There is something about the new year that makes everyone a little reflective, hopeful, and thinking of fresh starts. As the second half of the season gets into full swing, every team is goal setting and looking towards the playoffs and competing for that coveted national championship. After coming off of a weekend where we still gained three points despite outshooting our opponent a total of 80 to 37, and a season in which six of our losses were only by two goals or less, Princeton women’s ice hockey is as up to the task of achieving our goals as anyone. We are really coming together as a team and hoping that the hard work we have put in will start to pay dividends. I also find myself nostalgically looking back and feeling sad that my freshman season is more than halfway over. The friends that I’ve made and the experiences that we’ve shared over the many road trips, eight hour bus rides, weeks spent on campus over school breaks, etc. have all been incredible.
Princeton’s unique schedule of having exams after winter break (they officially begin on January 17th) and a “reading period” in between, followed by another break after exams called “intersession” until February 5th, allows for a lot of team bonding time. Considering right now we are one of only six teams on campus, although the school may seem a little dead at times, it is a blessing in disguise to be on campus with your teammates without any classes or obligations outside of hockey. Besides trying to get ahead on work and doing some early studying for exams, we have spent a lot of time together as a team, and if possible, we have grown even closer. If you are lucky enough to not only like your teammates and coaches and truly enjoy the time you all spend together, but also get to share your favorite sport with them, you are doubly blessed, and luckily, I am.
A new year brings with it resolutions, goal setting, and new opportunities. Before we jumped into the 2018 portion of the season, we had a team meeting to discuss our goals for the second half of the season. Besides setting the broad and basic goal of winning as every team does, we focused on the smaller and more specific goals that could help us get there. We talked about the importance of sleep, eating well, staying on top of school work, putting the team before ourselves, focusing on only hockey during our time at the rink, controlling the controllables, and taking care of our bodies by cooling down, warming up, stretching, and foam rolling. Our team is ready for the challenges of the new year, and we are excited to face them together. Whatever the new year brings, we will enjoy every minute of it, and hopefully we will still be playing the sport we love come March!