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The Student News Site of Pace High School

Pacer NYC

Hockey Player Uses Speed and Agility to Hold Her Own

photo Pacer Staff
Martinez prepares to take the ice at the 16th Annual Invitational Lightning Tournament at Riverbank State Park on Mar. 6.

Senior Angela Martinez has been playing on hockey teams in the city her whole life. Before the pandemic, she played for an all-girls team in Upper Manhattan. She currently plays on the co-ed Hockey in Harlem team. She sat down with me to talk about her experiences as a girl on a hockey team.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

I heard that you are part of a hockey team. Can you tell me a little bit more about the hockey team you’re on?

I started when I was seven years old. It’s co-ed, but mostly males. I play left wing. It’s hard sometimes to play in a group and that is such a competitive sport. It’s very rough, but you eventually get used to it, take the hit.

How did you get involved with hockey?

Honestly, I don’t remember. I just remember having a pair of skates on my feet and I’ve just had to learn. I kept falling and falling, but I eventually got it. I think my dad was the one that saw a flier that there was a hockey team that needed players and he signed himself, me and my siblings up.

What’s it like being a girl on a co-ed hockey team?

It’s kind of lonely sometimes, but I eventually found another player and I spoke to her and we both share that struggle. It is hard because they [the boys] don’t give us the same opportunities. Like they don’t want to pass to us because we’re females, or they’ll think we’ll mess it up or something. Eventually, I spoke to my coach about it and he gave the boys a talk and stuff and we eventually all got along.

When I think about hockey players, I think of bigger players and it’s a really rough sport, as you said. It’s physical. But I’m looking at you and I see a rather petite young woman. How much does your size impact your game?

There are benefits to being smaller. I could navigate through them [bigger male players] a little bit better, just squeeze through them and steal the puck. And I move a little bit faster than them. Sometimes it depends on the player, but when it comes to checking, I have to apply more pressure because I’m smaller. So I put more pressure onto them when I check them into the boards. Then it’s a little bit harder for me to do, but I’m still able to to get it done.

Martinez, number 35, moves the puck down the ice against Riverbank Lightning on Mar. 6. (photo Pacer Staff)

What would you say is the best thing about playing hockey? What’s your favorite thing about playing hockey?

I like the skating part. Chasing people down and the adrenaline it gives me.

What is the most challenging?

Ohh, I feel it’s the shooting.

What do you mean by that?

They shoot the puck into their net. I feel like that’s a little hard. I’ve been playing for a long time and I can’t do it. Sometimes I’ll struggle if I see the crowd looking at me, then I get nervous.

Do you think you want to keep playing hockey? I know you’re about to graduate. Are you going play at the next level or is this just something that you’ve enjoyed doing as a young person?

I wouldn’t want to go professional or anything, but I think in college, club hockey would be nice. I would definitely like to do a club just to keep playing the sport and exercising,

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