Madison girls 2021-22 preview: Dodgers hope higher numbers lead to step forward

MADISON DODGERS

Head coach: Ryan Bailey, third year (3-14-1 career record).

Division: NJIGIHL

Last year: Madison finished 2-7 and lost to Morristown-Beard in the quarterfinals of the NJIGIHL Cup.

Key losses: Lily Clifford, Josephine Piacenti.

Top returners: Rachel Bear, D, Sr.; Julianna DiPaolo, G, Sr.; Izzy Hunter, D, So.; Maya Tahl, F, Sr.

Newcomers: Elizabeth Farrell, F, Fr.; Iris Puskula, D, Fr.; Ivory Puskula, F, Fr.; Emma Wirth, D, Fr.

Outlook: Madison has had a rough go of it in the two seasons since it broke away from the highly-successful Chatham-Madison co-op, winning just three games in the last two years.

However, with higher participation numbers which include 36 players between varsity and junior varsity, things seem to be trending upward for the Dodgers. With a strong core of seniors and some promising freshmen, the Dodgers expect to take a big step forward this season.

The team’s leading goal scorer in senior Maya Tahl (6 g.) is back to lead the way up front this year. She’ll be joined by incoming freshmen Elizabeth Farrell and Ivory Puskula. Defensively, Madison will be led by senior Rachel Bear and sophomore Izzy Hunter, who should see most of the minutes. Look for Iris Puskula and Emma Wirth to also contribute.

In goal, Madison will once again turn to senior Julianna DiPaolo to get most of the work. The senior just began playing hockey two years ago and has continually made strides, and should be in line for a big senior year.

E-mail Mike Gurnis at michaelgurnis@gmail.com

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