PORTLAND — The Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland girls hockey team lost three seniors to graduation, but the team remains undeterred and ready to return to the playoffs.
“We lost three seniors, but we’ve got a core group of returning experienced skill players. Our expectations are pretty high this year. We plan to be in the mix at the end of the year,” said head coach Bob Mills.
South Portland senior Sophia Venditti agreed with her coach.
“I think we look good. We’re working really hard at practice. We’ve also been doing extra practicing so that will help us,” said Venditti.
Cape Elizabeth senior Sophie Miller echoed her teammate.
“I think we have a good chance of winning a lot of games this year. We have a good amount of returning players and new players that will contribute to the team a lot,” Miller said. “Our last season was pretty good. We made it to the second round of playoffs and we only lost three seniors.”
The new players that Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland has gained outnumber the graduating seniors. Mills is thrilled to have new talent out on the ice.
“Every year, girls high school hockey in Maine continues to improve. You see more and more girls that are starting at an earlier age so by the time they get to high school they’re quite skilled,” Mills said. “We’ve also got a collection of brand-new players to the sport which is really fun. We’re looking forward to seeing them develop their skills.”
Working with three different schools may seem hectic, but on the second day of practice, Mills, in his seventh year of coaching Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland, described it as fun.
“The vibe has been really good. It’s fun to have three schools involved on one team. It’s a chance to get to know some players from some other schools and make new friendships. In the past, these girls have demonstrated an ability to be very collaborative (and) very supportive of each other. It’s been a good start so far,” Mills said.
The team will start the season with the championship title in the back of their minds.
“The goal is always to win the state championship,” said Venditti.
Mills echoed that sentiment.
“A championship is always the goal every year. I think it’s a realistic expectation that we would be a playoff team but you never know. We haven’t even played our first game yet so we’ll wait and see how things plays out,” Mills said.
Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland’s first game will be against Scarborough on Saturday, Nov. 24.


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