BY OLIVIA POOLE, ABBY WIDELL —
On Friday March 4, and Saturday March 5, the co-op girls hockey team, with players from University School of Milwaukee, Whitefish Bay, Divine Savior Holy Angels, Nicolet, and Shorewood took second place at the State Championship. The team won their first game 4-2 against Central Wisconsin but lost the final game to Hayward with a score of 4-1, still ending what has been a great season on a positive note.
It was the first year as head coach for Jacob Haury, who has been a part of the program for three years, previously as assistant coach. “We surpassed a lot of expectations this year, with eight freshman, we should have been in a rebuilding season,” Haury said, “but with the commitment we had this year the girls did really well.”
Students that attended the game spoke very highly of the experience. “The game was really fun with really great energy– four coach buses of students drove up to Madison, and I was glad we were given the opportunity to go support our friends,” Lena Essak, freshman, said.
The girls co-op program started in 2006 and has made it to state in 2010, 2013 and last year in 2015 where they won the tournament.
“We were really pumped to have made it to state because our team won it last year, and we were hoping to redo that. We have a young team, so people underestimate us,” said Hannah Neudorfer, freshman, referring to the fact that the majority of the 22 players are underclassmen.
This year, seven girls come from WFB, seven from USM, three from Nicolet, three from Shorewood and two from Divine Savior Holy Angels. Shorewood makes up only about 1/7 of the group; Karly Lamoreaux, Hannah Neudorfer, and Isabel Schmitt, all freshman, are the three girls from Shorewood.
“It’s hard to have so few girls from Shorewood on the team because when there are more people, there are more fans,” Neudorfer said. Despite the combined group of girls from so many different schools, the dynamic of the team hasn’t suffered. Scheduling and coordinating are the only issues the team seems to face regarding coming from so many different places.
“Having girls from all different schools is good. It’s cool to see friends come together, to see friendships grow within the team,” Haury said.“We’re a big family so we fight, but we all love each other– and we’d do anything for each other,” Neudorfer said.
According to Haury, diversity has benefited the team. “Having gone to Shorewood– I graduated in 2006– I was a part of the boys co-op team, which for me really helped me grow socially. It’s a great opportunity for the girls as well,” Haury said.
The four-month season starts the first week of November and runs till the first week of March, and for many, that’s all the hockey they need for the year.
“Most of the girls on the team actually play other sports in the off-season. Only six girls play year round hockey. The others play field hockey, lacrosse, track, soccer, cross-country, [and] they do other sports as well,” Haury said.
The team actually beat Hayward 2-1 last year, with only one member from Shorewood. “When we get to the state tournament it’s pretty fun, but I think that the northern schools, who we always have good matchups against, always play good competition. Being further north and closer to Minnesota, they play a lot of Minnesota teams,” Haury said.
Things are looking good for the future, with the team in line to gain at least two new players in the next two years, and in line to keep Neudorfer, Lamoreaux and Schmitt for the next three.