Content courtesy of the Trib HSSN:
The Franklin Pierce women’s hockey team hasn’t been around long. Just like every fledgling sports program, the Ravens took it on the chin the first few years but have built a winning program over the past seven seasons.
Now, all the Ravens need is a little Faith, as in Penn-Trafford rising senior Faith Anthony.
“I visited (Franklin Pierce) two months ago, and they offered me there,” said Anthony. “I went home and thought about it, and around a month later, I called them back.
“The college process was pretty hard. They say that there’s not a correct time line (to commit). The process is different for everybody.”
Choosing a college might have been a difficult decision for the standout defenseman, but Anthony liked Franklin Pierce from the moment she pulled onto Rindge, N.H., campus. Located beside Pearly Lake and nestled at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains, Franklin Pierce was an easy sell for Anthony.
“We stayed in a hotel 20 minutes away (on my recruiting visit),” Anthony said. “The next morning, we visited. We pulled in (to campus), and there’s this lake when you enter, giant mountains in the background and it’s so pretty and so nice. It reminded me a lot of when I was in Vermont.”
Location, location, location and Anthony was buying it.
“I had a lot of interest (from other schools), but I never went forward with anything else,” Anthony said.
For the past two years, Anthony unenrolled from Penn-Trafford in the fall and traveled to Vermont, where she took classes and played at North American Hockey Academy as member of the under-16 girls team. She played hockey there for a few months and then returned to Penn-Trafford to finish the school year.
It was Anthony’s time playing at NAHA that put her on Franklin Pierce’s radar.
“I was able to talk to her and her family about a couple of schools that were interested in her,” said Cobina Walkland, Anthony’s Pens Elite under-16 coach. “I wasn’t surprised when she chose Franklin Pierce.”
Walkland describes Anthony’s style of play as not too flashy, very effective and smart. Also, it is Anthony’s time playing forward that gives her the ability to see the plays develop.
“It’s how she sees the ice, and she knows how to make plays,” Walkland said. “Not a lot of players have the knack to do that, but she is able to see that first pass.
“In the offensive zone, she knows where she needs to get the puck. She always knows where she needs to put it.”
Started in 2012, Franklin Pierce will enter the 2019-20 season as a bona fide NCAA Division I women’s hockey program. The New England Women’s Hockey Alliance will be recognized as a Division I conference and will have an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament beginning with the 2021-22 season.
The Ravens finished last season with a 20-10-1 record and earned a No. 3 seed in the NEWHA postseason, where they lost to top-seeded Saint Anselm, 3-0, in the championship game.
“I’m glad I committed when I did, a little later,” Anthony said. “I got to think about it more, and I know more about what I want now than I did two years ago.”