Media day for women’s hockey took place on Tuesday as Penn State coach Josh Brandwene and players Shannon Yoxheimer and Laura Bowman sat down to discuss the upcoming season.
“It was a wonderful, long summer,” Brandwene said. “I am glad hockey season is back and preseason is underway. There was a lot of growth and development from the girls. It was exciting to see the change from freshman to sophomore year from the girls. The sky is the limit this year.”
Brandwene said senior Celine Whitlinger and sophomore Hannah Ehresmann will split time as the starting goalie.
“They push each other and have a sister-like relationship,” Brandwene said.
The coach also said that the preseason polls speak for themselves in terms of the Nittany Lions being picked fourth. Right now he said he aims to focus on the preseason and what is down the road for the upcoming season.
Coming out of a winning season last year, the players have the mentality of “been there done that,” Brandwene said. They have institutional memory and know what it takes to be successful, he said.
As far as growing the program, Brandwene said he owes potential growth to the culture and gave credit to the young women on the team.
“We celebrate success and family created in the locker room,” the coach said. “We had 14 players on the Dean’s list and a 3.35 [team average] GPA last spring. Having talented players from all around the world creates success.”
Brandwene said training camp made the pace move forward quicker because of mentors and that the freshmen class is impressive. He pointed out that each class is stepping up to the plate and there is a great senior leadership presence on the team.
Junior Laura Bowman and senior Shannon Yoxheimer also discussed their upcoming season.
“With this group of girls, you don’t want to put a limit on the success,” Yoxheimer said. “We want to shoot for the stars.”
The forward also said the first winning season shows a lot of confidence and shows no limit with the experience the girls have.
“We want to see growth at an exponential rate,” Bowman said.
Yoxheimer said everyone is excited to get back on the ice and put the jerseys on.
“Chemistry is almost everything to us, we pride ourselves in it and it makes us stronger,” said Bowman.
The team takes on the University of Guelph at 7 p.m. on Thursday for an exhibition game at Pegula Ice Arena.
Peace, love toodles.