Athlete Profile: Loeffler is sole female on hockey team
The Tartan recently caught up with the only woman on the Carnegie Mellon ice hockey team, Bryn Loeffler. Loeffler is currently a sophomore majoring in global studies and Hispanic studies, who is interested in joining the Peace Corps and eventually pursuing a career in foreign services.
Loeffler began her hockey career at a young age in Massachusetts. “It was actually a mistake,” Loeffler said. “My parents signed me and my brother up for ‘Learn to Skate,’ so we did that for a year. The next year, the rink changed the times of their programs, so the only other option was to do ‘Learn to Play Hockey,’ which my parents thought would be similar. My brother and I learned to love the game through this first exposure, and it became a passion for both of us. My dad even started to put up a backyard rink every winter, which definitely helped to develop my skills during the season.”
Loeffler began to play hockey competitively in sixth grade when she joined her first club team, the Natick Comets. She did not always play on a men’s team though. “This has actually been my first experience playing with all guys,” Loeffler said. “I grew up playing on various women’s club teams in my home town and in neighboring towns, and we were always in all-girl leagues. My high school got a girls’ hockey team my freshman year, and I was captain my senior year.”
When asked how she feels about being the only woman on the Carnegie Mellon team, Loeffler said, “I absolutely love it. I get all of these wonderful guys to myself! It also gives me an interesting perspective when I see how other teams react to me. My team is obviously used to me being there, but other teams will either not touch me or hit me as hard as they can just because I’m a girl. It’s always an adventure.”
Loeffler loves being on the hockey team. “My teammates are amazing,” she said. “They are the funniest, most talented and supportive guys and I couldn’t ask for a better team. At first I was so intimidated joining the team, but they have made me feel like an integral part for the small role I play, and I really appreciate that. There’s never a dull moment, and I know they always have my back. If I had not joined the hockey team, I never would have met any of them, so I most appreciate the fantastic people I’ve met through hockey.”
Loeffler has had many proud moments on the ice. “I’ve had a few good plays on the ice, but I’d say my proudest moment was earlier this year when we played California University of Pennsylvania,” Loeffler said. “We had so many injuries during the game [and] practically no defensemen, but we were still able to come back and force the game to overtime and then a shootout. Even though we lost in the shootout, I was so impressed by how my teammates stepped up and got the job done. Cal is such a big team, and they have the resources to pay for more ice time and practices, so it was great to just show them we could still give them a run for their money. My team never ceases to amaze me, and it’s games like this one that remind me just talented they are and how lucky I am to be a part of this team.”
Tartans hockey is 6–0–2 this season, making a strong push for a second consecutive playoff appearnace and subsequently a championship, and Loeffler’s contributions have been more than crucial to the team’s successes.