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    CAMPUS ANGLE

    Sarah Schwenzfeier sets Norwich’s tone on the ice

    Mark Collier/Norwich University
    Hingham’s Sarah Schwenzfeier in action on the ice for Norwich University. She’s tallied 50 career goals but is even more valuable as a playmaker for the team.
    Mark Collier/Norwich University
    Sarah Schwenzfeier

    Sarah Schwenzfeier scored her 50th career goal Feb. 6 for the Norwich University women’s hockey team in a 2-2 tie against Middlebury in a battle of Top 10 squads, doing so with 1:17 left to earn the point for her squad. Still, it is her playmaking ability that sets her apart. The Hingham resident has scored 12 goals this season with 23 assists, second on the team. The 5-foot-6 senior forward dished our four helpers (along with a goal) in a win over Southern Maine in November.

    “She is one of the best two-way, consistent players in the nation, with a natural, quiet leadership style that has made our team so steady during her four years,” said Norwich coach Mark Bolding. “She is like Patrice Bergeron in the middle with all the tools, with and without the puck.”

    Schwenzfeier played three years at Hingham High, leading the school to the Division 1 state title her sophomore year. She transferred to Tabor Academy after her junior season. She has played in 115 games at Norwich, with 51 goals and 67 assists. She was recently named a first-team all-New England Hockey Conference selection. Her team owns a 21-1-3 record.

    Q. How does it feel to earn all-NEHC honors?

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    A. It is a great honor. It was my last year to make it and to achieve it was a personal goal. Now I hope to make it to the Final Four.

    Q. You’ve played the most career games of anyone on the roster. How does that experience factor into your game?

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    A. I have experienced the ups and downs of each season. I feel knowledge is a key aspect, and I can share what to expect with my teammates that have never been to the postseason.

    Q. Your goal scoring is down this year but your assists are up. Did your role change?

    A. As each season brings new people to the team, each person’s role can change. This year I feel that my role being more of a play maker rather than a goal scorer.

    Q. What is the biggest asset that you bring to the team?

    A. My work ethic. On the ice, I try and inspire each player to work and play to their best abilities though my actions.

    Q. How does the team deal with being ranked No. 1?

    A. [It] requires the team to have a different mind-set. It requires us to come out harder and to never feel too comfortable in the position we are in. Every team wants to beat us more than in the past, and hockey is a game where anything is possible.

    Q. What is most important for the team to ensure a deep postseason run similar to last season?

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    A. Keeping the drive to continue to improve and learn for the rest of the season. Overall, keeping a good mind-set on the team goals.

    Q. Do you have a most memorable moment at Norwich?

    A. Making it to the Final Four last year. The quarterfinals game against Middlebury was a huge team win. Seeing our team come together and accomplish a goal was amazing.

    Q. Would you like to stay involved in hockey in some fashion?

    A. I would enjoy coaching and giving back to the sport that as given me so much. Also, continuing to play hockey after this season [is] possible overseas.

    Q. Any pre-game rituals that you follow?

    A. I have had the same ritual for pre-game since my freshman year. I arrive at the rink exactly 2½ hours before the game. I play soccer with one of my teammates [Nicole Goebel] before warming up for the game. I also need to have two water bottles per game, one in a certain spot on the bench and one in the locker room with me.

    Q. Were you able to follow the US women’s hockey team in the Olympics?

    A. When it came down to the last game between Canada and the US, my team all gathered together and we watched the game. It was pretty special seeing them win and following their experience throughout the Olympics.

    John Johnson can be reached at jjohnson49@comcast.net.