Captains Sarah Ray 04 and Amanda Chumbley 03 provide essential leadership for the team. Ray on defense was all-conference two years in a row, which Osieci says is especially huge for having won as few games as we have in comparison with other teams.
Chumbley, one of the three goaltenders, is also a huge part of the team as a captain and a leader, Osiecki said. Until the Oles acquired Andrea Smith 05 and Kerry Rollwagen 05 last year,
Chumbley played every minute of every game. Osiecki said, Its not easy when younger people come in and take away [some of] your ice time, but shes handled it very well.
The Ole women started the hockey season off with a bang on Friday night, beating the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire 1-0. They held Eau Claire close the following night, but lost 3-2. Lorna Wilson 05, Jennifer Welch 06 and Sarah Ray 04 scored St. Olafs goals this weekend. Smith, a member of last years MIAC All-Rookie Team, led the Oles to the shutout victory on Friday. Osiecki said that Smith and Rollwagen are both very good goaltenders and we knew that coming in. Osiecki also mentioned Kate Barnett 05 and key playmaker Britny Schultheis 05 as important returning players. Barnett was the leading goal scorer last season and earned honorable mention for All-Conference. Schultheis was also a leading scorer last year. The Oles have eight new players this season as well, five of whom will get considerable ice time. Lindsay Weier 06 from Menomonie, Wis. is among the new recruits. Her past experience includes the opportunity to play against the Chinese Olympic hockey team. Osiecki described Jennifer Welch 06 from Bloomington, Minn. as a real find. She is developing into a very good player, he said. Lakevilles Melissa Mueller 06 is incredibly fast. She is as fast as anybody in the league, Osiecki said. Kendra Ruff 06 from Willmar, Minn. and Kirsten Paulson 06 from Moorhead, Minn. have significant ice time among the first years, as well. The team also acquired Assistant Coach Laura Slominski this season. Slominski played under Osiecki at Burnsville High School and went on to play for the Gophers for four years. Osiecki described her as a phenomenal assistant coach, and said, Were glad to have her. Expectations for this season are high. Our defense is huge, Osiecki said, and the team has a very good nucleus. He is confident that the Oles will have a better record this season than last. Weve come a long way and I feel that we can compete against any team that we play. Chumbley thinks that this team is the best that St. Olaf has had in a while. We have a very good batch of new players, and were looking to be really good this year, she said.
Ray is also impressed with the first year players and is looking forward to the rest of the season. St. Marys and St. Bens will be really good games, she said. I think it will be fun this year, said Barnett. Well have more wins. The Ole women will try to add to the win column this weekend when they host Hamline University this Saturday at 7:00 p.m.