Freshmen girls lace up for varsity hockey team

Freshmen girls lace up for varsity hockey team

photo courtesy of Jane Taffe

Freshman Ali Praus skates to gain possesion of the puck. Praus is one of eight freshman girls to make the girls’ varsity hockey team.

Grace Gallagher, staff writer

Recently, upperclassmen girl hockey players had their varsity positions usurped by talented freshmen. 40 girls tried out for the girls’ hockey team with a record number of eight freshmen securing their spots on varsity, little under half of the entire 17 member team.

Caitlin Reilly, Jackie Pieper, Laura Minkoff, Brittany Wheeler, Kelly Pannek, Kaylee Druk, Abbey Miller, and Ali Praus all managed to make varsity this year as freshmen and are expected to do well throughout the season. “The freshmen are great and really add to the team,” said junior player Cat Kernan.

The freshmen girls have been playing for nine or more years, and most have already competed at a high-school level. Some have already had experience on the JV and varsity BSM teams as well. “This is my eleventh year [playing hockey],” said freshman Druk.

The responsibility of being on a varsity team as freshman could seem daunting, but these girls are up for challenge. “It’s a lot of freshmen, so it’s not that intimidating,” said freshman Pannek.

The varsity coach, Dave Herbst, sees chemistry already starting to form on the ice. Every player is smart, and they work well with each other. “They’re really smart players,” said Herbst.

Although there are so many players, the girls all get even playing time. They play in shifts so no one gets overworked. “[The shifts] are good because we have so many people,” said Druk.

Although all of the practices are a workout, it’s unanimous amongst the group that the Monday sessions are the most challenging. “I hate Mondays, we have to skate a lot, but other than that [the practices] are great,” said freshman Minkoff.

Other than the tough practices, the girls love the experience so far. Team bonding set up by the captains helps bring the girls together. The freshmen all agree that while the games are fun, the best part is hanging out with the rest of the team before and after the game,” said Pannek. “It’s really fun being toge

With this much young talent on one team, it is safe to assume that this team will go far into their season. “They’re hungry, they’re young, they bring the energy, and they want to win,” said Herbst.