Glenbrook building for future
Updated: March 8, 2013 7:25AM
The Glenbrook Girls hockey program appears ready to turn a corner.
With their 3-2 win over the Leyden Eagles on Sunday, the Glenbrook Girls raised their second-half record to 3-4-1 and have recorded victories in three of their last four games.
It’s a step in the right direction for a program that is only in its third season after folding several years ago.
The Glenbrook Girls hockey team (which has no mascot name) includes players from several area high schools, including Glenbrook North and South, Evanston, Niles West and Regina. It plays in the American Hockey Association of Illinois against teams from New Trier, Lyons, Loyola and Barrington, among others.
“If we finish in the top four of our tier, we will make the league’s Founders Cup, and we will be in the semifinals of that,” said first-year coach Ryan Anderson, the former coach at Lake Forest. “I think that is a realistic goal, and the players have taken to that.”
Bette DuPuis, from Northbrook, restarted the program in the 2010-11 school year in order to give her daughter Kelsey a team upon which to play. The new team did well enough that year to win the AHAI Founders Cup, but it was a senior-heavy team.
Last season, with six seniors gone, the team struggled. But this season, with Anderson as coach, progress is being made.
A set of freshmen joined the program, including Sarah Fisher from Glenbrook North and Faith Geraghty from Niles West. Fisher and Geraghty were recently named to the AHAI All-Star game.
In the first half of the season, when the Glenbrook Girls went 2-12, Fisher has six goals and six assists in 12 games, while Geraghty has 14 goals and nine assists in 13 games.
The Metro Girls League then split the teams into two tiers, and in the second half the Glenbrook Girls are edging toward a .500 record.
Anderson signed up girls who had played for the Northbrook Blue Hawks, the Glenview Stars, the Falcons of Highland Park, as well as girls from higher level clubs such as the Chicago Young Americans and Team Illinois.
“There was nothing wrong with the program,” Anderson said. “The previous coach did a good job building a foundation, and did a lot of skills work. But he didn’t have the personnel to compete. I coached against them last year; I know that. This year the big difference is we have a little more scoring capability.”
Deanna Chioros, a junior defenseman from Regina, is in her second year with Glenbrook after playing for the Falcons of Highland Park. Chioros, who also figure skates, was installed as team captain by Anderson.
“The team is getting better; every day we are improving,” Chioros said. “We are getting more shots on net, our passing is good. We are coming together as a team.”
“It’s nice to see someone step up and have the maturity and leadership capability she does,” Anderson said.
Anderson calls this season “a developmental year” but the recent wins have spurred thoughts of postseason tournament success. Still, the focus for Anderson goes beyond the games this spring.
“The feeder programs are bringing us a lot of talented players, and we have a chance to move up significantly,” Anderson said. “There are some real quality girls hockey players in the northern part of Illinois. The feeder program from Northbrook and Glenview has a lot of girls getting into the sport, and they are being well-coached at the youth levels.”