Although the Viroqua cooperative girls hockey team had six seniors depart from last year’s squad, first-year coach Paul Severson said the team will be small, but talented with experienced players filling the roster.
Forwards Naomi Schroeder, team captain Emma Kolden, Alice Blake, and defensemen Emma Hughes, Lydia Noble, and goalie Ivy Shonka graduated in May.
“It’s tough to lose six seniors from a small squad and replace them,” Severson said. “However, most of our girls are experienced hockey players and are looking forward to a competitive season.”
Four of the top five scorers from last season return — seniors Maia Barendregt and Perla Grenier, junior Kelsey Shaner and sophomore Erin Simonson. Junior goalie Abigail Severson will take over in the net from last year’s starter, Ivy Shonka, who moved on to Division III St. Olaf’s in Northfield, Minnesota.
Severson said the team, which netted 10 wins and 13 losses last season, faces the challenge of making sure everyone stays healthy. “We don’t have a lot of depth, so keeping everyone on the ice and contributing will be our focus.”
Onalaska and the Black River Falls/Tomah co-op look to be contenders for the conference title, Severson said. “I think we will surprise some teams, we look to be competitive with most teams we will face this season.”
Assistant coaches are Cassie Halverson, Ashley Whitney and Julia Ugo.