Five Hundred and Eighty One days [but who’s counting], that’s how long I had to sit tight until I was cleared to play my first collegiate hockey game after my bilateral surgery. It was well worth the wait, I will tell you that much.
“I’m not telling you it will be easy, I’m telling you it will be worth it”
On September 30th, the Ohio State Buckeyes Women’s Ice Hockey team travelled to Troy, New York to compete against the RPI Engineers. We swept (winning 4-1 and 2-0). Not only was this a special moment for myself because it made the almost 2 year wait so much more significant, but it was a special moment for my teammates too. Since my freshman year here, as a team we have faced more adversity than your average college hockey team. The details of the adversity, in my opinion, don’t overly matter – the past is the past. But what does matter, is that we overcame it. The new era of Buckeye hockey kick started just the way we would have dreamed it to.
The future of the Buckeyes includes a new coaching staff. It’s been a pleasure to get to know them so well in such a short period of time. I am a huge believer in trust being a strong foundation, and my trust is growingly stronger every day with the new coaches. This process has been made easier with their endless support and understanding. The best part about this whole process has been as a team understanding and buying into what has the ability to make us great. It’s rare to have all members of the team on the same page, and fortunately we do.
This past weekend, as a non-ranked, underdog team, we went to Madison, Wisconsin to play the number one ranked team in the nation, the Wisconsin Badgers. In our first game, we saw substantial development from the previous weekend, and despite the loss, there was no reason to be hanging our heads. We had to be ready for battle less than 24 hours later. The following day, we held our own, we tied the Badgers 1-1. This was a pivotal moment for us, because during that game I saw in the eyes of my teammates, a sense of belief. There was confidence in the fact that as a team who has been through so much, we could skate with them.
All in all, I am ecstatic to see where the team goes this year. There is no plateau for these Bucks, we will get better and better, I truly do believe that.
581 days… That’s a long time but I’m glad it stopped there. It could always be worse.