Hartford, CT- After her rookie year was tainted by a meniscus tear that kept her out for the entire season, sophomore Katie Marsden (Hessle, England) came back guns blazing this winter. Most first year players have enough to worry about without the thought of recovering from an injury, since it takes time adjusting to their sport at the collegiate level. However, Marsden returned to the team this winter as one of the top rookie scorers in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) and tied for fourth in the NESCAC for points. Trinity Head Coach Keith Maurice (4th season) described Marsden as "one of the most dynamic players to come through our program." "She is a natural playmaker and has the ability to score under pressure. She has the ability to control the game," he added. This maturity on the ice is a clear reflection of the preparation she learned while playing hockey in Canada
At age 14, Marsden realized she wanted to play college hockey in North America and moved away from England to play in Canada with the Ontario Hockey Academy (OHA). With only around 120 players in the program, Marsden credited the close family atmosphere at OHA to help her make such enormous strides in her game. Three years ago, her game brought her to Great Britain's national women's hockey team. With a few girls her age or a little younger, Marsden explained that all the great female hockey players in Great Britain are primed for the national team since hockey is not as popular as it is in the states. National teams are placed into divisions and each division has its own world championships. Great Britain's team is in Division 2A.
"Being able to concentrate on hockey and the pride of representing your country for a week straight is a very gratifying experience. Your country's pride becomes a little extra as the winning team's national anthem is played after the game, and it's heartbreaking to hear the other country's anthem play instead of yours," said Marsden.
"We knew when recruiting Katie that she would be a solid player for us but I didn't think she would come in and dominate right away like she has," said Coach Maurice. He explained that one of the most important traits of Katie that doesn't show up on the stat sheet is her leadership. "She knows it's what you do on the ice and off the ice that matters."
Marsden's determination for this season was definitely fueled by a troublesome freshman season. After having surgery on her meniscus and having to change freshman year dorms to accommodate her injury, being around hockey and the team just made her want to get back on the ice sooner. "They aren't forced to be your friend, but when I arrived at Trinity they were all so great and welcoming," said Marsden about her teammates. "I was always included even though I couldn't play and it just made me work harder at getting through my recovery."
Looking forward, Marsden would like to become a bigger presence on the ice and within the team. "It's hard to voice your opinion sometimes and make a positive change, so I'd like to get better with encouragement and bringing everyone together as a team."
Her recovery gave her a newfound respect for medical professionals, as she was lucky to be enough to be in the hands of such great doctors. After seeing how much of a difference that medical professionals can make on an athlete's recovery, she was inspired to work in orthopedics, and possibly go to medical school to become a surgeon.
"We've made such great changes and have seen the program move in the right direction with great freshmen this year bringing life to the team," she added.
With this year's season in Hartford in the rearview, Marsden looks towards the women's world championships in April. Great Britain will host the six-team Division II Group A tournament on its home ice at the Dumfries Ice Bowl from April 2-8.
Written by Alex Levin '20