WESTFIELD, NJ — She was the first ever goalie to play for Westfield High School’s Girls’ Varsity Ice Hockey team.
Megan Raftery is a three-sport athlete, and the 18-year-old has shown improvements throughout her high school hockey career as she leads the state in saves in her senior season. Raftery is this week’s Ron Bansky and Associates Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week.
“Her competitive drive has allowed her to continue to develop her skills through some tough seasons,” said head coach Matt Gualtieri. “As our team improved, so did Megan.”
Raftery had prior knowledge and experience in net as a soccer goalie.
“Being a goalie is different from any other position, no matter what the sport is,” Raftery said. “Although it is very team-centered, at the same time it can be an individual challenge, and it is a very different role than any other player.”
Raftery will also compete for the track and field team in the spring. Hockey, however, has long been her strength.
“I got into hockey when I was really young, and I fell in love with the game,” Raftery said. “I always wanted to play but I actually started in sixth grade, when I played forward, before transitioning to become a goalie in high school. I grew up watching NHL goalies, like Henrik Lundqvist, and I’ve relied on watching the professionals to be the best I can.”
Raftery also noted that she has an unorthodox style of play, using her glove similar to a catcher in baseball.
She will be attending the University of Alabama in the fall of 2020. Raftery is unsure whether she will play a club sport or not.
The Lady Blue Devils next take on Immaculate Heart Feb. 25 at the Ice Vault in Wayne.
The Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Ron Bansky & Associates Allstate Agency. Located 502 East Broad St., the agency has been protecting local families and business owners for over 15 years. Call them at 908-301-0711 for a new auto, home or life insurance quote this week and if you mention the Allstate WHS Athlete of the Week they will make a $25 contribution to the Westfield Boosters Association! To learn more, visit ronbansky.com.