By Keotta House
Despite changes on the team, the Saint Mary’s University women’s hockey team is working hard to make the playoffs this season.
According to senior Brooke Bartlet, the ladies are hoping that more intense practices, and their experience will be enough to carry them to a winning season this year. “We are really working hard for it this year,” said Bartelt.
Junior Mary DeBartolo said, “We have a bigger team, number wise, so practices will be more competitive and up beat. It all comes down to who wants it more and wants to play in the upcoming series.”
Being a new season, there are some changes that are happening on the team, according to DeBartolo. Senior Haley Coolsaet has played on the team for three years and is now switching from forward to defense, according to Debartolo. Some of the changes on the team are to be expected with a new season are new girls.
It is the veterans that the ladies are expecting to
come out having a great season. “We have a lot more upperclassmen that will be able to bring their leadership skills to the table,” said Bartelt.
“We have many more girls with at least a year of college experience under their belts, and I think the girls are going to be more comfortable with each other, our coaches, and the level of play,” she said.
Making the playoffs is no small task for the Cardinals to accomplish. Their first game of the season will be
against Gustavus Adolphus. Gustavus not only went 18-0 in the regular season against MIAC teams, but they also made it all the way to the NCAA Division III Frozen Four Tournament.
The Cardinals’ next two games following Gustavus are against St. Thomas, back-to-back. “Obviously the first game on my mind is our opening weekend against Gustavus. They are always a strong team,” said Debartolo. “We’ll have to respect them and play the best to our ability. After we get our first game jitters out, we’ll just have to take it one game at a time,” she said.
According to Bartlet, The team is hoping that their first couple of games will be a test of strength. Part of the team’s strength comes from one another and from fans, she said. “We always appreciate other students/faculty/friends who come to support us.”