When Monique Lyons (Bedford, Mass.) broke free and buried an empty netter to put the NEPSAC girls Elite 8 title game away, Williston Northampton could exhale. The Wildcats were on their way to their second Elite 8 championship in as many years and second all-time.
By now, Christa Talbot Syfu's team is used to having a target on its back as a prep hockey powerhouse in the region over the past two seasons. There have hardly been any blemishes on their record in the span, following up a 23-1-0 marker in 2021-22 with an undefeated 27-0-1 run in 2022-23.
Even with some significant losses, like Katherine Kang (Amherst, Mass.) to Williams as well as Ava DeCoste (Marshfield, Mass.) and Miranda Calderone to Brown, Williston has a strong group of returners with plenty of seasoning.
"I think there is there's a lot of experience in our class, high expectations, and I do think that there will be some really, really good teams out there and some really good games," Talbot Syfu said. "We're looking forward to that. I would assume that there will be greater competition across the board."