WEST GOSHEN — Coming into the season, the Unionville girls hockey team were a little concerned about how the year may shape up due to the loss of several graduating seniors. On top of that, They were unable to replace all the bodies it lost.
However, that hasn’t slowed the defending Flyers champions down in the least.
“We were really worried about the team,” said forward Madison Doucette. “We lost a lot of strong players and we picked up young players, but we really like what we’re seeing. There is a lot of good puck movement, and a lot of good, talented players.”
Featuring a roster with 11 skaters and just one goaltender, Unionville (8-0) has gone on an undefeated run, winning all eight games it has played, including a 5-3 win over Downingtown East (5-3-1) Friday night at Ice Line.
“We only had two players coming up and they’re both eighth graders,” said defenseman Allie Ward. “We really didn’t gain anybody, but we’ve been staying strong, so we’re pretty proud of that.”
Friday’s game proved to be a bit of a new challenge this season as the Indians found themselves down two goals less than two minutes into the game.
With the help of Kaitlyn Anderson and Lizzy Gaebel scoring two goals each, Unionville was able to bounce back in the game and take over the lead and not relinquish it.
The undefeated streak is, truthfully, a little shocking to the Unionville girls.
“A lot of teams have gotten a lot better since last year, like we have,” Doucette said. “We’ve gotten some stronger competition. I just think we definitely linked our passes and we’ve worked together well.”
To add to some of the tough challenges this season, Unionville was missing some of its players while they played on the field hockey team during the fall since the hockey season slightly overlaps with it.
Due to the loss of teammates, many of Unionville’s players had to change positions on the ice.
“We didn’t have them for early in the season, so when they weren’t there, everyone was playing everything,” Doucette said. “There were only six skaters. It was quite an interesting experience.”
Unionville was able to continue winning, even with the extremely shortened roster, and Doucette feels having to learn from that and play multiple positions has only strengthened the team.
“Every player on our team is adaptable,” she said. “It also helped that all of our girls were conditioned, too. All of our field hockey girls came in hot and kept all their skills up so it was nice for them to come after we had already adapted and it just meshed perfectly.”
Ward agreed with her teammate with the movement in positions being a positive.
“It makes it so much more interesting,” she said. “We’ve had players like Claire Donovan and Hannah Close be on defense. They’ve never played it before. It’s really cool to get that experience.”
Unionville seems poised as ever to win another championship and, possibly, take both titles in the girls division this year.
“We’re definitely trying to turn that around and get a little vengeance for last year,” Doucette said. “We weren’t happy with the result. We wanted to win both of those (championships), so hopefully we can do that this year.”