Watertown High School girls’ hockey sees prep as key to success


Raider Times photo / Leah Knipper-Davis

The 2020-21 Watertown High School girls’ hockey team.

Toria Dicker, Raider Times staff

The Watertown High School girls’ ice hockey team is preparing for their upcoming season now.

The offseason is one of the most important parts of playing any sport, as it is crucial for athletes to maintain their skills. Sophomore Molly Driscoll says that she plays Wizards Hockey in the offseason, while her sister, Maggie, a junior, says that she tries to get a lot of shooting in, since it is hard to get ice time in the offseason. (All players interviewed also play field hockey.)

The players and coaches on the girls’ ice hockey team are looking forward to this upcoming season and expecting big things for the group of girls they have returning — but also hoping to attract more girls to play. 

Coach Erika Kelly says that she is “looking forward to building off what we created for ourselves last season.” 

“We worked hard, we worked together, and we saw success,” she says. “I believe it helped us gain confidence we’ve lacked in years past. That being said, with a new season comes a new identity, so I’m excited to be a part of what that identity becomes.” 

On the topic of preparation, preparing for games is key for the girls’ ice hockey team. Junior Lizzie Loftus says that she likes to blast music in the locker room with her teammates. Both Driscoll sisters agreed with Loftus. But Maggie also says another way she likes to prepare for a game is meditation and/or visualization. Freshman Caroline Andrade says that she likes to prepare by talking about the game and listening to music with her teammates. However, the coaches, Erika Kelly and Eddie Cafua, prepare for the games a little bit differently.

“As for pregame preparation, getting my lineup together, getting their minds right, and focusing on what has worked and what hasn’t in the days prior are some of my top priorities before a game,” Coach Kelly says.

Coach Cafua, on the other hand, talks re about how they prepare for games in practice by doing shooting and passing drills, and conditioning as well.

“This allows our team to be ready for any opponent,” he says,

Pregame and offseason preparations are not the only factors key to having a great season. Players need to work on their skills daily. 

“Practices are typically strategic to what we need to work on leading up to the upcoming game,” Coach Kelly says. “I give them a layout before each practice so they know what to expect and what to prepare for each day.”

The coaches also stated that they have limited time, up to an hour, on the ice every day.

Cafua says that he is looking forward to building off of what happened last season. Loftus said she is looking forward to getting better as a team. 

Coach Kelly is one of the special education teachers at Watertown Middle School. This is going to be her seventh year with WHS girls’ ice hockey, but her third year as the head coach. She played for WHS, but she believes that she was skating before she was walking. 

Coach Cafua also works at the Watertown Middle School as an eighth-grade math teacher. He grew up playing hockey and has been coaching for six seasons now. The two also coached with Lauren Kelly (Erika’s sister) and Joanna Kennedy. Lauren is a professional playing for the NWHL’s Boston Pride, her hometown team. Joanna, is the starting goalie for BC field hockey, but was an “impeccable goalie at the high school level in both ice hockey and field hockey,” Erika says. 

With that being said, it sounds like the team is ready to take on anyone with their preparations, practices, and pregame hype sessions in the locker room.

–Nov. 22, 2021–