By Kelsey Horton
Special to GoHolyCross.com
Caroline English (Dorchester, Mass.) was a definite impact player during her four years on the women's ice hockey team. As a freshman she was put on the top line with two of the best ice hockey players in Holy Cross history, Stacey Hochkins and Jocelyn Kratchmer. She went on to be captain her junior and senior seasons and led her team to 72 wins during her career. In addition to her team's success, English had many personal victories herself. She finished her Holy Cross career with 104 points in 102 games and is now sixth all-time in program history in points. She is also third in assists (68), sixth in game-winning goals (9) and 10th in goals (36) and power play goals (10). English was also a two-year member of the Holy Cross Leadership Academy. Coach Peter Van Buskirk credits Caroline's success to her total package. "Caroline was a complete player- a player with the skill, energy, enthusiasm, competitive drive and leadership qualities to make a difference," said Van Buskirk.
English played every sport imaginable growing up in her hometown of Dorchester. It was just before high school when she realized she wanted to play ice hockey in college and decided to attend Tabor Academy to pursue that dream. English was recruited by several schools but believed that Holy Cross would be the best fit for her. "The ice hockey team was very successful, and after talking with coach Van Buskirk about playing here, I decided it would be a great opportunity for me," English said. "Also, I know that Holy Cross provides students with an amazing education, and this further pushed my decision to attend."
In her final season as a Crusader, English pushed her team to have another successful season. English noted that the most valuable asset their team has is their ability to work together, and she played a crucial role as captain to maintain this unity. "I acted as a middle man between coaches and players whenever there was a conflict that needed to be discussed. This was a very important aspect of being one of the captains because of the large number of players on our team," English said.
Despite the fact that her ice hockey career is over, English notes that she will continue to apply what she has learned in the rink in the real world. "As a varsity student-athlete I have learned the importance of working hard, maintaining good time management skills and developing strong communication skills, all of which have helped me both in the classroom and on the ice. I think these skills will be extremely beneficial when I enter the workforce next year."
While this is true, English already shows that she is a hard worker here on campus. In addition to her commitment as a hockey player, she has worked at Holy Cross' coffee shop, Cool Beans, and as a skate sharpener for the team. She also spends a lot of her time volunteering in the community. She works as a tutor and mentor to students in the local public schools around Worcester, and this past semester she started working in the gym at the Boys and Girls Club in Worcester. English hopes to work in the education field after graduation so she can continue working with children.
Now that her final season is over, English admits she is going to miss everything about ice hockey and being a Crusader. "Playing hockey at Holy Cross has been one of the most important parts of my college experience," said English. "I am going to miss spending countless hours both on and off of the ice with my teammates. I enjoy the competitive nature that exists in collegiate hockey, and I will definitely miss playing at such a high level."
With graduation right around the corner, English notes that the friendships she has made from ice hockey will last far beyond her years on the hill. "My favorite part about being a member of the ice hockey team at Holy Cross was hanging out with my teammates whether it was in the locker room before a practice or game, on the ice, on road trips, etc.," said English. "We spend a lot of time together for six months out of the school year, and as a result I have made so many memories and great friendships. It's great to be a part of a team because of the unique camaraderie that exists among its members, and for me this experience has been one I will always remember when I think about my time at Holy Cross."