The girls’ ice hockey team has welcomed two new coaches – Varsity Coach Katie Woodruff and JV Coach Hillary Murphy. They said they are very happy about how this season has been looking for the girls.
Coach Murphy is from Rockville, MD, and is a St. John’s alumnus from 2005. She has been playing hockey for over 30 years. Her brothers played hockey and she took skating lessons once and had to wear figure skates. She didn’t like wearing them and liked hockey skates better, so she began to play hockey.
Coach Woodruff grew up in Michigan in a hockey family. “I have fond memories of my father starting to build an outdoor rink in our backyard once Halloween was over.”
Coach Woodruff has played hockey on and off since she was a child, due to the fact that her high school didn’t have a girls’ team, but she continued in college and she is still currently playing hockey on a team.
Coach Murphy has always followed the girls’ team at St. John’s, since she helped create the hockey program; when she attended the school, she played for the boys’ team. “I was hoping that sometime I would be able to coach, so when the opportunity came around I jumped on it.”
She has been coaching for over 10 years and has always enjoyed coaching at the high school level. “Teaching at the JV level in particular is something I enjoy, because I really get to teach the fundamentals of hockey, teaching the game of hockey, what it’s all about, and the systems. I just love being able to teach players what I love to play myself.”
Coach Woodruff first began coaching with her son many years ago, and since then she has coached her son’s team, girls’ teams, and other school teams in the area. “I did not have the chance to have a female coach when I was growing up and always felt that when I had the opportunity I would give back to the community and try to help build a foundation for girls in the hockey community,” Coach Woodruff said.
Coach Murphy’s favorite thing about this season was seeing the growth of each of the players.
Coach Woodruff agrees. “Simply being with the players day in day out has been great. Of course, I have enjoyed our victories over Visitation and Holton Arms, but I have also enjoyed teaching the game to our newer players and watching their excitement as they improve. Of course another very special moment has simply been able to lead a team of girls and watch them come together as a team.”