The Gustavus Women’s hockey team concluded their season with a 19-5-2 record in the conference, ending with a disappointing 6-3 loss to Bethel in the MIAC semifinals on Feb. 8, which knocked them out of the running for a bid to the NCAA tournament.
Despite the abrupt ending to an otherwise successful season, the women’s team is hoping to learn from this year and come into next season ready to tackle their goal of making it to the NCAA tournament.
First year Rachel Skoglund commented on the teams goals for the recent season and also next year’s season.
“We had three big goals, which were to go undefeated in the conference, win the MIAC, and to make it to the national tournament. I would like to see our team come up on top of the MIAC again, and make it that next step to the national tournament,“ Skoglund said.
“We’re going to have to set our goals high, and not only set goals, but have an action plan to accomplish those goals,” Head Coach Mike Carroll said.
In addition to a strong plan of action going in to the next season, the women’s team is also hoping to improve some of their weaker aspects to give them the boost they need to push on to the NCAA tournament.
“In general, we need to work on having more grit, do a better job of angling and playing the body, and most importantly work on our hands, our stick handling, and shooting ability, because a lot of games we would get plenty of opportunities but couldn’t bury the puck,” Coach Carroll said.
“I think that our team can improve on our first period play. Our scoring always seemed to come later in the games,” Skoglund said.
The women’s team is also hoping to maintain their strengths, including their strong team chemistry and leadership, and capitalize on them next season.
“It being my first year on the team, I couldn’t ignore the amazing team chemistry. We were always there for a teammate and did our best to pick each other up. Everyone was so welcoming to the freshman and made us feel accepted and comfortable. Every practice we came focused, with a positive attitude, and ready to work hard,” First year Laura Johnson said.
“It was one of the better teams I’ve had during my sixteen years here, as far as leadership from top to bottom,” Coach Carroll said.
“In general, we need to work on having more grit, do a better job of angling and playing the body, and most importantly work on our hands, our stick handling, and shooting ability, because a lot of games we would get plenty of opportunities but couldn’t bury the puck.”—Coach Mike Carroll
The women’s team will be graduating five seniors this year including captains Courtney Boucher and Carolyn Draayer. Regardless, the team will maintain its impressive depth and is looking forward to the chance to prove themselves next season.