What makes a team great? According to Kristen Pechacek, psychology and neuroscience ’18, it is working with your teammates and being great together. Pechacek is a crucial part of the hockey team at St. Kate’s and has been publicly recognized for her talent as a goalie on the team. During her sophomore season, Pechacek won first team All-MIAC and second team All-American honors. When asked about her accomplishments Pechacek responded by saying, “Individual awards are great, but they never happen without the rest of the team.” For her, working well as a team is the most important.
Pechacek spoke about a game that was memorable to her. A game that happened last season against the highly skilled hockey team at Gustavus. Her team managed to tie with them which lead to Gustavus not making it into the playoffs that year. She spoke again about the strength of the team as a whole and not one individual player. “This was one of my better games last season but the best part of this game was that we all worked together and worked hard to accomplish that tie that so many people doubted we could do.”
However, not all of the encouragement and strength that the teammates share is in the rink. School work and training are also done together. Balancing games, training and studies can be difficult, but Pechacek explains how her teammates are there for her even on the bad days. “Some days are more difficult than others, but when I am struggling, my teammates are always there to encourage me and push me to do my best.”
Pechacek is considered one of the hockey team’s “star-players”. However, when asked about this she responded in her usual humble way, “I don’t see myself that way. I think my team understands that we share in successes as well as failures.”
With a close-knit hockey team and appreciation for every player, it is certain that the Wildcat hockey team will continue to be a team to be rivaled with.