Women's Hockey hits ice again
Can you handle it? Bowdoin Women's Ice Hockey is back in action, so I'll ask again, can you handle it? This year's national polls have ranked the Bears third, one place above their pre-season ranking last year.
Coming off a Final Four appearance in the NCAA tournament, and losing only one member to graduation, this squad is ready to pick up where they left off. However, Coach Michelle Amidon cautioned, "Manhattenville [ranked second nationally] didn't graduate any strength, Elmira [ranked first nationally] didn't have any seniors, and Middlebury has a great first year class . There are a lot of teams out there with increased pressure to succeed because of last year's performance."
That said, Bowdoin is proud to be reigning NESCAC Champions, sporting a record of 23-5-1 from last season. Speaking about the increased pressure, senior Captain Emily McKissock said, "We know that we have a great team from last season, and our first years are showing great potential. The pressure that may come from last year's success only adds to our anticipation for a great season this year."
Co-Capt. Sadie Wieschhoff '04 added, "This is a new season, and now being known as a better program, we are going to be one of the teams to beat. We cannot take this lightly."
This emphasis on hard work is vital to the women's ice hockey program. Coach Amidon said the keys to success are to "Act, practice, and play like a national contending program. We have the depth, the skill, and the knowledge. All we need to do is put all three of those together."
Wieschhoff said, "We have the opportunity to have another amazing season; it will just take a lot of hard work and determination. I know the team is up to the challenge."
The only questions that loom over the season are how quickly this team can gel, given that three juniors are currently abroad until December 30 (Kirsten Larsen, Jess Burke, and Jenn Pelkey), and five fall athletes have just hit the ice.
McKissock confidently emphasized, "With the late start of the fall athletes and having a few players abroad, we've just been working that much harder with the players we do have during these first weeks of the season." Wieschhoff added, "We are very excited to have our fall athletes back. They are a significant chunk of the team."
Bowdoin Women's Ice Hockey has jumped to new levels over the past few years, and the end does not seem to be in sight. Dedication, experience, and talent are just a few of the qualities embodied by one of the most successful teams on this campus.
"We know what we have to do to get to the Final Four; now we have to prepare to go all the way," said McKissock. Coach Amidon added, "Not everyone can be at the top. Only time will tell."
The last ingredient in the recipe of true success is fan support. Wieschhoff noted, "Of course our fans will be very important."
Last year's defeat to NESCAC rival Middlebury in the first round of the NCAA tournament was undoubtedly the athletic event of the year. Quality play and fast-paced action are all guaranteed at every outing by this club.
No doubt, these girls know how to entertain a crowd. So anticipate competition, anticipate controversy, and anticipate greatness buckle your seatbelts because this season promises to be a long, wild ride.
Finally, a note from Spain, "Big wuvies and huggies to all TEAR SHIT UP NESCAC CHAMPS!" Ditto.