Among the numerous amounts of clubs and organizations at Slippery Rock University, one in particular has been receiving awareness for its selections to the Delaware Valley Collegiate Hockey Conference (DVCHC) all-star team.
The SRU women’s club hockey team recently sent a total of six players to a tournament that recognizes all-stars and new-stars (players who started playing hockey in college) from around the league. The six women for The Rock that were selected to the tournament, which took place in earlier this month, were Taylor Bright, Brenna Moore, Brittany Sample, Julia Null, Brooke Bossong, and Trisha Pipchok, the latter four selected as new-stars.
It was big for the team this year because in the past there were not as many players on the team as there are this year, said Taylor Bright, team captain and junior public health major at SRU.
Last season (2016-2017) the team had seven players, she said. This year, Bright said, she and her teammates took the initiative to go out and recruit more players. They went to the clubs and organizations fair (an event held within the first few weeks of the fall and spring semesters to help get students involved on campus) and set-up a booth.
There, the women recruited six more players to join the team, including Brooke Bossong, a sophomore sports management major at SRU and one of the new-stars for the DVCHC tournament. Bossong said she has never played hockey in an organized setting before this past season but has grown-up surrounded by the game.
“My brother plays and my dad coaches,” she said. “I grew up watching it and just sort of playing it for fun. This is my first year actually playing for a team so it’s neat to finally be in the atmosphere of a game situation.”
This season the team saw a drastic increase in success. Prior to this past season, the women only won a combined total of three games in two full seasons (all three of which came in one season). In this most recent season, which ended back in February, The Rock went 5-7 and averaged 5.23 goals per game, according to the team’s page on the DVCHC’s website.
This season also the addition of Bill Bright, Taylor’s father, as the head coach of the team. Bright said her father has coached her little brother for a number of years up until this season. This is the first time in her life that her father has coached her, which she has enjoyed, she said.
Bossong said the success of her team has not only helped bring awareness to them, but to women’s sports in general.
“All around campus all you really hear about is the guys’ hockey team and guys’ sports,” she said. “To be able to get our name out there is really important to us.”
Both Bright and Bossong said that they are excited for next season, which will begin in the fall. They said they “strongly” encourage the women at SRU to get involved with the team.
“Player don’t even have to know how to skate before joining the team,” said Bright, slightly chuckling. “We will teach you.”