Strong season start puts CSU women’s hockey in Nationals mind-set

When you step out onto the ice for the first time each season, it’s unsure as to what success your team will have. For the Colorado State women’s hockey team, the success it is having has been a goal from the start.

Until last weekend’s first road trip of the season, CSU remained undefeated with a record of 4-0. Though the Rams fell in two out of three games over the weekend, CSU looks to stay positive as it changes focus towards a new game on Friday, now 5-2.

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“Hard work, just hard work and determination has gotten us to this point,” Head Coach Chris Burach said. “I see this season as successful, but I am a little overwhelmed as to how good it has been. I just hope we keep improving and excelling.”

Burach is very proud of the season thus far and looks forward to what will come of this experienced team. He believes the future of this program and women’s hockey is on the horizon for a larger appreciation and should not be counted out, seeing that success is right in front of them. With three freshmen, five sophomores, five juniors and seven seniors on this Rams team, there is a lot of experience holding this team high. While there will be a large graduating class in the spring for this team, the future still shines bright as it continues to expand its program and success on the ice.

“We had high expectations of this season,” Bre Snyder said. “If we are to lose, we would definitely beat ourselves up for it. Everything less than a loss would be a disappointment.”

The 2013 season started less than one moth ago for the Rams. With just four weeks under the belt, CSU has defeated CU-Boulder and Northeastern University. In all appearances against their Colorado rival, the Rams have come out on top, including a 3-2 win at the Pepsi Center.

Over the weekend, CSU knocked Northeastern off of being undefeated as it continues to improve rankings in the top ten.

“Everyone is just more competitive,” Snyder said. “Our goal going into this season was to go to nationals, and we didn’t have that goal last year. I think we have stepped it up a lot, there are just so many more expectations, and that shows thus far.”

This team had its eye on the prize of finishing in the top eight, earning a spot at nationals. With the best start CSU has had in its history, that goal could come true.

“That is what makes it hard on us now though,” player Amanda Gacioch said. “We have to push really hard in practices because we know when we play tough teams it is going to come back to conditioning and skill set.”

With key players like Snyder, Gacioch and Claire Tegl, CSU women’s hockey has a well rounded team that relies on one another for success; no one player makes this team.

For CSU, the start to the season prediction has turned into a reality. Because the roster increased skates with four NCAA transfers, experience and dedication would drive to success. As each season plays out, this CSU team is making a bigger brand not only in women’s athletics but on the ACHA level.

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The Rams will take on Robert Morris University on Friday and Saturday at the Epic Ice Arena. CSU is looking to step back onto the winning streak in another tough D-I battle.

“Yes, women’s hockey may not be the most exciting thing to watch but we are a women’s hockey team and we still compete in the ACHA with the boys team,” Snyder said. “We should be recognized for what we do. We are a good team that continues to have good strides.

Hockey Beat Reporter Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at sports@collegian.com