Daisy Mase lost a lot of sleep after she transferred to the Princeton Day School in the fall of 2010 and became the starting goalie for the PDS girls’ hockey team.
“The sophomore year transition was so hard for me; I was living an hour away,” said Mase, who hails from Sicklerville, N.J. and also stars for the Princeton Tiger Lilies club team.
“During sophomore year, we had 8:50 p.m. practices for the Tiger Lilies on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I was getting home at 11:30 and then getting up again at 5:30 in the morning, doing homework in between that and sleeping in the car. I had a blanket in my locker at school.”
As Mase took the ice against Summit at McGraw Rink last Wednesday for her Senior Night and last regular season home game, she reflected on how much she has gained from her experience over the last three years.
“I don’t regret anything; PDS has given me so much,” said Mase. “I can’t even imagine my life any differently than what it is now.”
Mase has certainly given the Panthers a lot between the pipes, utilizing her feistiness and talent to emerge as one of the top girls’ goalies in the state.
In a 4-3 win over Summit, Mase flashed her skills, making 25 saves on the evening and withstanding a barrage in the first period as she kept Summit from jumping into the lead.
“It was unexpected but it just kind of happened; I made the saves,” said Mase, referring to her first period heroics.
“I got the confidence to begin with and just went on from there. I would much rather have the constant shots and get peppered with shots than have a random breakaway and then nothing for a while. You get cold and you are sitting there. When I am getting peppered I am not focusing on anything else other than the puck. I am forced to stay focused whereas when I am not getting shots, my mind wanders.”
During the pregame ceremony, Mase became focused on the impending end to her PDS career.
“It didn’t hit me until the music came on that this is the end of my senior year and this is it for me,” said Mase, who is one of three seniors on the PDS squad along with forward Zeeza Cole and defenseman Louise Hutter.
“It was pretty emotional for everyone, they were saying do it for the seniors and just work hard for one of the last games.”
Emotions ran high for Mase last weekend as she wrapped up her career by starring for PDS in the Women’s Interscholastic Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic (WIHLMA).
“We are in the A division of WIHLMA for the first time ever,” said Mase. “I am going to be sharper than anything, if I am emotional now I am going to be emotional then.”
Although PDS fell 6-1 to Portledge and 3-2 to Pingry at the tourney to end up fourth, Mase starred, making 28 saves in the Portledge game and then coming back with 34 stops in the loss to the Blues.
For Mase, her experience off the ice at PDS has been just as positive as her work in the crease.
“That has been even better because I had never gone to school with girls that I have played with,” said Mase.
“You never see people you play with in a social situation in school; it was always different. Hockey friends are different than school friends. It doesn’t really seem like it but you are a different person outside and inside school.”
All in all, Mase has become a different person since those sleepless nights three years ago.
“It is just growing up, you are mature,” said Mase, who made 480 saves this winter with a save percentage of .897 to help the Panthers go 10-8 and is considering playing in college at the Division III level.
“You step up as a leader when the team is playing badly. That is the position of the goalie anyway to be the backbone of the team, always keeping positive and motivating the girls. Sometimes you have to give them a little kick, your defense needs that every once in a while. They have to step it up.”