Women’s hockey bonding builds chemistry

Haley Sawyer, Staff Writer

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When most people think of a camping trip, they imagine pitching tents, fishing and roasting marshmallows. For the Colonials, a camping trip means dressing up in costumes (that included KISS and Tetris) for a whole day, performing skits and racing each other in canoes. It is this sort of adventure that makes the women’s hockey team unique.

Sure, it may seem to be a fun team bonding activity, but in reality, it is much more than that. Activities like these induce a certain kind of team chemistry that can only be demonstrated by the Colonials.

The camping trip is just one of the multiple bonding activities that the girls engage in, but it proved to be a team favorite.

“My favorite was probably the camping trip,” sophomore Katelyn Scott stated, “because that’s at the beginning of the year and we all got to know each other.”

Freshman Ashley Vesci, who described the trip as “quite the adventure” agrees.

“It gave everyone an opportunity to come out of their comfort zone,” said Vesci. “I had only talked to some of my roommates before then and having to spend the night with the entire team, I really got to know everybody and match faces with names.”

Scott and Vesci also agreed that the time spent together eased the transition from high school to college. Vesci recalls her feelings from just a few months ago when moving on to college: “I didn’t know what to expect because it was a whole new group of girls. I didn’t really know anybody. I was just kind of hoping for the best.”

Vesci’s feelings seem to be the general consensus among freshmen college athletes.

“When I came in as a freshman, I didn’t really know what to expect,” remembered Scott. “I was really scared and nervous, but now that I’m older, I know that it’s not scary.”

The girls spend a lot of time together outside of scheduled bonding events as well.  Teammates can be seen out at dinner, the movies, a concert or even around campus together.

“We spend a lot of time together. We practice and work out every morning and we see each other throughout the day. A lot of us have classes together, which is kind of nice,” said Vesci. “And, I mean, we live in a ten-person suite in Washington [laughs], so that’s a lot of time spent together.”

In addition to providing a fun outlet and serving as somewhat of a buffer between high school and college, team bonding is essential in establishing a teamwork ethic.

“I think it helps us to get to know each other more off the ice and more of our personal interests and what each other’s personalities are like. When you do things together as a team, you have to work together. It helps build team chemistry,” reflected Scott.

“For any team to be successful, you really have to have a strong chemistry on and off the ice and it can’t just be superficial,” explained Vesci. “Whenever you’re friends with your teammates, it’s easier to understand them as a person and a player and it really shows on the ice whenever you have a team that’s like a family.”

“Our team is unique in that we all are really close. There’s no drama and so I think our chemistry off the off the ice, it does show on the ice,” continued Vesci.  “If you have problems off the ice, it’s going to translate off the ice, but since we don’t, I think we play really well together as a team. We all motivate each other on the bench. No one’s not cheering for each other.”

The closeness that the Colonials share with one another is significant especially in the coming weeks. With so many road games, it helps to be on good terms with teammates.

“I think we travel well as a team,” said Scott. “It might get kind of tiring, but we’ve prepared really well.”

Vesci also feels prepared for the traveling and the breaks that can come along with it.

“Everyone’s sort of excited to have some down time because between practice, class, and studying, it sort of feels like you never stop. On road trips, we get a lot of free time during the day to relax, catch up on homework, take a nap, which we absolutely love.”

Despite all of the preparation, Vesci still has a little bit of away game jitters.

“I’m a little nervous, not going to lie, because I just got used to playing at home and now we’re going away for the first time,” said Vesci. “But I’m really excited. I get to play against a lot of old teammates, so that’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Even if the Colonials do not come out on top in the coming weeks, they still can take pride in the way they work together. The girls have a sense of the true meaning of “team” as well as “friendship.”

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