0-3 loss for Girls Hockey state finals reveals fighting spirit

Margot Murphy '23, Associate Web Editor in Chief

Sonorous music boomed in the arena as the red-spotted crowd cheers for the Knight’s victory as the Blue Devils skate into a huddle to consolidate their loss and congratulate on their handwork. Red medals were awarded to the team as South was named second place in the state.

On March 11, Grosse Pointe South and University of Liggett went head to head in the MHSAA State Finals at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth. In the intense game of offense and defense, South lost to Liggett 0-3.

Although this was the final game for many senior varsity players, head coach Lexi Bohligner mentions how this is the most supportive hockey family she’s ever experienced and was proud of the team for overcoming this tough road to finals.

“They all play different roles, our seniors, big sisters, all of them and then our underclassmen came in and brought skill and a lot of maturity,” Bohlinger said. “Just getting here was a huge accomplishment.”

The push back began right after the National Anthem whenSouth was immediately put onto the defensive. Through theseason, South had played against Liggett twice; once mercied and another tied 1-1, so battling Liggett’s aggressive offense was not new to the team.

Goalie Rosie Smith ’25 made multiple impressive saves and forward Isabella Peruski ’25 accomplished two beneficial breakaways, ending the first period in a 0-0 draw.

The puck began to favor Liggett during the second period however. After wing Ryleigh O’Donoghue ’23 was put into the penalty box, Liggett scored twice in the span of two minutes.

“The team did pretty good on the penalty kill,” said O’Donoghue. “They’re used to it and I’m in the penalty box) a lot.”

As the zamboni ice resurfacer came to polish the rink after the second period, the blue crowd gathered by the barricade to further encourage the team to push forth. It is a 40 minute drive from Grosse Pointe to Plymouth, but the South bleachers section was packed with supportive parents, students, family and even administration such as Moussa Hamka, Cindy Paravano and Brandon Wheeler.

“With the snow day yesterday (Mar 10), we were trying to organize a fan bus and get as many people here as possible,” Wheeler said. “That didn’t come to fruition, but I saw girls looking up into the stands and seeing the support.”

Third period began with a 0-2 South disadvantage and despite the Liggett scoring again with only six minutes left in the game, the South team played proudly. South consistently removed the puck from the house, pushing Liggett onto the defensive.

“I would have liked the team to play more aggressively offensively,” said Bohlinger. “I think we sat back a lot and let our goalie do a lot of the work.”

Despite the 0-3 loss, the Blue Devil crowd’s cheers and whistles at the sound of the buzzer were in celebration of the team. The team shared group hugs and smiles in solidarity, affected by the loss but proud that they had put up a fight.

With a team of all classes, the Girls Varsity Hockey encapsulates the spirit of South to continue to challenge, even in the face of defeat.

“It takes a lot of mental fortitude,” said Wheeler. “And that leans into your culture and coming out and winning, which just speaks to the toughness and the grit that our girls have gotten.”