Women’s hockey finishes admirably
March 26, 2009
The UW-River Falls Falcon women’s hockey team advanced to the NCAA Div. III national championship, the Frozen Four, over the weekend, which was held at Middlebury (Vt.) College. The Falcons unfortunately ended up placing fourth in the tournament, after a first round loss to Elmira (N.Y.) College and a loss to Middlebury in the second round. But despite the disappointing outcome, the Falcon players, fans and parents represented UWRF admirably.
The Falcon players completely decimated the NCHA competition, finishing first in the conference, and advanced to the Frozen Four after being picked as underdogs to win the O’ Brien Cup and underdogs against Gustavus Adolphus College in the first round. Even with the losses to Elmira and Middlebury, advancing as far as they did was an outstanding accomplishment that they should be proud of.
It was not only the players who made the trip to Vermont, however. After gaining minimal attention during the regular season, the Falcons managed to gain a following of devoted fans who made a 21-hour van ride to Vermont to watch the tournament in person and support the team
Some of the parents were heavily involved as well, some paid for airfare to Vermont, and even paid for the vans and hotel rooms for the team’s fans. It is this kind of devotion and personal sacrifice that really elevates the UWRF fan base onto a higher pedestal.
The student and parent pilgrimage was so robust, UWRF fans outnumbered the collective fans of the other three schools playing in the tournament: Elmira, Amherst (Mass.) College and Middlebury; all of which are much closer to the Middlebury tournament site than UWRF.
Despite the fourth place finish, the Student Voice would like to congratulate the UWRF women’s hockey team on an amazing and inspiring season. Amidst a season in which all other UWRF sports teams knew only defeat, the women’s hockey team gave students an exciting and uplifting respite from disappointment, and a reason to get excited about the Falcons again. With dedication, determination and hard work, the solid cornerstones building a foundation of excellence, paying off and sending the Falcons to the Final Four, next season should house only improvement.
The Student Voice once again congratulates the women’s hockey team, and wishes them, and all of the UWRF athletic teams, best of luck next season.