Trio of ice hockey transfers benefit SU with valuable experience

first_imgThe three senior forwards on the SU ice hockey team have each been playing collegiate hockey longer than their current program has been alive. Julie Rising, Ashley Cockell and Stefanie Marty are in their fourth year. The program is in its third. The Orange is benefiting from the lessons the players learned before the program’s existence. And in its third season, the Orange is ahead of the usual curve for a third-year team, thanks to the lack of a need for that learning curve with the front line. It was a head start. ‘One of my friends mentioned a new program at Syracuse,’ Rising said. ‘I didn’t mind (Rising’s former school) Bemidji much, but it was just Syracuse was pretty cool starting a new program. … I thought, why not?’ Rising, the first of the three to commit, played in 36 games her freshman year at Bemidji State. Since joining the Orange, she was named co-captain as a sophomore and led the team in shots as a junior. At Bemidji, ice hockey was the only Division I team on campus. At Syracuse, athletics is much bigger, and being a part of an extensive athletic program was important for Rising. Without her, Bemidji State is 2-4 on the season so far. It was a similar situation for Rising’s front-ice counterpart Marty.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text ‘For me, SU is just a huge sports school,’ Marty said. ‘That made my decision even easier. UNH was big, and coming from Europe, we don’t have sports and academics. We don’t have sports teams at universities. So (Marty’s former school New Hampshire) was already big to me, and then I came here and it was 10 times bigger.’ Much like Rising, Marty came to SU following a disappointing freshman campaign. Still new to American colleges, Marty originally wasn’t aware that an opportunity with the Orange existed. Her freshman season at UNH was also her first in the United States. A member of the Swiss National Team since 2003, Marty is the team’s other co-captain and a veteran of both the 2009 Olympics and the 2008 Frozen Four. In her absence, New Hampshire is 3-2 on the season. The third of the trio is Cockell, SU’s lone new senior. Cockell is in her first year on campus after transferring from division powerhouse Mercyhurst this past August. ‘(Mercyhurst) just wasn’t the right fit for me,’ Cockell said. ‘It was late, but I took the chance of not going back and maybe having to sit out a year. It worked out.’ Cockell came from the program everyone involved in SU ice hockey is chasing. Mercyhurst is the perennial league favorite and has taken the first eight CHA titles since the league’s inauguration in 2002-03. She has played on a team that has been to the Frozen Four and the NCAA championships and that has been ranked No. 1. Still, Cockell transferred because she wanted to come to a team that she could learn more from and to help a new program improve. Mercyhurst is 5-1 on the year. There were only four teams in the league when the Lakers began their run several years ago. Syracuse became the fifth in 2008, and since then, SU has quickly asserted itself as one of the more attractive destinations for up-and-coming players. Rising, Marty and Cockell all left productive teams with the intention of creating something stronger here in Syracuse. And for Rising, the only option to transfer that she would have considered was the unique situation at SU. Becoming an elder immediately attracted her. ‘This was the only school,’ Rising said. ‘If my friend didn’t mention it, I’d probably still be at Bemidji. I just thought it was a really neat opportunity to be able start something new. Just to be able to build a program, and to have that, is pretty special.’ [email protected] Comments Published on October 20, 2010 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img