Anthony Cittadino, Sports Editor
The women’s hockey team is off to an unusual start dropping their first two games to Buffalo State, but senior forward, Gabrielle Schnepp, thinks this will pass, “I think we have a good team this year. We have a lot of returners. We are experienced and a little older this year so I think we will be good and give teams a tough time.” The senior has spent the past three years on the ice for the Pioneers and has loved every second of her journey so far.
Schnepp grew up in Northville, Michigan, which is also where she found her love for the sport of hockey. “I was recruited my senior year of high school to come play for Utica,” the senior said. “I visited in the winter of my senior year of high school and really liked the campus and the Aud so I chose to come here for school and hockey.”
The atmosphere of Utica brought her here. This area is consumed with hockey. The community eats, breaths and and sleeps ice hockey. Not only is this area perfect for someone who loves hockey, but also home ice for the Pioneers is a dream. The Utica Memorial Auditorium houses many teams, one being the Utica Comets of the AHL. The men’s and women’s teams for UC have lived in the Utica Aud for the past 15 years. This was a huge pro for Schnepp when she was choosing where to play. “I really enjoy the city of Utica, the hockey culture, the professors and of course my teammates and coaches.”
For the past three years, Schnepp has left her mark as a Pioneer playing in 84 games with a total of 86 points. She also was named to the ECAC West All-Rookie Team. Schnepp has scored a total of 36 goals in her time here and plans to do much more this season, “As a senior, I feel good about the time on the ice my past for 4 years. I had a good freshman season, then fell down a bit my sophomore year and had a sophomore slump. Then my junior year was my best season yet,” Schnepp said. “I hope to build off of last year as an individual and as a team.”
Schnepp is truly excited for her last season on the ice with the Pioneers as one of the team leaders. “This team is very important to me. I have met some great people along the way on my team. I care about every single teammate on the ice and outside the rink.” The senior student is also excited for her future to start after hockey, “After I graduate, I would like to move on to cyber security graduate school here at Utica College and earn my master’s degree,” Schnepp said. “I want to further my education in criminal justice.” Schnepp and the Pioneers return to action this weekend as they travel to William Smith College for their third game of the season.