Roman Hockey: An Underappreciated Latin Powerhouse


Throughout the years, girls hockey has proven to be one of Latin’s best athletic teams, yet they continue to go unnoticed by the school. Last year the girls went undefeated, capping off their season with a state title. Because hockey is not the most accessible sport, with rinks scattered throughout the Chicagoland area, Roman hockey lacks an appropriate student section. That being said, the sport is fascinating to watch, and it’s easy to pick up the competitive energy.
Roman hockey includes girls from Lane Tech, Whitney Young, Jones College Prep, St. Ignatius, and Latin. This year’s group consists of four freshmen, including Charlie Wolin from Latin, three sophomores, including Latin’s Sanya Arora and Carla McSweeney, and five juniors, led by Latin’s Zoe Larsen. None of the team’s 10 seniors attend Latin.
When asked what her goals are for this season, Sanya said, “We’re looking forward to defending the [state title].” She added that she wants to learn and grow with this newer team.
In the girls’ season opener on Oct. 2, the Romans put up a great fight against the formidable Loyola. The competition was intense from the start. The Romans quickly scored, just 88 seconds into the match. With 10 minutes left in the period, Loyola made their first shot of the game, tying it at 1-1. Standing their ground, the Romans managed to sneak in another goal with four and a half minutes remaining in the first period. With an exciting start to the game, cheers filled the stands.
Sophomore Jackson Darke said, “This is my first high school hockey game I’ve watched, but even if I don’t know all the rules, the energy and sport itself make it an entertaining game to watch.”
Twelve minutes into the second period, the Romans snagged a goal with a clean slap shot from the left corner. Loyola did not let this slide, however, scoring two minutes later with a shot from the far left corner to the goalie’s blindspot. Less than a minute later, Lane Tech’s Lily Rholf, racked up a goal in the Romans’ favor, assisted by Sanya. As a team, the Roman girls have shown strong communication skills, demonstrated by their skilled passing. As the second period came to a close, the Romans were up 4-3.
The pressure was on for the final period. With a slow start to goals this period, the first shot was at the Romans, but the freshman goalie saved it nicely. Loyola missed many opportunities, as they were often not ready to take open shots. However, they tipped in a goal with only three minutes remaining, tying the game at 4-4. While watching the game unfold, sophomore Madelyn Starr said, “The game is so fast paced. My eyes stay glued to the ice even while my phone racks up notifications.”
With only a minute left, a Loyola senior snuck in a rebound, the puck passing beneath the goalie’s gear. The Romans now trailed for the first time all game, 4-5. With a glimpse of hope, Carla broke away with 45 seconds left. She burst ahead of everyone else on the ice, hoping to tie it up for her team, but Loyola’s goalie made an impressive save of Carla’s shot. The Romans continued to fight hard in the final minutes but were unable to get any promising scoring opportunities, losing a tough opening game.
The next games for the Romans are Nov. 6 at 7:20 pm at Fifth Third Arena, and Nov. 13 at 6:10 pm at Heartland Ice Arena.