After completing my first season as a Princeton Tiger, the bitterness of only having three remaining seasons playing my favorite sport is trumped by my genuine excitement for September to roll around and commence my sophomore year. Although our season came to a halt quicker than we all had hoped, I cannot help but be proud of how we finished and all that we have accomplished this year.
Some of the highlights that play over and over in my head was our excitement in the locker room after beating the (now current) National Champions, and coming back from a 0-2 deficit to beat Cornell 5-4 in overtime and “stay alive” in the first round of ECAC playoffs. However, as we have stopped suiting up for practice each afternoon, I have realized that it is not the wins or the game-highlights that I will miss until next season starts, but the many other moments and experiences that I will remember for a much longer time. I definitely miss hitting the ice everyday with my teammates, but I also miss the team dinners, hanging out in the dining hall for way longer than we should to procrastinate doing our homework, playing “contact” in the back of the bus for hours and hours, chugging a cherry juice after the first game of a weekend, juggling the soccer ball before games, scrambling to buy the shampoo and conditioner with the other freshman for the team five minutes before the bus pulls out, and many more.
Although I am experiencing “PPD” (post-puck-depression), we do still get together most days to either lift in the gym, condition on or off of the ice, or play 3v3 full-ice. Even though after sprinting up and down the stairs of the rink a couple of days ago I felt like my chest would explode, this feeling of exhaustion will soon become just a typical Tuesday or Thursday afternoon of conditioning. We are all aware that the spring post-season will be tough, but are all committed to pushing ourselves so that hopefully next year we can be playing until the final weekend.
I am certainly sad that this season has come to an end, but I am both happy and grateful to have three left to look forward to, and I am excited about the many laughs I will share, experiences I will have, and memories I will make over the next three years!