ADDY BINK | SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
Meredith Roth, Women’s Hockey
You’re entering your third season here. How does that feel?
It’s very exciting. The first year was a bit of a blur, last year was very challenging, and this year I finally have a feel for our group, our capabilities, and where we can go. I love the energy our team has carried this pre-season and in the early stages of our season.
Who is your biggest competition this season?
Our biggest competition might be ourselves. As we continue to shape our identity as a team, I think our biggest challenge is gaining confidence in ourselves and genuinely believing that we are contenders. Our league has grown to ten teams total this season, and each night is going to be hard fought for two points.
What do you think of the team this year?
We have more speed than the past two seasons. Our players put in hard work in the off season to get faster and stronger. We have added some depth on our defensive end, which will allow those core group of seniors back there to play hard. Our forward group will be lead by our upperclassmen as well. We are looking for more production out of our talented and capable group.
Tim Coghlin, Men’s Hockey
You have been here since 1993. How does that feel?
Old. Ah, you know St. Norbert has been a ah wonderful home for us from an employment standpoint. Green Bay has been a great community to live in. We started our young family later in life and so to raise children in this community is fantastic. We’ve looked around over the course of time, but this is obviously where we choose to stay.
Last season the team placed as a national runner-up. What are the goals for this season?
Our goals every year don’t really change. We try to be a top ten team in the country every single year. If we give ourselves an opportunity to be a top ten team, then you make the NCAA field. And once you make the NCAA tournament field, it all starts over. We just got out of the box here and played a couple of games. We try to be a top ten team in the country. I am a big proponent of when you try to evaluate the success of your program, we use a kind of 10 year retrospective. So if you want to go back and look at, as an example, this is going to be 2018 Championship year, let’s go back ten years and talk about the 2008 team or the 2007 team. How successful are those young men today? That’s a better indicator as to how we did with them. Whether they won or didn’t win. In ‘08, we happened to win our first national championship. ‘07, we were in a Frozen Four, lost an overtime game and didn’t get to the final, but we were there. So those kids were successful on the ice, but more importantly I know what they’re doing off the ice, and they’re highly successful people. We did a good job with that group. It isn’t so much what you have in your hands today, it’s where they go.
What do you think of the team so far this year?
Lots of new faces. We returned TJ Black, starting goaltender. We returned seven of our eight defensemen, a couple of freshmen on the back end. Eight other freshmen, one goaltender, and seven forwards. So, lots of new faces. New faces, overall, have been kind to us. If you look in 2003, we made our first Frozen Four ever. We graduated five senior defensemen, five forwards. Ten guys left that team. And in 2004, we went back to the Frozen Four and we played our first ever national championship game, lost a 0 – 0 title to Middleburg, with all young guys. That group graduated in ‘07, ‘08 all those young guys came through the door and we won the national championship. That group graduated in ‘11, leaving as seniors winning a national championship. And then David Jacobsen and company came in as freshmen in ‘12 and they went back to back. So just because you’re young doesn’t necessarily preclude you from having high level success.
Who is your biggest competition this year?
Well the National Polls will tell you that St. Norbert and Adrian are ranked one two in the nation, not just in the conference, but one two nationally. We don’t put a lot of stock in polls, but like, Adrian is loaded. As we rolled over ten people, they didn’t roll anybody. Their roster is loaded, they’ve added a couple extra pieces. We’ll see them Saturday for the first time. I think within our conference there’s St. Scholastica on the north side, we just played Concordia Wisconsin who beat us twice last year. All we can take care of is what happens in the west. And these first six games – Concordia, Milwaukee, now Trine and then Adrian, and then Stevens Point and then Eau Claire – those first six games, whatever our record is after those first six games, that will be the first benchmark for what this group looks like.