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Buckeyes aims to build on a culture of success and championships

After winning the first national championship in program history, Ohio’s women’s ice hockey team returns to action at No. 1.Credits: Zachary Riley | Photo Editor

Entering the 2022 season just six months after making history, the Ohio women’s ice hockey team won the first national championship in program history and won a program-record 32 games.

Despite the rhetoric, accolades and hype, head coach Nadine Museral said the number one Buckeyes remain focused on next season and are excited about the opportunity to defend their title.

“This is the first time in the history of the show that we will be starting the season as the No. 1 team in the country. Now you have a huge goal on your back and you are going to give it your all,” said Museral. There’s always someone chasing you. That’s a good problem, isn’t it?”

Freshman forward Patin Levis, who led the Buckeyes with 24 goals in last year’s championship campaign, has worked hard to build on the foundation the team has established while adding new faces to the squad and staff. said.

“We have a great culture and foundation that we can rely on, but this year it looks completely different,” said Levis. “It’s very important to look forward to this season as its own and separate from what we have done in the past.

Regardless of last season’s historic run, Levis said the team is still doing business like any other year.

“I wouldn’t say there’s pressure. We have high expectations of ourselves each year,” said Levis. “This year we’re going to be as aggressive as ever. I think we’ve done a good job.”

Museral said her favorite moment with the team was when she saw Team USA play Team Canada as a group before the Olympics. Her two backeyes on the other side are current alumnus forward Emma Maltheis and current alumni defenseman Jin Sidan.

“What I love about it is that we are all coming together around the common goal of rooting for the Buckeye team,” said Muzerall. “It wasn’t about them or OSU. It was just about sisterhood and supporting each other.”

The Buckeyes bring back five Alumni players — Alumni defender Sophie Jacks, 2022 Western Collegiate Hockey Association Defender of the Year, and junior goaltender Amanda Thiele, who averaged a season-record average in Ohio last year. and scored 1.312 goals.

Museral said the veteran’s return is a testament to the championship culture the team is trying to build.

“Champions are often won based on culture and leadership,” said Muzerall. “Sophie, Levis, (Gabby) Rosenthal, Maltheis, and (Madison) Bizal are all returning as fifth graders. They didn’t have to come, they wanted to continue their success to defend their title.”

Muzerall said she reflected on all she and her team had accomplished over the past six months with the outpouring of support from the state of Ohio.

“I’m proud to be a gopher alum, but the love I got when I won was something I’ve never experienced in Minnesota,” Muserall said. “Their love and the way they take care of my own personal family really strikes a chord and makes me want to compete and play for the state because everyone rally behind you.” They don’t care if it’s soccer or women’s hockey, they just want to be successful.They just want the Buckeyes to win.”

The Buckeyes will open the 2022-23 season with a two-game series on September 30 at Minnesota State.