By Jake Butler
The Walled Lake Wild Unified women’s hockey team (11-10-1 overall, 7-6-1 league) avenged losses in their last two consecutive Michigan Metro Girls High School Hockey League Division 2 state title games, taking home the hardware after defeating Detroit Country Day on March 12. After giving up the first goal of the game just 41 seconds into the first period, the team responded with 5 unanswered goals to cruise to a 5-2 victory.
“For us, winning this title was proof of all of our hard work, effort, and dedication throughout the season,” said sophomore forward Alex Ragon, who is one of only two Vikings on the district-wide unified team, which includes players from all three Walled Lake high schools. “It also goes to say that we, as a team, have been willing to push ourselves to achieve something the previous Wild teams have lacked… it’s a great sign of achievement for us and shows that every win matters.”
Walled Lake Northern’s Becca Williams netted their first goal with just over a minute left in the first frame, followed by second period goals from WLW’s Julia Barret and WLN’s Paige Ladouceur and Julie Smith, giving the Wild team a 4-1 lead with one last period to play. Barret’s and Smith’s goals came just six seconds apart.
The third period saw Libby Williams of WLN score with 6:59 remaining in the game for a little bit of extra insurance before Country Day finally got on the board again with a goal late in the third.
“Country Day was tough but we played our hearts out and came out victorious,” said junior forward Summer Lines about the Wild’s strategy to knock off Country Day, a women’s hockey powerhouse year in and year out. “To beat [them] there were thousands of strategies that we came up with, but in the end we all knew that no matter how good the strategy it all came down to every single one of us and how we put these strategies to use. It again came down to hard work and dedication and most of all heart.”
After receiving a bye for their first round, the Wild beat Ann Arbor Skyron 5-2, followed by the state title game against Country Day to cap off one of the best seasons in team history.
The Wild will graduate just three seniors following the state title game, and will look to continue their success next season