Benjamin Mehic, Staff Writer
Lauren Patterson, a freshman hockey player for Utica College, carries herself with a quiet demeanor. In the hallways, you would never think that she prefers to play hockey for the aggressiveness. On the ice though, Patterson is third in goals for UC and has helped them secure a top three seed for the upcoming conference tournament.
Patterson, like many of her UC teammates, grew up playing the sport in Canada. While she didn’t particularly fall in love with the sport immediately, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree and Patterson grew to enjoy her family’s tradition.
“I’m Canadian – I grew up in Burlington, Ontario – and my dad grew up playing hockey,” she said. “He signed me up when I was really young. I actually didn’t like it at first, so after a couple of years I started again and stayed with the same organization for the majority of my life. My dad really wanted me to play because he loved it and he wanted me to experience it as well, so he started me back up.”
Patterson’s primary influence for sticking to her goals on the ice was undoubtedly her father, but her mother helped her become the person she is off the ice as well. Her mother, who is a special education teacher, helped instill a caring disposition to her at an early age.
“She’s always very involved in helping other people,” Patterson said. “She’s a very kind person and she’s always been an inspiration for me in that sense. I see the positive impact she has on other people’s lives and I want to do the same.”
Patterson has plenty of goals on the ice – she wants to continue contributing and wants to become more of a vocal leader – but she’s also focused on helping others, just like her mother did. By pursuing a degree in sociology and anthropology, Patterson wants to build on the kindness her mother continues to spread.
“I really want to help people,” she said. “Whether or not I want to pursue pro hockey, I’ll decide within the next few years.”
“But right now, I want to go to graduate school back in Canada, get my masters and maybe do an internship with an organization called Free The Children, and travel with them for a bit to countries that need help,” Patterson said.
Patterson’s teammate, junior Gabrielle Schnepp, who’s leading the Pioneers in points so far this season, has noticed the helpful character that Patterson possesses.
“Lauren is a great team player and is one of the nicest people you will ever meet,” Schnepp said. “She works hard on and off the ice and never complains. I couldn’t ask for a better line-mate.”
Patterson is preparing for a challenging schedule coming up, and even though she might carry herself with a positive character off the ice – make no mistake about it, she’s ready to make the most of her opportunity on the ice.
Featured Image; Photo taken by ucpioneers.com