,” said Tuttle.
The ultimate goal for girl’s hockey this season is to go to TD Garden in honor of their captain, Maddie Lamson, according to Tuttle.
And how do they plan on reaching this goal? By “practicing hard” (of course), said HHS junior Ashley Fondo who has been on the team since her freshman year. “I think our team has a lot of potential. We just need to work really hard this year and play for Maddie and then I think we’ll make it far.”
The Medway-Ashland team along with all other girl’s hockey teams have other struggles, as well. Many people view hockey as a boy’s sport but that does absolutely nothing to bring the team down.
“At the beginning of every game, Coach Kurt asks us, ‘Do you want to be treated like girls playing hockey or hockey players?’ We always say hockey players,” said Tuttle.