Women’s Hockey 2021-22 Season Preview

Posted on November 4th, 2021 by

2021-22 Gustavus women's hockey. (photo courtesy of SPX Sports)

SAINT PETER, Minn. – After playing in just five games last season due to strict COVID testing protocols, the Gustavus women’s hockey team is eager to begin a full-slated 2021-22 season on Friday night at Lake Forest. The MIAC-defending champion Gusties are ranked No. 6 in Division III according to the latest USCHO poll.

“I think there is an even playing field with everyone in college hockey because everyone went through some adversity last year,” Head Coach Mike Carroll said. Carroll is in his 23rd season at the helm and is an eight-time MIAC Coach of the Year, most recently earning the honor in 2019-20. The makeup of his team this season gives Carroll, the second winningest coach all-time in NCAA Division III women’s hockey (440 wins, .769 winning percentage), a lot of optimism heading into the new season.

“I think we have a really good mix of veterans that have played in a lot of big games and have that experience and know what it takes to be successful,” Carroll said. “We just need to find that again after having so much time off.”

The experience on this year’s team is highlighted by eight seniors and seven juniors. Postseason awards were not given out last season, but the Gusties return three All-Conference players from the 2019-20 season in Hailey Holland (Jr., Aberdeen, S.D.), Molly McHugh (Jr., Minnetonka), and Kristina Press (Sr., Cottage Grove). Katie McCoy (Jr., Grafton, Wis.) also returns between the pipes after earning All-Rookie Team honors two seasons ago.

“They’ve done a really good job of helping our younger players get used to the difference from high school to college and settling in,” Carroll said. “After playing in two scrimmages this preseason we are hoping to be a little more consistent and we are going to lean on our upperclassmen to carry the load.”

This season’s team captains are Stephanie Anderson (Sr., Blaine), Press, and Kayla Vreize (Sr., Eagan).

“All three are unique and different individuals,” Carroll said. “One thing they have in common is their leadership skills are based on how they carry themselves and leading by example both on and off the ice. They’re all three excellent students and they know what it takes off the ice to manage their time. And on the ice, knowing what the expectation is day in and day out.”

The Gusties’ season begins with a two-game non-conference series at Lake Forest (Ill.) before starting MIAC play next week against St. Kate’s. The Gusties have their sights on successfully defending their MIAC regular season and playoff titles from 2020, but are taking the small steps early in the season to put themselves in position to achieve their goals.

“We have our ultimate goals for the season on the back burner, but we are going week by week right now,” Carroll said. “It’ll be nice to get away with our group and mix in some chemistry, some team building and team bonding going overnight to Lake Forest for a couple non-conference games. And then we will sit down and look at our first half of our conference. I think we have the ability to set the bar pretty high but it’s also going to take a lot of hard work and it’s a really long season so we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves.”

2021-22 Schedule | 2021-22 Roster

 

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