Photo courtesy of Paul Wilke
This week I had the pleasure of sitting down with sophomore Stephen Zabrowski to congratulate him on his stellar performance at the season opener to be followed by scoring his first collegiate goal on Saturday against Trine.
Sarah Grubbe: Congrats on scoring your first collegiate goal in your first week of games as a Lawrence player! How has the transition with a new team and coach been going for you?
Stephen Zabrowski: It’s been good! Our team is really tight-knit as we spend most of our time together. Our coach is awesome. He loves to win. And he’d do anything for any of us. He does everything with a purpose, especially recruitment. He won’t bring in a bad egg – he wants a good man. He likes to emphasize our overall well-being by keeping all aspects of our lives in consideration and if we’re not getting something, he gets it for us.
SG: Can you remember why and when you first stepped onto the ice?
SZ: My next door neighbor got me started when I was about 4. My mom had always told me that the only sport I couldn’t play was hockey. I love the game and I’m a competitive person, I like to win.
SG: How does your team get revved up in practice to make it transfer to the ice on game day?
SZ: You’re only allowed to dress 20 players a game and so that in itself inspires a competitive nature. You’ve got your head in the game in your battle drills, because you know that your performance dictates whether or not you’re in the lineup.
SG: Can the competition and intensity become stressful?
SZ: No it isn’t stressful—you just need to bring it. I was recently reminded that we’ve been playing for 15 plus years and that we no longer need to think about how we play, we just need to play. I let natural instinct take over and I don’t overthink it, because in the end, getting into your head will only make you a slower player.
SG: Aside from the competitive nature, what keeps you coming back to the ice?
SZ: I really want to win and I can become so focused on that that I don’t even realize that I’m just having a blast with the guys next to me. The team is always a big part of it, and there’s a real family atmosphere on our team.