Girls’ hockey skates into season

Danielle Joseph, sports editor

Hard work, a positive mindset, and a strong bond are three phrases that Head Coach Scott Sortal used to describe the girls’ Glenbrook hockey team as they are 3-1-2 and in second place in the Founders Cup division.  

The team is a combination of players from North, Regina High School in Wilmette, and South, because there are not enough players to form one team per school, Sortal explained. He believes team chemistry is the key to unlocking success this season.

“Everyone likes being around each other, which is such a big part of [being successful],” Sortal said. “There’s not any cliques [and] everybody wants to show up and work hard. As long as that attitude stays the same, the sky’s the limit for this group.”

Freshman center winger Emerson Tuvell explained that the upperclassmen have made her and the rest of the new recruits feel included on the team. 

“It feels like [a] community because everyone’s helping each other on and off the ice,” Tuvell said. “[The seniors are] so kind and inclusive on the ice.” 

Additionally, senior Katie McGurn, captain and center, explained that it’s the job of the upperclassmen to create a comfortable team environment because that translates to success on the ice. 

“A lot of times I drive girls to practice and [talk to them in the] locker room before the game,” McGurn said. “Those little things contribute to the bigger picture [of being successful].”

McGurn said the girls’ are looking to win against their most competitive opponents this year. 

“[Our goals are to] win our division [and] then go out for the state [championship],” McGurn said. “[There] is some tough competition with teams like New Trier and Loyola [to beat].”

Tuvell explained that to beat these tough teams, the team will need to stick together and continue to improve when faced with adversity. Sortal has pushed the team during practice to help them reach their maximum potential, Tuvell said. 

“We have practice [one day a week] and at practice Coach [Sortal] is really tough,” Tuvell said. “He and the seniors push us to do our best.”

Sortal uses practices to improve each player’s strengths to get the best production  from the team on game days.

“[In hockey] you need different skill sets [and] different personalities,” Sortal said. “I want the girls to understand their strengths, and play to those strengths. That’s when good things happen [and] that’s the synergy [I am] looking for as a coach.”