Mary Travers realizes that her time on the ice is fleeting as the Princeton Day School girls’ hockey team heads into the final weeks of the season.
PDS senior forward Travers, who will be playing field hockey at Tufts University this fall, is savoring her final weeks of ice hockey.
“It is different, not playing ice hockey is going to be so weird,” said Travers.
“I have been playing since I was four. I have been skating forever, much longer than field hockey. I am really trying to go into everything with the mentality that I only have x number of practices left so even if this practice is only a one-hour ice slot, it counts. I want to not only to do my best for myself but for my teammates who I care so much about and who support me so much.”
Travers and her teammates did their best last Wednesday as they hosted Portledge School (N.Y.). PDS trailed 1-0 after two periods and then fell behind 2-0 before Travers scored to make it 2-1 with 10:23 left in regulation.
While the Panthers put the pressure on Portledge, they couldn’t knot the contest and surrendered two late goals to fall 4-1 and drop to 9-5-1.
“We played completely with them; everyone stepped up,” said Travers.
“I was so proud of everyone; we were playing together and everyone was giving 110 percent.”
Coming into the third period, the Panthers were looking to play even harder.
“The message over the second period break was that everyone was giving 100 percent but there is always a little more to give,” said Travers.
After Portledge doubled its lead to 2-0, Travers found the back of the net on a power play.
“Our practice yesterday was basically all penalty kill, power play; that has been a big focus, knowing that if we can capitalize on the power plays we have a much better chance,” said Travers.
“They were definitely coming up on us. Normally, we try and do passes among Kristi [Serafin], Robin [Linzmayer], and I on the top to get them moving and draw them out but they were already up on us so those passes weren’t open. We have two great girls in front of the net in Emma and Mimi so if you can get a shot on net, you know they are going to be right there so that was what was I thinking.”
While PDS couldn’t get over the hump against Portledge last Wednesday, Travers is looking forward to having another shot at the Long Island team.
“We played the whole game and we finished it out so that is huge to me,” said Travers.
“Also we will play them in the WIHLMA (Women’s Interscholastic Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic) tournament so we are focused on that right now. We have proved to ourselves that we can play with them.”
The infusion of some key newcomers has helped PDS play better this winter.
“I think with such a strong freshman class it has really helped; they bring so much to the team,” said Travers.
“They are all playing club and they push everyone else to be better, even the seniors. I see them doing really well and I got to hustle in practice. They contribute so much, I think that’s a huge amount of our success.”
This fall, Travers will try to emulate those freshmen as she joins the Tufts field hockey program.
“I am excited to work towards earning a spot and show the Tufts team who I am,” said Travers.
“We all have quotes in front of our lockers this winter and mine is the ‘will to prepare is more important that the will to win.’ I think that is so true. I really have that mentality. You don’t have to be the most skilled player, you just have to work the hardest and give it your all and hustle. That is what you have to do. There are such skilled girls on that team. I don’t even know if I am going to see the field but I know how hard I am going to work.”
In the meantime, Travers is going to work her hardest for PDS this winter as she enjoys her final moments on ice.