The Archbishop Spalding girls ice hockey team won its first-ever championship on February 3, coming from behind to defeat the Holton Arms School of Bethesda 4-3 at Laurel Ice Gardens.
Photo courtesy of Steve Nemecek(L-R) Alexis Fuller, Sarah Syme, Delaney Vance (in back) and Lacey Eden hoisted the MAGHL championship trophy after the Cavaliers' 4-3 win over Holton Arms. Eden had all four goals for Spalding in the victory.
It’s A First: Spalding Girls Win Ice Hockey Championship
The Archbishop Spalding ice hockey team notched an historic win on February 3, defeating the Holton Arms School of Bethesda 4-3 in the championship game of the Mid-Atlantic Girls Hockey League at Laurel Ice Gardens.
The championship is the first in history for the Archbishop Spalding girls ice hockey program.
“I am extremely proud of how the girls came together to help themselves improve,” said head coach Jeremy Woody of the Cavaliers. “I couldn’t have asked for a better season. These girls really came together to overcome all odds.”
Only the Cavaliers defeated Holton Arms this season, as Spalding finished the year 7-2-1 and the Lions finished the year 9-1, and the championship victory came in dramatic fashion before a rowdy crowd of Cavalier students and family members.
Holton Arms took leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 in the game, but each time, freshman sensation Lacey Eden was there to answer the call. Eden scored all four of the Cavaliers’ goals, the last coming with just under three minutes to play in the final period when she took a pass from junior defender Delaney Vance, deked the Holton Arms keeper and tapped the puck into the wide open net.
“Everybody went crazy,” said Eden, who was the IAAM cross country champion this fall as well as a member of the Cavs’ JV soccer team, of her winning score. “I made sure I celebrated hard,” she added with a laugh. “I’m just glad that I could help Spalding win, and especially the seniors on our team, I’m really happy for them, winning the championship their senior year. It’s one of the best feelings ever, because we made history.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Meggie Gibbons posted 23 saves in the final to help Spalding to victory after stepping in for senior goalkeeper Maddie Earl, who broke her hand in an early-January game against Bryn Mawr. The Cavaliers defeated the Mawrtians 10-2 in the MAGHL semifinals before defeating Holton Arms in the final.
Eden and junior Erica Pareja were the op scorers on the season for the Cavaliers, whose banner year was also powered by the play of seniors Megan Nemecek, Vickie Comings, Alexis Fuller and Sarah Syme; juniors Vance, Earl, Pareja, Diana Crofoot, Maddie Fair, Brennen Johnson and Gracie Walther; sophomores Gibbons, Alissa Burkhart and Katie Hasselbrack; and freshmen Eden, Kaitlyn Lingis, Natalia Pereira, Bridget Skeffington and Sarah Webb. The team is coached by Woody and assistant/defensive coach Dominic Crofoot.
Nemecek, a senior who helped Spalding’s field hockey team to the program’s first Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship as a freshman in 2013 and another IAAM A field hockey championship as a junior in 2015, was a freshman on the Cavaliers ice hockey team that lost to Holton Arms in the 2013-14 MAGHL championship, in the Cavs’ only other trip to the final.
She said the feeling of reaching the championship has no comparison.
“It’s a really cool feeling, because I feel like all of our work has paid off,” said Nemecek. “In the four years I’ve been here, these past few years we’ve just really, really wanted this championship, and the fact that we finally got it made it all worth it in the end.”