For the first time in its 151 year history, Gustavus has a women’s club hockey team.
Last spring, Sophomore Casey Lindquist began the daunting process of assembling the program. It was no easy task for the first-year student at Gustavus.
“It was a lot of work putting the team together. I talked to a lot of people, wrote a lot of emails, and made a lot of phone calls—but it was definitely worth it,” Lindquist said.
According to Lindquist, once the program was established, it was not difficult recruiting the twenty-plus women listed on the team’s roster.
“I think a lot of girls were looking for an opportunity like this. I remember when I was accepted to Gustavus and how disappointed I was that there wasn’t a club hockey team. I played hockey in high school, and I wanted to continue to play without the time commitment of a varsity sport. It turns out a lot of other girls were in the same situation,” Lindquist said.
In fact, one of the things that makes the women’s club hockey team unique is the experience level of their players.
“Every single girl on the team has high school hockey experience,” Junior Kayte Cole said.
As a member of both the Cross Country and Track & Field teams, Cole is busy with varsity athletics for the majority of the year, but still manages to find time to fit in club hockey practice and games.
“We have practice every Thursday and Friday morning by 6:30 a.m. It’s really early, but it’s nice because nobody has anything else going on,” Cole said.
The sun has not even risen over the Gustavus campus at 6:30 a.m. in the winter, but according to Casey Lindquist, it was the only time available when she looked into booking the ice for practices.
“The men’s and women’s varsity teams gets priority in the afternoon and at night. We can’t do it during the day because people have class. It’s actually pretty easy to get up and go to the practices, we have a pretty consistent turnout at each one,” Lindquist said.
With no paid coach running the drills, the motivation to practice lies solely in the players’ enjoyment of lacing up their skates and getting out on the ice with their friends.
“We are all out there just to put our skates back on and to have some fun in a physical game,” Senior Lexi Buelow said.
Buelow, who played high school hockey with Lindquist, has helped out with some organizational aspects of assembling the team, but credits Lindquist with starting the club.
“Casey is really a hard working girl. She put this whole thing together on her own. Jessica Gold and I have really just been helping her with budgeting, communication and moral support,” Buelow said.
According to Cole, one of the most enjoyable parts of the program is the league’s organization.
“We play real games with real refs, so it’s competitive, which is really fun. A lot of schools have club teams now, so we have the opportunity to play a good number of games,” Cole said.
With the season just beginning, the club has a lot of remaining games to look forward to. Lindquist says she looks forward to continuing with the team throughout her Gustavus career as team captain.
“I hope we’ve started a program that continues for a long time,” Lindquist said.