A weekly have a look at Burlington County highschool area hockey
The recent August warmth was beating down on the Riverside Excessive Faculty area hockey staff as a set of goalie tools sat close by an empty cage.
The misery name was despatched out after the Rams had an sudden emptiness at goalie and sophomore Tiffany Tolomeo got here to the rescue.
“They have been on the lookout for a goalie and I knew I used to be going to strive it subsequent yr so I provided,” Tolomeo mentioned. “I didn’t suppose I would really like it, however I truly actually love doing it.”
It couldn’t have been enjoyable at first.
Attempt to think about placing on near 40 kilos of kit in 90-plus diploma climate after which dealing with a firing squad for a few hours.
Tolomeo at the very least had some expertise bearing some further weight as she’s a catcher by commerce in softball. However there’s a giant distinction being a cumbersome area hockey goalie.
“Catcher’s gear is like nothing in comparison with the gear you placed on right here,” mentioned Tolomeo, who was a sweeper earlier than switching to goalie. “It’s so much heavier.”
After which there was the training curve.
“The primary few practices, I used to be getting yelled at as a result of I used to be placing my hand down to dam photographs as an alternative of utilizing my ft as a result of I used to be so used to reacting with my fingers,” Tolomeo mentioned. “I’m beginning to get the dangle of it.”
Following a 4-2 win over New Egypt on Monday, Riverside was 9-3-1 on the season and Tolomeo had posted six shutouts. That assembly in August looks as if a distant reminiscence.
“I had sat the ladies down on the bleachers and advised them somebody needed to step up and do it, or we have been going to have an enormous downside this yr,” Riverside coach Brittany Bellan mentioned. “Tiffany raised her hand and mentioned she needed to do it. She gave us 110 %.”
There was one different downside. Tolomeo was wanting to put on quantity 12, which lastly grew to become obtainable this yr. The Rams goaltender jersey quantity is 97.
“All she needed was to be quantity 12 this yr,” Bellan mentioned. “Her dad and mom went and purchased her a brand new goalie jersey so she might have quantity 12. All of it labored out. She’s an ideal match for it.”
Lawler and Order
Moorestown knew it was coming. You possibly can get pleasure from an important meal and the meals can preserve coming, however ultimately the waiter comes with the invoice.
The Quakers are the two-time defending Group Three State champions, however 10 out of 11 starters graduated within the spring. A rebuild yr was an unavoidable job for one the state’s perennial powers.
Junior defender Margaret Lawler is carrying the banner because the lone returning Moorestown starter.
“At first, it was a little bit overwhelming,” Lawler mentioned. “However I used to be fortunate to have Emily O’Donnell and Alivia Labetti who received a major quantity of enjoying time final yr. They helped me relax and understand that although we have now new individuals stepping in, they’re wanting to be taught they usually wish to succeed and preserve that state championship run going.”
Moorestown is under no circumstances a straightforward goal this season. The Quakers are 10-5 after defeating Burlington Township 3-Zero on Monday and nonetheless have grasp on defending the Liberty Division title with an ideal convention slate. However they’ve endured some lumps alongside the best way, which might present some character as soon as the playoffs arrive.
“I knew there can be ups and downs,” mentioned Lawler, who has chipped in 4 targets. “I feel we had a little bit of a downfall in September with just a few losses, however I feel now that it’s October, we’re actually going to come back collectively and step it up and play extra soundly.”
Coach Ali Collins shared the identical philosophy.
“I feel it’s essential to find out about your self early within the season,” Collins mentioned. “This program is at all times going to set lofty targets. However you wish to play robust groups. You wish to problem your self all through the season and into the postseason so that you’re ready. I feel the long run is absolutely brilliant for this program. We’re type of beginning over once more and constructing on the place the bar has been set previously seasons.”
Three of a Sort
It was a goaltender’s sort of week as solely three hat methods have been recorded by Burlington County athletes final week. Burlington Metropolis’s Raniya Bruton-Moore snagged her second hat trick of the season whereas Delran’s Drue Hamlet and Riverside’s Joslyn Epperson each added their names to record. Hat methods from Monday and Tuesday this week shall be included in subsequent week’s pocket book.
Mark Zimmaro covers Burlington County highschool area hockey for the BCT.