We join the Lynn community in congratulating the St. Mary’s High School girls hockey team on winning the Division 1 state championship.
Head coach Frank Pagliuca and his girls hockey program have established records and a level of excellence that may never be matched again. But this season was one that tested the resolve and the fortitude of the St. Mary’s players. The team entered the season knowing that some expected key players had decided to transfer to other schools.
Few people, outside of Pagliuca and his coaching staff, perhaps, believed that St. Mary’s was capable of rebuilding so quickly and finding the right ingredients to make a strong run at another championship.
But the senior leadership of captains Alison Butler, Gabby Crugnale, Kaleigh Finigan, and Madison Molea proved to very special and the younger players, sensing the building confidence of the seniors and receiving the encouragement, support, and excellent instruction from coach Pagliuca and his staff, began to make stellar contributions.
And then there was an unforgettable scenario in the state semifinals when eighth grader Ashley Wojewodzic was summoned from the bench to participate in a game-deciding overtime shootout. It was the stuff of Hollywood but Wojewodzic became an instant St. Mary’s legend by scoring the winning goal and sending the team on to the state finals.
And in one more scriptwriter’s dream for the team that refused to quit, a rematch with Arlington Catholic was on tap for the final at the TD Garden.
It was as exciting a finish as one could have imagined with Butler producing the winning goal that helped make St. Mary’s champions again.
Above all else, the players conducted themselves with the highest level of sportsmanship and made their school and their parents proud.
It truly was a great season.