Summer is always a great time for a reunion—even if that reuniting group is best known for its prowess in the winter.
For the Harvard women’s hockey team, that “reunion” is a summer spent training with the US national team. Two current players, rising tri-captains Kate Buesser and Leanna Coskren, join national team staples Julie Chu ’06-’07 and Caitlin Cahow ’08-’09 on the US National Team. The four of them will be playing together under Crimson coach Katey Stone, recently named head coach of the US National team.
“All those kids are going to be fired up to play together,” Stone said. “It’s certainly nice to have Harvard represented.”
Cahow is the only one of the four skaters to have shared the ice with each of the Crimson athletes. The defenseman played with Chu for three seasons at Harvard in addition to the past two Olympics. She skated with Buesser and Coskren in her final season at Bright Hockey Center. Chu has never played organized hockey with the rising seniors, but the three athletes are familiar with each other’s accomplishments.
“I think they’ll be great,” Chu said. “Once you go to Harvard, you get the bug. You’re invested in how the team does. I’ve followed both of their careers, and I’m looking forward to playing with them.”
The feeling is shared.
“You hear all the stories about Julie Chu,” Buesser said. “It’s going to be an exciting time.”
Of course, the foursome will be doing more than sitting around and sharing stories. They will be training hard under a coach who has always held them to the highest standards.
“We know what she expects our conduct to be on and off the ice,” Buesser said.
For Buesser and Coskren, the summer presents an opportunity to train at a higher level.
“It’s going to be my first time with the national team,” Buesser said. “I can imagine it’s going to be a lot of fun. You’re playing with the best players in the country…It really raises the speed of the game. You think college is fast and then you get to the national team. There is a faster pace to it…That really helps when you get back to college.”
Buesser and Coskren make up two-thirds of the Crimson’s athletes with the national team this summer. The third, rising sophomore Josephine Pucci, is training with the Under-22 team.
“The kids have earned the opportunity,” Stone said. “It’s up to them to take advantage of it…I’m anxious for these kids to be exposed to things at a much higher level. It’s exciting for them and hopefully they’ll take full advantage.”
Chu, who competed in the Olympics before and during college, emphasized the benefits of playing at the college and international level.
“Both situations feed off each other,” Chu said. “As far as I’m concerned, NCAA hockey is the best there is…At the same time, when you get to the national team level, the level of play gets amped up. You have an opportunity to push your skills further and hopefully bring that back to your team when you get back to college level hockey.”
Meanwhile, for Chu and Cahow, the summer allows the opportunity to stay sharp by competing with some of the college game’s biggest stars.
“[I’m] trying to keep these older legs up with those younger ones,” Chu said.
Trying to keep up with each other? Always competing with each other? Sounds like a family reunion.
Alums Seek Olympic Glory<p>As the 2010 Vancouver Games approach, five alums from Harvard women's hockey—all veterans of at least the 2006 Olympics—are hoping to get another chance to represent their countries on the biggest athletic stage of all.</p>
SPORTS BRIEF: Three Alums Make US Olympic TeamWomen's hockey alums Angela Ruggiero ’02-’04, Julie Chu ’06-’07, and Caitlin Cahow ’07-’08 are among the 21 players on the US Olympic roster.
Harvard Stumbles After Month-Long Layoff
Three Alums Make US Olympic TeamWith the Winter Olympics less than two months away, the US women’s hockey team is set, and three Harvard skaters will be making the trip to Vancouver.
Harvard's Katey Stone to Coach US Hockey Team
Hockey Players Stay Busy in OffseasonThe Harvard women’s hockey team won’t officially open its season for another month, but that hasn’t stopped its current players ...