A weekly take a look at Burlington County highschool area hockey
The new August warmth was beating down on the Riverside Excessive Faculty area hockey workforce as a set of goalie gear sat close by an empty cage.
The misery name was despatched out after the Rams had an surprising emptiness at goalie and sophomore Tiffany Tolomeo got here to the rescue.
“They had been in search of a goalie and I knew I used to be going to attempt it subsequent 12 months so I supplied,” Tolomeo stated. “I didn’t suppose I would really like it, however I really actually love doing it.”
It couldn’t have been enjoyable at first.
Attempt to think about placing on near 40 kilos of apparatus in 90-plus diploma climate after which going through a firing squad for a few hours.
Tolomeo no less than had some expertise bearing some additional weight as she’s a catcher by commerce in softball. However there’s an enormous distinction being a cumbersome area hockey goalie.
“Catcher’s gear is like nothing in comparison with the gear you placed on right here,” stated Tolomeo, who was a sweeper earlier than switching to goalie. “It’s loads 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 a substitute of utilizing my ft as a result of I used to be so used to reacting with my palms,” Tolomeo stated. “I’m beginning to get the cling 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 instructed them somebody needed to step up and do it, or we had been going to have an enormous downside this 12 months,” Riverside coach Brittany Bellan stated. “Tiffany raised her hand and stated 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 out there this 12 months. The Rams goaltender jersey quantity is 97.
“All she needed was to be quantity 12 this 12 months,” Bellan stated. “Her dad and mom went and acquired her a brand new goalie jersey so she may have quantity 12. All of it labored out. She’s an ideal match for it.”
Lawler and Order
Moorestown knew it was coming. You’ll be able to take pleasure in an awesome 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 12 months was an unavoidable activity 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 stated. “However I used to be fortunate to have Emily O’Donnell and Alivia Labetti who received a big quantity of enjoying time final 12 months. They helped me relax and understand that regardless that we’ve got new folks stepping in, they’re wanting to be taught they usually wish to succeed and preserve that state championship run going.”
Moorestown is in no way a simple goal this season. The Quakers are 10-5 after defeating Burlington Township 3-Zero on Monday and nonetheless have a superb grasp on defending the Liberty Division title with an ideal convention slate. However they’ve endured some lumps alongside the way in which, which may present some character as soon as the playoffs arrive.
“I knew there could be ups and downs,” stated Lawler, who has chipped in 4 objectives. “I believe we had a little bit of a downfall in September with a number of losses, however I believe 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 believe it’s vital to find out about your self early within the season,” Collins stated. “This program is all the time going to set lofty objectives. 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 believe the long run is absolutely vivid for this program. We’re form of beginning over once more and constructing on the place the bar has been set prior to now seasons.”
Three of a Variety
It was a goaltender’s sort of week as solely three hat tips had 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 listing. Hat tips 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.