NEW CANAAN, Conn. – The success of New Canaan hockey player Olivia Hompe goes beyond the amazing numbers she has accumulated in becoming the state’s all-time leading scorer. Hompe, a senior who surpassed 300 career points last month, has done it with new linemates nearly every year.
Hompe was selected The New Canaan Daily Voice Athlete of the Month after scoring 11 goals and 14 assists in December to lead the Rams to a 5-0 record. Coach Rich Bulan believes she is the first player in the state, male or female, to accumulate more than 300 points in a career.
Hompe has 315 points for her career, the second highest total in the country for a girls hockey player, according to Bulan.
“It’s challenging to play with new people,’’ Hompe said. “Every year they’ve never quite been the same. But it’s working out really well with this year. I really like playing with Catherine [Granito]. We have a natural chemistry. I think it will work out nicely.”
Hompe worked on New Canaan’s top line with Jana Persky and Bea Eppler during her first two years. She had 61 goals as a sophomore. Last year, Hompe teamed with Holly Burwick and Corbett Ripley and collected 78 goals. This year, Ripley and freshman Catherine Granito form the Rams’ top line. Hompe has become a playmaker, collecting 19 assists and 13 goals entering last weekend. Granito and Ripley had 10 goals each before Saturday’s game against Guilford.
Hompe’s change in focus has improved the team, Bulan said. “That’s all her,’’ he said. “It’s by design. She has a freshman she knows she can trust, and they’ve come to know each other. She’s delivered some of the best passes I’ve ever seen this year.”
Hompe shattered Maggie Westfal’s career total of 251 points last year and could surpass 400 career points over the next two months. Bulan, who has coached New Canaan for 12 years and previously coached the boys team at Westhill in Stamford, reluctantly calls Hompe the best player he has coached.
“I think girls hockey was put on the map because of what Maggie did,’’ Bulan said. “She was a trailblazer. A lot of girls played high school hockey rather than go to travel teams because Maggie stayed here, and she had game. But I think Olivia is the best player I’ve coached.”
Hompe’s hockey career will end when New Canaan’s season is over. She will attend Princeton University to play lacrosse. There is some unfinished business for Hompe, however, before she puts down her hockey stick for good.
Her sisters, Xandra and Eliza, remind her that she has not been part of an undefeated team at New Canaan, as they were. She’s also determined to win another state championship. The Rams lost, 3-2, in the state final last year to the Hall/Conard co-op team.
“It’d be nice to have an unbeaten season like my sisters had,’’ Hompe said. “But it’s all about winning the states and the league.”
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