The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Goals and dolls: equality on ice

Sitting on the couches in the Alumni Memorial Union, wearing a skirt and flip-flops, senior Megan Trickey does not look like the typical hockey player. But when the skirt and flip-flops are traded in for hockey pads and skates, Trickey is just like the rest of the team — except she's a woman.

A native of Minnetonka, Minn., the goalie was somewhat of a late bloomer to the hockey world. "My mom tried to get me to switch into hockey since I was little," she said. "Finally late junior high I decided to try out."

Once she started playing, she was hooked. Trickey played on her high school's varsity girls' team, which she says is not uncommon in her home state.

"Actually in Minnesota, at the time I tried out, we had probably 100 or so (girls') varsity hockey teams at high school," she said. "So there were definitely opportunities to play."

Trickey's decision to play hockey was no big surprise. "All my friends were playing hockey," she said. "It was a huge thing. All the girls I was hanging out with were playing, my neighbors were playing, all my guy cousins had played. It just seemed like something to do."

After high school, her opportunities to play hockey diminished.

A torn ligament that occurred during a high school alumni game two or three years ago kept her off the ice for about a year.

When Trickey first got to Marquette, she was eager to find a way to keep playing. However, she could not find a way at Marquette. The club team had disassembled right before Trickey's freshman year.

Last year, she played for the Piranhas, a local hockey team.

But last spring, when juniors Mike Westphal and Matt Goebel began the process of starting Marquette's club team back up, she went to the early practices.

Although she's been on hockey teams since she was in high school, Marquette's club hockey team is the first men's team she has been on.

"I've played pick-up games with guys," she said. "A lot of times there's open rinks and you just play pick-up hockey all the time."

Trickey may be the only woman on the team, but head coach Ian Spencer would have welcomed more.

"We were actually hoping there'd be more (women) trying out," Spencer said.

Spencer said in his 19 years of coaching he has coached about four girls on his boys' teams. "I always have encouraged them to play boys' hockey because it's better for their training," Spencer said.

Spencer said there were three or four women who showed early interest in the team, but Trickey was the only one who tried out.

Being the only woman on the team took some adjusting, for Trickey and the men.

"They took some cheap shots at you, but that wasn't necessarily because you were a girl. It was the position, for the most part," Trickey said. "You get some (guys) kind of looking at you or don't talk to you or don't know what they can do around or say around you, that type of thing.

"Then you get some guys who are so nice. By the end of practices last semester everyone was totally fine. I felt really comfortable by the time tryouts came."

Playing on a men's team brings with it some challenges, which Trickey said is only helping her game. The biggest difference, Trickey said, has been the difference in speed.

"I mean girls do have speed and ability," she said. "The speed of the shots, aggressiveness, because there's checking in guy's hockey—it's just a lot rougher I guess."

Although her parents are concerned about her getting hurt, injury is not something Trickey is worried about.

"I figure the shot is going to hit me the same way it's going to hit a guy," she said. "So I'm not worried about getting hurt so much, knock on wood, as I am about them accepting me."

Trickey is only one of four goalies on the team.

"I hope that I can rise to the occasion and get on that level…" she said. "I would love to play a lot of games and be right in the competition with them."

Story continues below advertisement