Lopes honor senior Kylie Kramer on Senior Day
By: Taylor Browne/GCU Staff
“Never leave the locker room on a negative. Always leave with a positive,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Natalie Rossi.
Despite a heavy shot-on-goal advantage, the Grand Canyon University Women’s Ice Hockey team was defeated by its in-state rival, No. 12 Arizona State University, 3-2, Saturday in the Lopes’ final home game of the season at AZ Ice Arcadia in Phoenix.
“Something changed after the games against University of Colorado,” said Rossi. “The girls really bought in after (upsetting No. 11) CU (last Sunday, 3-1). Being able to compete and play against CU the way we did, for our girls, that was huge. They trusted in the mental game, and coming into the ASU game, they were able to bring that momentum and energy into the game.”
The Lopes outshot ASU, 54-35, but Sun Devils’ goaltender Jordan Nash-Boulden played the full 60 minutes with incredible stops at the goal.
“We didn’t just outshoot them. We outplayed them in my opinion,” said Rossi. “You have to take your hat off to Jordan. She made some saves that were incredible.”
Outshooting the Sun Devils wasn’t enough. ASU scored a pair of goals in the first period before the Lopes began crawling their way back. Faith Casola netted an unassisted goal for GCU at 4:41 of the second period to cut the deficit in half. Lopes’ sophomore Megan Brodfuehrer got the Lopes even just three minutes into the third period with the team’s second unassisted goal of the game. The tie lasted just 69 seconds as ASU’s Taylor Northcott scored at 4:26 of the period with what proved to be the gamewinner – although the Lopes had opportunities until the final horn.
“The big takeaway is that there is no give-up in this team,” said Rossi. “Trust is a big word for us, and they utilize that. At the end of the game, we called a timeout with 22 seconds left. All of the players said, ‘Let’s go. We can do this.’ The passion that they bring to the table is amazing.”
Just hours after the finale, Rossi was looking ahead to next September.
“We are most excited to bring back as many of this core group that we can,” said Rossi. “We have some great recruits coming in, but overall, we are hitting a really nice stride.”
Senior Night: Kylie Kramer
Prior to Saturday’s puck drop, the Lopes honored senior defenseman Kylie Kramer for Senior Night. Kramer has been with the Lopes since the inaugural season of 2017-2018, and has recorded 12 points this season for GCU.
“Kylie is the type of player that does her job, works hard, and a straightforward player,” said Rossi. “She brings that leadership through maturity. She had an incredible year this year, scoring big goals for us, along with awesome assists.”
In her final season, Kramer played in 15 games and had a combined three goals and nine assists.
“She brings that realness to our team,” said Rossi. “She gets to pass on her tradition on drawing one specific drill to another player. She helped us start our program and got to see the growth that we’ve had over the last three years. It’s been an amazing ride for her.”