The ASU women’s hockey program is only in their second year as a program. Despite recently transitioning to college hockey, there will be four returning players with letters on their jerseys this season.
Two weeks ago, ASU head coach Lindsey Ellis named her four captains and her choices did not surprise many. Last year, defenseman KC McGinley wore the “C” for the Sun Devils while forwards Taylor England, Amber Galles and Dannika Borges were named alternate captains.
This season, those same four players will represent the Sun Devils as captains, but there is one subtle change.
“One of the differences that we have this year is that we have a co-captain rather than one captain and three assistants,” Borges said. “It’s giving us more leadership opportunities to be able to step up and improve.”
The Sun Devils have 11 players returning this year, creating a group of players that are very comfortable with one another.
“It’s definitely an honor,” England said. “It says that we are a leadership, but also, we don’t really think much of the letters because we are all a family ... we are there to pick everybody up.”
Each player brings something different to the table and they all lead in different ways on the ice.
“I’m definitely one of the more vocal captains out there,” Borges said. “If I see something that can be improved upon, I will usually state it.”
In contrast, Galles likes to lead in a different manner.
“I’m definitely a leader by example,” Galles said. “I don’t really say much, so I just go out and do it, and everybody kind of picks up everything else.”
As for McGinley, she was the Sun Devils' first recruit in the program. She began her collegiate hockey career at the University of Massachusetts Boston before eventually transferring to ASU.
All four captains agree McGinley is not shy with her teammates off the ice or at the rink.
“I like to pick girls up when things aren’t expressed in an energetic way ... more so on the ice than off the ice” England said. “KC (McGinley) kind of takes care of both on the ice and off the ice.”
McGinley discussed the way she likes to keep everybody's energy up on the ice for the team's morning practices.
“I’m the loudest person on the team,” McGinley said. “I’m loud all the time, especially at seven in the morning ... My job is to keep everyone positive and just to make it fun, and just to make sure that we are setting our intentions to get better.”
As for her defense on the ice, McGinley prides herself on being a strong defenseman in front of her goaltender, sophomore Jordan Nash-Boulden.
“I just like to move bodies around,” McGinley said. “I hope that I can be that support for Jordan, and just be a strong, stay-at-home defenseman.”
Ten years from now, Borges, England, Galles and McGinley might be considered pioneers at a time when the ASU women’s hockey team was just beginning. The four captains will be considered the first four captains in the program’s history.
“It’s definitely special,” Galles said. “We are going to be that first group, and we will be the first leaders of that group.”