Lund Relishes PU Women’s Hockey Senior Weekend, Looking to End College Career with Playoff Success
SENIOR MOMENT: Princeton University women’s hockey player Karlie Lund controls the puck in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, senior forward and co-captain Lund chipped in an assist in a losing cause cause as Princeton fell 2-1 to visiting Rensselaer. The fifth-ranked Tigers, now 18-4-5 overall and 15-2-3 ECAC Hockey, will look to wrap up the league’s regular season title when they play at Clarkson on February 22 and at St. Lawrence on February 23. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Karlie Lund didn’t want to leave the ice at Hobey Baker Rink last Saturday evening after the Princeton University women’s hockey team hosted Rensselaer in its final regular season home game.
Senior forward and co-captain Lund and her classmates lingered on the rink after the program held its annual Senior Day ceremony, cavorting with each other and family members, skating back and forth and posing for a number of pictures.
Even though fifth-ranked Princeton had just lost 2-1 to Rensselaer, that didn’t put a damper on the festivities honoring the Class of 2019.
“Senior weekend was great despite the loss; it is about celebrating all the seniors, their families, and our time here at Princeton,” said Lund, a native of Eden Prairie, Minn.
“I am so grateful that I have been able to spend four years here and just to have my family here to celebrate with them and each other and just reflect on the four years.”
Lund’s classmates on the team, Stephanie Sucharda, Kimiko Marinacci, and Keiko DeClerck, have become family for her.
“The biggest thing is going to be the relationships I have developed with my fellow seniors, they are three of my best friends,” said Lund, noting that Sucharda is her co-captain while Marinacci and DeClerck are serving as assistant captains.
“I think we are going to stay in touch after graduation and always be rooting for each other and rooting for Princeton, no matter how many years out we are.”
The Tiger seniors are going out with a big final campaign, having won the Ivy League title, set a program record with a 20-game unbeaten streak, and currently sitting in first place in the ECAC Hockey stands at 18-4-5 overall and 15-2-3 ECACH.
“This year, winning the Ivy league was huge,” said Lund. “We won it coming in as freshmen. I don’t think we really realized how important that is and how hard it is to win that. So to go out on that top note this senior year and be undefeated in the Ivy League was another great memory to have with my teammates.”
The family feeling throughout the squad has helped sparked the Tigers. “I would say the biggest thing is that we have really become a family over the past couple of months,” maintained Lund. “Our team chemistry is great this year; I would say that it is the best it has been in my four years here.”
Things didn’t go as well Saturday in the defeat to Rensselaer as the Tigers outshot the Engineers 58-22 only to to come up short by one goal.
“We definitely peppered their goalie [Lovisa Selander] with a ton of shots,” said Lund, who assisted on Princeton’s lone goal in the contest.
“We are known for being an offensive team. It was great to see that we got a lot of shots. Their goalie just played amazing; we have to give her a lot of credit. She is probably one of the best goalies in the nation. It is tough to see that we couldn’t put another one there. We were pretty close.”
Over her four years with the Princeton program, Lund has put up a lot of points, tallying 53 goals and 73 assists.
“I have played with some tremendous players; I started out freshman year with Cassidy Tucker and Morgan Sly and they really helped me,” said the 5’10 Lund, who has eight goals and 13 assists so far this season.
“I fed them and they fed me; we played off of each other. In the past three years, playing with Carly Bullock, we went to high school together so we always know where each are on the ice. Just being able to help Princeton succeed any way possible was what I was hoping to accomplish here during my time. The fact that I have been able to get on the score sheet a few times is really nice.”
The Tigers have been a scoring machine this winter, averaging 3.7 goals a game, outscoring its foes 100-50 in the process.
“We have a great freshman class that has really been contributing; that helps us because we can get scoring on any line,” said Lund, referring to the one-two punch of freshman phenoms Sarah Fillier and Maggie Connors, who have notched 47 and 37 points, respectively.
“In past years, we have relied on a few key players, but this year, anyone can score. You can see it on the scoresheet; we have so many players that are in double digit points. It is hard to defend us; you can’t really pick one player or one line to defend. I think has been our biggest advantage so hopefully we can keep that going.”
With Princeton playing at Clarkson on February 22 and at St. Lawrence on February 23 to wrap up regular season play, Lund is hoping the Tigers can go out with a sweep and bring some momentum into the ECACH playoffs.
“We are still in first place in the ECAC, which is something that we are trying to achieve; we are trying to host the Final 4 for the ECAC,” said Lund.
“We are focusing on the little things, on our habits, and really just trying to enjoy the moment and realize our potential. I believe this team could win the national championship. We have the talent, we have the team chemistry. It is just about how the puck bounces that game and if we are playing as a team.”