It is a new season, and a chance to start fresh for the Oswego State women’s ice hockey team. Although it is a chance to begin again, the Lakers do not want to deviate too much from what they did last year.
In the previous season, the Lakers set a program record with 17 wins, outscoring opponents, 63-36. They defeated Buffalo State in the first round of the ECAC West Championships before falling to Elmira College one week later in the semifinals at SUNY Plattsburgh.
However, like all collegiate teams are forced to do because of graduation, it takes new faces to become leaders and step up for the upcoming year. The team lost nine seniors from last year and looks for their new captains to step up and continue the winning tradition.
Led now by junior goalkeeper Tori Trovato and junior forward Lizzy Marks, the Lakers look to these two in hopes that they carry the strong leadership and winning formula to match the previous year’s success.
Head coach Diane Dillon enters her eighth year with Oswego State, and continues to strive for success with a new team, something she has been able to do before. The team has posted back-to-back winning seasons for the first time under Dillon, and has at least double-digit wins in the last four years.
The Lakers first game of the year comes in an exhibition contest against the Toronto Midget Aeros, a AA girls’ hockey program that prepares players for the next step, which hopefully is a professional hockey career in Canada. The Midget Aeros finished 43-15-6 last season, which included exhibitions, tournaments, and playoffs.
This game will be a first look at the new roles that each player must fill after departing last year’s seniors. Against a tough opponent in the first game of the season, one cannot expect all the fixes to be immediate and have the team firing on all cylinders. However, one can expect the team to show leadership amongst each other and continue to progress through the season under its new leaders, and continued direction under Dillon.