Former Wayzata coach Taylor Williamson talks Ms. Hockey finalist Sloane Matthews, changes to team
The Trojans finished the 2021-2022 season with a 17-9-1 record, but with some key players graduating and Williamson stepping down to focus on her career, things may look a bit different for the team next year.
WAYZATA, Minn. — After finishing up the 2021-2022 season 17-9-1, there are plenty of positives to reflect on for the Wayzata girls hockey team.
"I was really interested to see how we would do after that crazy Covid year," said Wayzata head coach Taylor Williamson, a former Ms. Hockey winner and University of Minnesota player.
For a lot of teams, the uncertainty brought by the pandemic left them not knowing what to expect coming into the season. One factor that made the Trojans the team they are today is their senior leadership.
"To see seniors getting along with eighth graders and freshman and not treating them like underclassman but treating them like peers — it's what ultimately I think led to our success as a team," said Williamson.
For Williamson, the seniors were even more special, as this was her last year coaching the team before she stepped down to focus on her career. The seniors from this season were sophomores when she started the job at Wayzata.
"The seniors helped really make our team a completed puzzle piece," said Williamson.
The next head coach for the Trojans has yet to be announced.
Wayzata had a lot of standout players on the team this season, particularly Ms. Hockey finalist and Ohio State commit Sloane Matthews, who led the team with 54 points (35 goals, 19 assists).
"She has all the gifts and naturally God-given abilities to make it extremely far in her career," said Williamson.
The Trojans will need to replace their starting goaltender — senior Annika Lavender is headed to play for St. Michael's College next year — and several other key players next season, but they have a lot of talent to look forward to.
Watch out for Long Island commit Sam Mathe and Kieran Fults on defense next year, along with a flurry of returning forwards on the roster.
To hear more about Wayzata's season, Taylor Williamson's advice for the future head coach, more players to look out for and more, take a listen to the full podcast!
0:44 - Recapping the season
2:12 - How Coach Williamson got into coaching and found Wayzata
3:30 - The impact of having a majority of female coaches on the bench
5:10 - Ms. Hockey finalist Sloane Matthews
6:31 - The goaltending situation and Annika Lavender
8:00 - Advice for the new head coach
9:10 - Unsung heroes, players to look out for
11:09 - Predictions for next year