There are worse ways to begin a school year than a week of undefeated competition in international hockey in Vierumaki, Finland. Competing for the U.S. national team at the 12 Nations Tournament in August was as good of a preparation for the upcoming season as juniors Josephine Pucci and Jillian Dempsey could have hoped to find on campus.
Now back in Bright Hockey Center, the duo are using their experience at the national level to raise the team’s performance on the ice.
In the finals of the 2011 Women’s World U18 Championship, freshman Michelle Picard and classmate Sarah Edney suited up against each other as captains of their respective national teams. And although Picard’s American squad took home the gold over Edney and Team Canada, both defenders capped off their final year of high school by earning international hardware.
Donning the Crimson uniform for the first time, Edney and Picard will join forces and help the Harvard women’s hockey team compete for the top spot in the ECAC this season.
The Harvard women’s hockey team is used to having a few seniors to look up to for guidance and example. But this season, the Crimson has just one senior: captain Alisa Baumgartner.
Baumgartner has had to step into a leadership position on the team this season after being the sole player in her class since her sophomore year.
The Harvard women’s hockey team enters the 2010-11 season with the same ambition it always has.
“Our season goal every year is a national championship,” junior defenseman Hilary Hayssen said. “We set the bar high because you have to have high expectations for yourself.”
Harvard doesn’t often send many athletes into professional sports. But the freshmen of the Crimson men’s hockey team are on their way to bucking that trend.
Of the nine freshman listed on the Harvard roster, five have already been drafted by NHL teams—four in June’s 2011 amateur draft, and one in 2010.