The power forward from St. Thomas led Quinnipiac's women's hockey team
in scoring for a second consecutive season while mastering accounting
Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021
By Rob J. Ross
HAMDEN, CT. - Lexie Adzija hasn't let a world wide pandemic slow her down on the ice or in the class room.
The 20-year old from St. Thomas in her junior year led the Quinnipiac University Bobcats' women's hockey team in scoring for a second consecutive season, with six goals and 17 assists in a shortened 15 game season.
This Friday, the Bobcats visit Colgate University for a one game showdown in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) semifinals (5 p.m.).
The power forward standing five foot 10 inches is one player the Bobcats will be relying on to help advance them to Sunday's final.
Quinnipiac dropped three of four regular season meetings against Colgate, but won the final meeting, 5-3, on February 27th. The Bobcats led the February 26th game after two periods, 2-1, but gave up three unanswered third period goals.
Both games showed the Bobcats improved since earlier 4-0 and 4-1 losses to Colgate.
"Every opponent in our league is a good game, a challenge," said Adzija. "We're a young team, so our first games we had a lot of adjusting. When we look at our growth from those games to where we are now it is just amazing. Part of it is during these times it has really brought us together. We're all super grateful that we've been able to play any games. The fact that we're going to be in the playoffs is awesome."
That deeper appreciation comes from the fact the season could have been totally cancelled instead of on hold until a few schools agreed to play a shortened schedule.
"None of us knew what was going to happen. We were hopeful but there was a lot of uncertainty. We thought we wouldn't have a conference, but happy that Colgate, St. Lawrence and Clarkson wanted to play too. The first semester was a lot of practice. As hockey players we like games. We learn in practice but we want to play games."
It wasn't until January when the four ECAC teams, along with two private schools, Long Island University and Sacred Heart University, finally had game action. Even after the schedule was released, several games were wiped out due to COVID, including the opening weekend against Clarkson.
"It's definitely been a different season," said Adzija. "A big adjustment too was having games cancelled. We've had quite a few weekends that were cancelled or changed last minute. Learning to deal with the changes, we've taken more of a grateful approach to things, as we are still playing."
The Bobcats finished with a 10-5 overall record.
Adjiza's game has grow immensely during her time at Quinnipiac, including becoming a force on face-offs, winning nearly 70 per cent of her draws.
"I've had one of my best seasons," said Adzija, usually with senior linemates Renee Saltness and Taylor Girard. "I think the game has slowed down for me. I'm really understanding our systems now. I've got a ton of confidence now, to shoot, or make that extra pass or keep the puck on my stick a little longer. That's been a big change from years past. I'm happy where things are individually."
Adjiza credits current on ice success and improvement to work away from the rink, while the season was on hold and access to the gym, or even the rink for a skate was limited.
"Two things. One being the mental aspect of the game off of the ice. How much mental work you can do that affects your performance on the ice. I've really learned that this past year. I did a lot of reading," explained Adzija. "Also listening to my body. I never really understood that until this past year. I listen to my body. If I need a break, I need a break. Or if I feel I can push myself harder and do some extra work than I do that."
Adzija has also been putting in the extra work in the classroom, in an accelerated program for accounting.
"I'll be done my undergrad this spring and I've already started my MBA (Masters of Business Administration). I'll get my undergrad and MBA in four years. It's definitely a lot in terms of schedule wise but I've been able to manage it," Adzija said. "I'm in my last three accounting classes right now and I have my business cap started and a few MBA courses this semester as well. It's pretty crazy but also super exciting. I'm really enjoying it."
Working numbers can not be more thrilling than the numerous highlights Adzija has provided for her teammates and fans watching online. Adzija's personal favourite this season is from a January 16th win over Long Island.
"I chipped the puck to my line-mate Renee Saltness and she did a behind the back drop pass back to me. I made one extra move around the D and scored. That one stands out. It was pretty crazy pass by her and also a good finish."
Her play and drive on the ice has not failed to attract attention, including being in the conversation for the Patty Kaizmer award, for the top U.S. female collegiate player.
"It's a pretty special feeling to have my name in that mix. I wasn't expecting that, because I've focused on the process not the outcome."
The one outcome Adzija is likely focused on is the result of the upcoming semifinal.
In Adzija's first
two seasons, the Bobcats lost in the ECAC quarterfinals. The last time Quinnipiac
was in the final was 2016, when they defeated Clarkson for the school's first
© 2021 Hometownplay.ca
© 2021 Hometownplay.ca