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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Hockey is one of those sports where everybody knows everybody, especially here in New England where hockey is life. Oftentimes, relationships between hockey teammates and rivals can last a lifetime, and sometimes, rivalries can turn to friendship. Throughout their upbringings in adjacent towns, Westwood’s Allie Damren, Walpole’s Cici Frattasio, and Wellesley’s Sarah Goss certainly saw a lot of one another at the rink. Now, the former rivalry trio has become one down in Middleton, Connecticut, as the three local hockey stars compete together on the Wesleyan University women’s ice hockey team.
A dual-sport star in hockey and field hockey, Frattasio enters her senior season this fall and will be a core piece of the Cardinal field hockey team before getting after it on the ice alongside Damren, who attempts to battle back from a rib injury that claimed a majority of her freshman hockey season, and Goss, who appeared in all 20 of Wesleyan’s games last year as a sophomore defenseman, of which she started in nine.
Damren will look to stay healthy this season and become a key contributor on both the ice and on the lacrosse field as she attempts to walk-on to UW lax for the second straight season after sitting out last spring in order to recover from her injury. Damren says that expectations for this season are high, especially with seniors such as Frattasio, a Middlesex School product, leading the charge.
“Wesleyan plays in a very competition division in the NESCAC, and every game is really a toss up. I think our team holds a very cool dynamic in which we have three great captains this season, yet they aren’t the only leaders on our team,” said Damren. “Our captains are the main form of communication to our coach. However, everybody on the team holds one another accountable which I think is necessary in order to have a complete team dynamic. We make sure that each person is hitting the necessary reps in the gym or touching the line on sprints and pushing themselves as hard as they can each day.”
Damren also praised her coaching staff, who stuck by her and played critical roles in her comeback from injury last season.
“My coach, Jodi McKenna, has an incredible hockey sense and she knows the specifics of how the team flow should be as well as individual player skills, but she also knows how to instill confidence into every single one of us. Jodi and assist coach Tara Connolly worked with me one-on-one each day when I was trying to get back into shape, and they both pushed me really hard, which in the moment I wasn’t happy about, but looking back, it is exactly what I needed. Our other assistant, Mike Finola, was my rock last season. He checked in with me at a constant when I first arrived on campus, to when I was out with injury, and then helping me manage my emotions once I came back. Mike and Leslie Frank have definitely influenced me in ways that I could have never imagined. Unfortunately, we won’t have Mike or Tara this year so I’m looking forward to building relationships with our new assistants and gaining whatever knowledge and skills they bring with them.”
Even when not together on the ice, these three young women are making a name for themselves and this area both academically and athletically down at Wesleyan. Between the three, there are five total sports being played (three hockey, one field hockey, one lacrosse) and their academic excellence is off the charts.
Best of luck to Allie Damren, Cici Frattasio, and Sarah Goss as they get ready to head off to Middleton for the fall semester.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0, or read his blog at www.flannylive.wordpress.com.