The promotion of coach Hannah Bergom and the fiery spirit of a young group has propelled the girls hockey team into a culture change that promises a bright future.
Evanston has never been a powerhouse in the Metro Girls League, with schools like New Trier and Loyola fielding squads loaded with division one talent, but this year’s team has set themselves apart with their resilience.
“We’ve played in some games that would have some athletes ready to walk away from the sport altogether,” Bergom explained. “Even through those tough games, they just keep fighting.”
Although they’ve gone through some brutal losses, they’ve found themselves defeating opponents that were a real challenge only a few years ago.
Some of this newfound success can be attributed to the knowledge and experience of coach Bergom, who grew up playing hockey in Minnesota and eventually starred for the Loyola University team.
“I think [coach Bergom] has a lot to do with the success we’ve been having over the last two years,” senior captain Olivia DiPadova said. “She has taught us how to bring the team together both on and off the ice.”
However, a coach can only do so much, and some credit must go to the talented team.
DiPadova, fellow senior Zoe Durston and junior Jenny McGuire led a young team that managed to exceed expectations with their tremendous camaraderie.
“During practice, we get pretty physical and actually go pretty hard against each other,” freshman Emma Barker said. “We had expectations to grow as a team and improve as a team.”
This all-for-one attitude produced solid results this season, and they will carry it on for years to come.
The squad takes on Lake Forest Academy at the new Robert Crown, this Sunday at 6:05 p.m.