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ISU women’s hockey concludes first season after six-year hiatus

Written by on April 10, 2023

Photo provided by Illinois State Women’s Hockey

NORMAL, Ill. – ISU women’s sports have had an impressive year.

The women’s basketball team went 17-3 in Missouri Valley Conference play, gymnastics won the Midwest Independent Conference Championship, while softball recently racked up an 11-game win streak with a conference second-best record. The ISU women’s hockey team was no exception to this standard.

The season started off strong for the Redbirds in their first season back after not competing since 2016. ISU sophomore Makenna Spearman restarted the team and undertook the role of president of the organization, putting together nine skaters and two goalies to compete.

The team started slow, losing their first game at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. However, the team started to put it together, and at their first home game against the Decatur Fury they took it to a shootout.

“That was probably the most exciting of it all,” said Spearman. “We did lose, but we took it to overtime and shootout, so it was pretty exciting. Just having the first home game… That was pretty fun.”

The team went on to win their next three, beating the Decatur Fury at home and away as well as defeating the University of Indiana.

While this season ended early, the team hopes to both improve and get more members next year and compete at an even higher level in the future.

“Next season we plan to join WCHL (Women’s Central Hockey League),” Spearman said. “We’re not sure if we are going to play division one or division two, it depends on how many players we get and where they come from… but when we do that league we’ll play around 16 games and have playoffs in March.”

After not competing for over five years, a 3-2 record is a promising start to bringing back the team as they look to rebuild their presence at ISU.