One on One

by John Mitchell | 11/13/06 6:00am

Apparently we have a bunch of Olympians on the women's hockey team. One of them, Sarah Parsons '10, was the youngest player on the U.S. team, and took home a bronze medal. If you're scoring at home, that makes her life resume way more impressive than yours. That is, unless you're one of her Canadian teammates who won gold. We sat down and talked about playing hockey with parents and the Dartmouth team dynamic.

The D: How's the start to the season been?

Parsons: I think the season is coming along well for the team. We are improving with every practice and game and when we actually have everyone healthy, we can be pretty good. I think we all wish we didn't have those first two losses at the beginning of the season, but everyone has moved on from that, and we expect to do well from here on out. It hasn't been that hard getting used to playing with each other, everyone has done a good job of adjusting. It's been great so far. I love the team and the coaches.

The D: From what I've heard, there's a lot to like about the team. How many Olympians do you have on the roster, anyway?

SP: Four, I believe.

The D: You guys are ranked pretty high nationally, but there are a number of teams in front of you. Exactly what do their lineups look like?

SP: I actually am not really sure who is ranked in front of us right now. I'm assuming they are teams that have a fairly deep lineup with a lot of good, solid players. I'm also guessing they may have some Olympians as well.

The D: You put off matriculation for a year to represent the U.S.A. In fact, I think my Mom saw you on TV, and the ensuing conversation made me feel like a really accomplished individual. What were the Olympics like? Was it weird being significantly younger than the rest of the team?

SP: The Olympics were awesome. I had such a fun time and I'm really glad that I took a year off to play hockey. It was a little weird at first being that much younger -- the woman I sat next to in the locker room was married and another lady already had a kid, so some of the topics of conversation were a little beyond what I would normally talk about. But I got used to it after a while and all the girls were so nice and made me feel comfortable. I also had a few friends on the team that I hung out with a lot, which made it easier as well.

The D: How'd you play at the Olympics?

SP: I think I did okay. I'm pretty happy with how I played, but I definitely wish it all turned out differently. [Ed. note: The U.S. team lost in the semifinals, taking home the bronze. She had seven points in five games.]

The D: How's the transition to the college game been? Any really significant differences between the Olympic and college games?

SP: The transition has been fine so far. The college game is actually a little more physical, but the speed isn't as fast, so I'm getting used to all of that.

The D: How have you been doing individually?

SP: I'm playing okay right now... I've been lucky with who I get to play with.

The D: While dropping the semifinal was disappointing, you were playing in the semifinals of an Olympic tournament and came home with a bronze. What does owning an Olympic medal do for one's self-confidence?

SP: Having a medal is cool, and I'm proud of it. But it hasn't really had an effect on my self-confidence. If anything it has made me less self-confident because we didn't win.

The D: Is there any trash talking on the team about medals? There are quite a few Canadians on the squad.

SP: There is some trash talking, but in a completely joking way. As in I tell them that I hate them and that they suck, but I have absolutely nothing to back it up with right now so it kind of stinks.

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