From GCU Club Sports
By Maria Adams
Grand Canyon University Women’s Ice Hockey’s three-game home winning streak ended when Arizona State University beat the Lopes on their home ice, AZ Ice Arcadia, 5-3 and 3-2 (in overtime), this past weekend. Though both games did not end in favor of the Lopes, the squad displayed an ability to adjust and improve.
Saturday: ASU 5, GCU 3
The Lopes are always eager to play at home, but there is more at stake when they host ASU.
“We try to control our emotions,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Natalie Rossi. “When we are playing a rival, there is definitely more emotions involved. It is a harder fought battle in a good way. We like being challenged. It pushes us to play our fastest and best game.”
Lopes’ senior Megan Brodfuehrer gave GCU a 1-0 lead after one period before the Sun Devils’ offense finally kicked into gear with three second-period goals.
The Lopes pushed back in Period 3 with game-tying goals by Lopes’ sophomore Micah Summer and junior Anna Koethe, but ASU sealed the deal with two goals in the game’s final six minutes.
“We still displayed really good passing,” said Rossi. “We played like a team. You can see that in the way we passed and dominated the ice.”
Sunday: ASU 3, GCU 2 (F/OT)
“One of the strengths of our team is that they always take the feedback given to them and make the adjustments that are necessary,” said Rossi. “We talked about taking quicker shots and finding open seams. We also focused on a quick transition switch between offense and defense.”
The adjustments showed, and the Lopes held onto the lead for most of the game. Lopes’ freshman Reese Gingrich’s second goal of the game staked the Lopes to a 2-1 lead after two periods, but ASU wrecked GCU’s hopes of winning with a goal midway through the third period to tie it up and send the game into overtime. Despite the Lopes recording more shots on goal in OT, it was the Sun Devils that scored a goal with 1:23 left in the first overtime to break the tie and claim a win.
“They controlled what they could control and focused on staying positive,” said Rossi. “Our bench was extremely uplifting and communicated well. Every single player bought into what we do, and it was a team effort.”
Though this past weekend of games was the last opportunity of competition for GCU before semester’s end, the Lopes are determined to work hard during this hiatus.
“We are focused on staying disciplined over break,” said Rossi. “That way, when we come back, we can continue to compete at the level we are at right now.”
(Originally published at https://clubsports.gcu.edu/gcu-womens-ice-hockey-drops-back-to-back-games-to-arizona-state/)