The American Family Insurance ALL-USA Girls Hockey Team for the 2017-18 season was selected based on performance, level of competition and strength of schedule.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Taylor Heise, Red Wing
Name: Tom Resor
School: Noble & Greenough (Dedham, Mass.)
When the (Dedham, Mass.) Noble & Greenough girls hockey team suffered a 2-1 loss to (Marion, Mass.) Tabor Academy on Feb. 17, the Bulldogs were resigned to the fact that they would fail to win at least a share of the private Independent School League championship for the first time since 2000, when the seniors on this current Nobles team were still in diapers.
The year 2000 was also the last year Tom Resor wasn’t the coach of the Nobles girls hockey team, so this second-place finish was new to him as well. Be that as it may, the Bulldogs ended upright where they felt they belonged: as champions.
Nobles (26-3-3) shook off the shock of finishing second in the regular season by dominating the postseason, culminating with a 2-0 win over (Easthampton, Mass.) Williston Northampton School in the New England Prep School Athletic Council Division 1 tournament championship game. It marked the program’s ninth NEPSAC title under the stewardship of Resor, the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Coach of the Year.
“This title is just as special as all of the others, maybe even a little more so,” Resor said after the win.
A college counselor and English teacher, Resor has been at Nobles for 32 years. He spent his first 14 years coaching the boys ice hockey program before making the switch. He surpassed 700 career wins on Feb. 12 and owns a 708-198-43 career record, 333-28-19 behind the bench for the Nobles’ girls.
Nobles is always stacked with top-flight players—this year’s team was led by ALL-USA Second Team defenseman Lily Farden and Third Team goalie Kelly Pickreign—but the Bulldogs had to fight through injuries to key players from the get-go in 2017-18. Within the first two weeks of the season, freshman Jenna MacDonald (headed to Harvard) and classmate Katie Pyne (bound for Boston College) went down and out for the year. All-NEPSAC First Team senior forward Katie Tresca, a future Harvard Crimson, missed nine games in the middle of the season.
That forced the Bulldogs to rely even more on the defense of players like Farden and Pickreign. And the blue-liners didn’t disappoint. Nobles allowed just 25 goals all season, but the team was even stingier in the tournament. Opponents scored just one goal in three postseason games as Pickreign notched back-to-back shutouts in the NEPSAC tournament semifinals and title game.
“Although the loss to Tabor kept us from winning the ISL, I think the players became even more determined to finish the season on a strong note,” Resor said.
ONE YEAR AGO: Who made the ALL-USA Team last season?