From The Whit Online
By Lindsay April
With two talented goaltenders in the crease, goaltending is not going to be a problem this year for Rowan’s women’s ice hockey team.
Team veteran junior Savannah Thomason has taken freshman rookie Dallas Hainsworth under her wing this season to show Hainsworth how things are done at Rowan.
“Savannah’s [Thomason] a great partner. I couldn’t have asked for a better role model and for a better goalie partner,” Hainsworth said. “She’s really taken me under her wing and showing me what it’s like to play here at Rowan.”
Thomason is also grateful to have Hainsworth by her side this season.
“Having Dallas [Hainsworth] as my goalie partner has been a dream honestly,” Thomason said. “The connection that we’ve had, just so quickly connected we’ve gotten in the matter of a short period of time is crazy. Honestly, probably the best goalie partner I’ve ever had.”
The fact that the two have each other to take their games to the next level helps both goaltenders, but especially Hainsworth as she adjusts to college life and collegiate-level hockey compared to club hockey she’s played in the past.
“Games are definitely a faster pace and a lot more competitive than playing club hockey in high school,” Hainsworth said. “I really enjoy the community sense on Rowan’s team. Every team I’ve played for before this wasn’t like that. They were supportive but this feels totally different. It’s been really cool to transition from high school to college and just try to get better and have everyone supporting me.”
Hainsworth has already had a taste of Rowan hockey this season. During the Profs’ game against Pittsburgh on Sept. 25, she was put in the game at the start of the third period to help her team to a 9-1 victory. Hainsworth was lucky enough to have her mom and sister there to support her.
“I was really surprised,” Hainsworth said. “And both my mom and my sister were shocked as well. They just liked seeing me play for a little bit and cheering me on. My roommate congratulated me on being put in and a couple of my other friends as well, it was really cool.”
Being a goalie for a college team can be stressful, something Hainsworth and Thomason agree on, as both have felt some pressure but they work through it with the support of their teammates.
“It’s always a lot of pressure being a goalie. The game rides on you a little bit more than other players sometimes,” Hainsworth said. “The whole team’s very supportive of one another. We try to keep it a team game, not like ‘This was your fault. You caused this’.”
“It’s only two of us but just having that other person on the bench to be able to talk to, kind of relieve some of the pressure of the game,” Thomason said. “In between periods I can go to Dallas [Hainsworth] and talk to her about what happened or she can come to me in between periods and talk to me about what happened”.
Hainsworth and Thomason have a great bond as goalie partners and friends which benefits both goalies and even creates a little friendly competition during practices.
“It’s definitely a friendly competition. Ever since I got here, Sav’s [Thomason] been helping me train, showing me what the team does together but also what she does at practices and off the ice,” Hainsworth said. “We’ll support each other more than anything, we’re on the same team. Of course we both want to play, we both want to get better. Overall we’re just really good friends.”
“We kind of are here to build each other up and she’s taken things from me but I’ve also taken things from her,” Thomason added. “Just things to better prepare myself when I’m on the ice, off the ice. We just build each other up constantly and try not to discourage each other.”
Mixed within their training together, there are also little things they are able to relate to as goalies, like having superstitious.
“We kind of have our own little handshake that we made up this past weekend which is nice and it gets us prepared before we get on the ice,” Thomason said. “We each have our own little things that we have. Dallas [Hainsworth] likes a certain amount of ice cubes in her water bottle or I’ll crack open a blueberry Red Bull before a game. Just little things that we’ve carried throughout our youth hockey career until our college league that are kind of crazy”.
You can see both goalies and the Profs in action next at University of Pennsylvania on Sunday, Oct. 30. The Profs’ next game at home will be Saturday, Nov. 5, against University of Maryland.
(Originally published at https://www.thewhitonline.com/2022/10/sports/the-connection-in-the-net-for-rowan-womens-ice-hockey/)