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Newest Green Knights take the ice

Women's Hockey
Goalie Kaley Gibson ’14 stretches while the rest of the women’s hockey team takes a knee at a captain’s practice this fall. Behind Gibson, Taylor Giacin ’14 is explaining the upcoming drill to her teammates.

Women’s hockey is set to make its debut at Cornerstone’s Resch Olympic Pavilion Oct. 29 and Lotta Haarala ’14 – a defender from Finland – knows that she and her teammates have a lot of work to do to live up to the success of the existing men’s hockey program at St. Norbert.

“Of course,” Haarala said. “We want to do better than them.”

Setting a tone is a top priority for this all-first-year team this season. Coach Rob Morgan wants his players to shape what that means. In one of his first meetings he will ask them what kind of culture they want to create as founding members.

“I believe, with the kind of character we have in the locker room, that they are going to set the bar very high for themselves,” Morgan said.

In part that is a result of Morgan getting the kind of players he wanted. When Morgan was recruiting for the team, he talked about the unique chance to be part of the history of the team and being the first to wear the jerseys.

“This is an amazing group of student athletes to have the courage to step forward and be a part of a brand new program,” Morgan said.

Some see it as a challenge and some see it as an advantage.

“We have been here for only about a month,” Haarala said. “But our team already has created a team spirit and bonding starting the first moment we met each other. We don’t have seniors here to tell us what to do, so we have to experience everything by ourselves as a team.”

In all, 24 players from five different countries – Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Canada and the United States – were recruited. Some, like defender Emma Agén Bjälvegård ’14 from Sweden, knew nothing about St. Norbert when they were first contacted.

“My first impression was that it was a beautiful campus and the perfect size,” Agén Bjälvegård said. “After visiting the school and talking to Coach Rob face-to-face, I decided to attend SNC because it was the perfect fit.”

Because the program was new, according to Morgan, talking about the school itself was the best place to start the conversation with recruits.

“Once they found out that we were a very good school academically, then I was able to focus on the other aspects of St. Norbert,” Morgan said.

The team will compete in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Conference, which was won by Lake Forest (11-1-4) a year ago.

For Lauren Straus ’14, a defender from Nevada, setting the tone is just as much about the conference as it is about the players themselves. “For us it is important to create an identity for ourselves in the first season,” Straus said. “We want our opponents to respect us but fear playing against us.”

The first opponent for the newest Green Knights is Bethel University, and Morgan hopes fans of the men’s team will turn out to see what the women’s team has to offer, too.

“I think they (fans of the men’s game) will be impressed with the women’s game,” Morgan said. “It’s a very entertaining hockey game. We want to get as many people out as we can to this first game. We’d love it if we could pack the rink. It’s the first time a women’s college hockey game has been played up there. And certainly a first for us, playing on our home rink.”

Fall 2010 Magazine

Web extraLook here for web-only content that expands on topics presented in the current St. Norbert College Magazine.

Audio iconFight song gets new lyrics
Music professors Michael Rosewall and Linda Cook help us “Raise our voices to the Green and Gold” with renewed spirit.

Text ExtraA matter of opinion
Find out what readers are thinking about their college magazine.

Text ExtraFan Reaction to the
Favre-Packer Split

Master's candidate Peter Weiss explores the connections between fandom and identity.

VideoSports Rights Fees
Carl Vogel ’79
speaks on
the financial engine of sports.

Text ExtraA legend at St. Norbert
Bart Starr and Forrest Gregg recall the Vince Lombardi years on campus in the new book,
“A Championship Team.”

VideoNew mascot on campus
Watch Norby adjust to college life.

Text ExtraThe Norby Chronicles
Read the backstory on our favorite new Green Knight.

GalleryA sporting success
Images from the opening
season of the brand-new Donald
J. Schneider Stadium.

Text ExtraSundays in Manila
A chapter of Philippines encounters from the new travel memoir by Robert Boyer (English, Emeritus).

Text ExtraAlumni Award Winners 2010
Read more on the life and works of this year’s honorees.



Story ideas? Your ideas for future magazine stories are most welcome. Write to the editor with any suggestions or comments.

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