Having just qualified for the state tournament by beating Shawsheen Tech last Wednesday, the Masconomet girls hockey team (10-3-1) has been having a breakout season skating players from competing River Rival schools.
“Our team has been successful because we’ve played as a team,” said Masconomet coach Nicole Twomey. “We have overcome a lot of obstacles and challenges that have faced this very unique team. And of the six different schools, we were able to take something from that and make something positive.”
Those six schools forming the Lady Chieftains’ co-op — Masco, Georgetown, North Andover, Hamilton-Wenham, Newburyport and Triton — are not only battling their opposing teams, they’re battling their home schools’ attitudes toward each other.
“You pretend to not even know where they’re from,” said senior forward Kendra Dow, who hails from Newburyport. “You just get to know them and say, ‘Oh, you’re from Triton. Do you know so and so?’ Instead of, ‘Oh, you go to Triton. I don’t even want to talk to you.’”
Dow is the Chieftains’ leading scorer and is joined by fellow Clipper sophomores Molly Kelley and Ashley Hodge and freshmen Olivia Mombello and Meghan Hubbard. Those five Clippers also play with a trio of Triton freshmen, Lily Dow, Emma McGonagle and Sydney Sheerin. Making the drive from Georgetown are sophomore Jensena Moner, along with freshmen Katie Terban and Tracy Long.
“There’s still rivalries between those schools,” said Twomey. “When you look at Newburyport and Triton, they are huge rivals. And I think that this team is unique in that those girls from those two schools have to come together, and they certainly do.”
Getting any team to jell is tough enough, so Twomey and her assistant coaches have made sure team-building has been a priority from Day 1.