New Coaching Staff at the Helm of Girls’ Hockey

The Northwood Girl’s Hockey team experienced a huge shake-up coming into the 2017-2018 season. This year’s team will see an entirely new coaching staff after the summer departures of Coaches Lucy Schoedel and Morgan Illikainen. The new faces lead the Huskies bench are Head Coach Gino Riffle and Assistant Coach Leigh Getz.


Coach Leigh Getz addresses the team.

A few weeks after school was dismissed for the underclassmen, Coach Illikainen announced that she would be resigning as assistant coach to return to her alma mater, Dartmouth in order to pursue a law degree as well as serve as assistant coach for the women’s ice hockey team. Soon after, it was announced that Coach Getz would be joining the program as her replacement. Getz, a 2015 graduate of Connecticut College, spent her last two years coaching girls’ ice hockey at her alma mater, Canterbury School.

Just a month before Northwood’s home opener Coach Schoedel announced that she accepted the position of assistant women’s hockey coach at Harvard and would not return to Northwood.

With the season approaching, the pressure was on the Northwood administration to try to fill her position. A few days before students returned to campus, Head of School Mr. Mike Maher announced that Gino Riffle would coach the team this year. As Dean of Students, Athletic Director and former assistant coach of the Junior Team, Coach Riffle is a familiar face for all of the returning players. He is also an accomplished hockey coach.

Both returning and new players were anxious about the departure of Schoedel and Illikainen. Returning player Hannah Rose ‘18 said, “Not knowing what to expect coming into my senior season, even though I had figured out my road to college, I was at a loss for words hearing the news. For this upcoming season, I do have a lot of faith in our new coach and our new assistant. I believe it will be a minor setback, but we will pull through and hopefully be a better team than we were last year.”

New player Marina Alvarez ‘21 also felt the loss. When asked about the effect the coaching change will have on her season she said, “Coach Schoedel was the main reason I chose Northwood. I don’t really know the new coaching staff as well as I knew Lucy so I really don’t know. I’ll have to wait and see when we get on the ice.”

Although the team felt a huge loss to this upcoming season, the girls remain in high spirits and are more than ready to take on the season with their new staff. Returning player Kendall Dubin ‘18 says, “Knowing that we have such great coaches to start the season makes the entire team confident that we will do great this season.”


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