Tenacious team credits chemistry for recent improvement

By Caitlin Opperman

Macalester women’s ice hockey may have changed a lot from last season, but that doesn’t mean that the team isn’t looking to skate through a great season this year. “The team’s changed a lot since last year,” Captain Zoe Jacobson ’11 said. “Most of the team graduated, so we have a lot of freshmen, most of whom haven’t played before. We also have a new coach, so that of course brings a fresh perspective to the team.”

After losing their first three games to start the season (10-1, 6-2, and 6-4), the team came back to win their fourth game 7-1. Though the Scots lost both their fifth and sixth games, players and Coach Anthony Berglund are seeing definite progress.

“I think the season so far has been extremely successful. The most exciting thing has been seeing the consistent improvement of both individual players, and the team as a whole, as the season has unfolded,” Berglund, a Macalester alum who graduated in ’07, said.

“We seem to be clicking better and hopefully can pull out a bunch more wins.” Amanda Cagan ’10 said.

The women’s hockey schedule is jam packed, providing many more chances for those wins, but with teams you might not expect. Most of the teams that the Scots play are middle-aged women’s teams.

“Our team is tenacious,” Berglund said, “especially against the over-40 teams.”

Season favorites also include the Carleton game in February, for which Coach Berglund “guarantees victory,” and the traditional student-faculty hockey game.

“It’s always fun to play hockey with your professors.” Jacobson said.

With many opportunities to play and improve, the team has many goals for the season.

“My goals for the team are to have everyone learn as much as they can about the game of hockey, while having as much fun as possible, within the rules,” Berglund said.

Anna Hardin ’12 hopes to “keep hustling and improving.”

“I hope that we can win half of our games this season,” she said.-

The team is also looking to draw fans to their games.

“We all play really hard, and I think the girls would love some fans,” Cagan said.

Playing hard is definitely worth it for the women.

“The great thing about club hockey is that winning is fun, but just playing is what it’s all about,” Cagan said. “We are a group of girls who get together purely for the love of the sport.it’s what sport should be, competition that’s purely fun.”

Hardin agrees.

“My favorite thing so far is the team. No matter what happens, everyone stays optimistic and encouraging. It’s great to get off the ice after a hard game and see everyone smiling, even if we lost,” she said.

“I also really love how fast the game moves,” Hardin continued. “There’s never a dull moment. It’s a really intense game to play, because the score could change at any time.”

As the season continues, the women hope to keep the same mix of fun, excitement, competition and camaraderie.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how we grow as a team,” Jacobson said. “Most of us didn’t know each other before beginning to play, so already we’re getting more communicative and cohesive, but I think we’ll get even better with that.”

Coach Berglund is looking forward to the rest of the season simply “because so far, everything has been an absolute blast.”

“All the magic happens on the ice,” he said.