Seizing The Moment
By Matthew Ondesko, Managing Editor
Photos courtesy of UMass-Boston
Hockey is a funny sport. It will give you the ultimate highs and the lowest of lows . The one thing you will definitely get out of a hockey career is a lot of travel. To get noticed, hockey players just don’t play on their high school team, if they have one.
They are playing for a travel team. Not any travel team, but the tight one. Making sure a player picks the right team is very important. It’s a chance to get noticed by colleges and scouts. To be considered of the best you have to play against the best.
This is where travel hockey comes into play. Playing on a team allows you to show your talent against other top boys and girls in the country. It allows college coaches to get a peak when you are going up the best talent.
For UMass-Boston hockey player Bri Colucci (Lancaster) this is where she made her mark, and where she received the interest to continue her career at the next level.
“You definitely had to find the right team,” stated Colucci by phone. “We had to travel out, and branch out, to different areas. So, we had to travel to Boston and player a lot of teams that where higher up. We would always play in those different showcases tournaments, like Syracuse, Rochester, Canada and Boston.”
For Colucci it wasn’t the normal road for her. Before taking her talents to UMass-Boston she first made a stop at Oswego. But, the stay for short lived as she knew it just wasn’t the right for her.
So, Colucci remembered how she was recruited by the current staff at UMass-Boston and thought to herself if they still needed a very good defenseman. She remembers how she liked the school and coach and was hoping to be able to give it another shot.
As you can say now the rest is history.
“I transferred to UMass-Boston after my first semester at Oswego,” stated Colucci. “It went well. I came here and started playing right away. I jumped into my sophomore season last year and we had a really good run. I heard great things about the coaching staff here, and about the school. It’s in a great location in the city, and there are a ton of things to do. Every one that plays on the hockey teams is very passionate and wants to be here. And, that’s a major factor.”
Colucci has exceeded expectations since stepping on the campus of UMass-Boston. She has been everything the coaching staff and team could ever ask for. She has been a solid contributor on and off the ice.
She has been one of the best defenseman and her play was recognized for it. Colucci was only the fourth player in UMASS-Boston history to be named to the NEHWA All-Region team. It was an amazing year for Colucci as she led her defensemen in goals, assists and points.
Even with all the awards that came her way last season, Colucci made sure she gave credit to her teammates. After all, she knew she wouldn’t be able to get where she was if it wasn’t for her team.
“I couldn’t have done any of it without my teammates,” stated Colucci. “They were unbelievable, and always by side. I am so grateful for everything they done.
With last season in the rearview mirror it was time fort Colucci to focus on getting better for the upcoming year. She knew the off season was going to be a key one for development.
Colucci didn’t want to rest on all the accomplishments that she has garnered in the past. She was now looking to see what she could do to get herself better. Colucci almost had to refocus herself and set different goals.
“I think the best thing you can do is just putting your head down and working hard,” stated Colucci. “Not everyone is given that opportunity and it’s great that my teammates are right there by my side. I think they look up to me and see how we can do it as a team. In the offseason, I usually come home and train. I’m probably in the best shape of my life. I’m faster and stronger on the ice.”
Like most athletes at Lancaster, Colucci just wasn’t hockey player. She also played soccer and lacrosse. In fact, it seems a lot of young ladies at Lancaster gravitate toward lacrosse at some point in their careers.
The lacrosse staff does a great job at identifying athletes that they know can contribute on the lacrosse field, and Colucci was no exception. She loved the challenge of playing more than one sport, and gives credit to all those coaches that encouraged her to play.
“It was definitely demanding on my body,” stated Colucci. “You had to find time to do your homework, and manage your time well. I have been told my entire life that if you don’t have good grades that you won’t play any sports. That is something that my dad has always told since I was a little kid. Keep working hard with everything that you do.”