Vol. LXII, No. 25
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
(Photo by Bill Allen/NJ SportAction)
WORLD CLASS: Princeton University womens hockey star defenseman Sasha Sherry heads up the ice in action this past season. Sherry, who helped Team USA earn a gold medal in the Under-18 World Championship last January, is heading up to Lake Placid, N.Y. next week to take part in a try-out camp for the U.S. Womens Under-22 select team. Sherry was a second team-All ECAC Hockey selection and a member of the leagues All-Rookie team this past winter in her freshman season with the Tigers.
Sasha Sherry knows what its like to excel on ice hockeys international stage.
Last January, the Princeton University womens hockey defenseman helped Team USA earn a gold medal in the Under-18 World Championships in Calgary, Alberta.
This week, Sherry will take another step in her international career as she heads up to Lake Placid, N.Y. to take part in a try-out camp for the U.S. Womens Under-22 select team.
The 60 rising sophomore will be bringing an extra dose of confidence into the camp due to her experience in Calgary.
It was a great experience to play against the other countries like Sweden, Czechoslovakia, and especially Canada, recalled Sherry, who had a goal and two assists in the U-18 tourney, finishing with a +13 goal differential.
There was great instruction from different coaches; I learned different strategies and tricks playing with girls I had never played with. We all stepped up and brought our best.
Sherrys best memory of the experience came when the U.S. players received their medals.
They played the winning teams anthem after every game, added Sherry. We were arm in arm on the blue line singing the national anthem after the gold medal game; it was a perfect way to end the tournament.
Unfortunately for Sherry, things didnt end perfectly for Princeton upon her return to the team as the Tigers went 14-12-6 and got swept 2-0 by Clarkson in the first round of the ECAC Hockey playoffs.
There were so many one-goal games, said Sherry, who was Princetons fourth leading scorer this past winter with 21 points on five goals and 16 assists.
I hope next years group will be able to get wins and ties in those games. It was frustrating; I think it will make us want it more.
In assessing her progress freshman year, Sherry acknowledged that she had some frustrating moments.
When I got back from the U-18 tournament, I was a little off I messed up the warmup in the first game, said Sherry with a laugh.
I matured as a player each game; there were ups and downs. It was a good learning experience. Some games I was good and then the next game, I wasnt so good. If you look at the stats, it was a pretty good year.
Sherry, a second team-All ECAC selection and a member of the leagues All-Rookie team, is focused on being physically and mentally stronger on the ice.
I definitely want to be more conditioned; I need to have more speed and quickness to the puck, asserted Sherry.
I need to be more confident on the power play. I need to improve my all-around skills. I want to be more of a leader. Ive been through things now, so things wont be new next year.
As Sherry battles in Lake Placid to earn a spot on the U-22 team, she will go through a lot of challenges.
Its very intense; its like a boot camp with your friends, said Sherry, who will be joined at the camp by fellow Princeton defenseman Katherine Dineen.
They put you through multiple tests on ice and off the ice. They also evaluate you as a person and consider your character.
The daily schedule at the camp does amount to a survival test. Its 12 hours a day and the coaches are with you almost the whole time, explained Sherry.
There is usually a practice on the ice in the morning and then another practice or game in the evening. There are running tests, weight lifting tests, skating tests. Its a week of really hard work; everyday is tiring, you have to get your rest and take care of yourself.
Sherry is determined to make an impression on the coaches. I need to be aggressive on the ice, said Sherry.
Sometimes it looks like Im not into it; I need to work as hard as I can in every drill.
One thing that should help make work a little less arduous will be the presence of teammate Dineen in the camp.
Its very comforting to have Dineen there; we are pretty close after playing on defense all year together, said Sherry, who will be one of the youngest players at that camp, having turned 18 this past April. We can commiserate and bounce things off of each other.
With an ultimate goal of someday playing for the U.S. Womens National Team in the Winter Olympics, Sherry knows that bouncing up to the U-22 team would be a big step in that direction.
I was really excited to get invited, said Sherry. When you are on the U-18 team, the hope is to get to try out for the U-22 team as soon as possible. Its definitely a key step. I know I have a few years but it would be great to get on it now.
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