At the start of the 2013-14 season, the CSU women’s hockey team had one goal — to finish in the top-8 and earn a spot at nationals.
Now at the halfway point in the season, the Rams are on their way to accomplishing their goal, although it is going to take an increased level of dedication and perseverance against several top-ranked teams.
“We are outside looking in,” head coach Chris Burch said. “We are very confident in our abilities, but unfortunately the way college sports works is you need some help from some other teams, which is tough. We are positive that we can finish our season strong but everybody knows its a little bit of a stretch right now.”
The Rams are No. 15 at the ACHA’s Division I level heading into the final five games of the season. With road games at Michigan State (Division II), No. 8 Grand Valley State and No. 6 Michigan State on the schedule for this weekend, CSU will be forced to perform well in an attempt to fulfill its goal set over six months ago.
“We are going to have to not do stupid penalties,” forward Breanna Snyder said. “We also need to shoot pucks, score goals and just be smart on the ice.”
CSU began the 2013-14 season with a strong 5-0 start, but has since fallen to a 5-5-1 standing with 11 points.
From the first time the puck dropped on the season, CSU knew its greatest asset was the diversity of players throughout the line-up. While the Rams are held by forwards Snyder, Amanda Gacioch and Claire Tegl, the defense holds its own with the glove of Amanda Vandenberg in net.
“It is just that everybody believes in what we are doing and that is key,” Burch said. “We said it from the start of the second semester. Yes, it is an uphill battle, we are aware of that but first and foremost we have to believe that we can do it.”
Collegian Assistant Sports Editor Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @haleighhamblin.
Break Out: Weekend road schedule
Friday Feb. 14, 4:30p.m: Michigan State University (D-II)
Saturday Feb. 15, 7 p.m: Grand Valley State (12-0-10-1)
Sunday Feb 16, 10 a.m: Michigan State University (12-0-7-2)