Meet the WIHC: Tarika Embar


Year: Junior

Major: Kinesiology with a movement science option, with the intent to go to the University of Pittsburgh for PT school

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Position: Left Wing

Shoots: Right

Size: 5-foot-9, 145 pounds

Previous Team: Steel City Selects U19


What the team needs to work on coming out of the UMass games: "We need to be able to communicate and function as a whole. We started to generate good plays in the offensive zone but continued to fall short in our defensive zone so I definitely think a lot of work can be done there. Many players like myself also need to focus on the little things, like puck possession, in order to be able to make the big plays. We have the goalie to protect us defensively, now we just need to be able to generate plays that go further than the neutral zone."

The flexibility offered by the play of goalie Meg Lydick: "Having Meg in net really increases our ability to play a much more offensive game than last year. She has our back and more times than not saves us when we need it most."

Her reputation among teammates as a hard worker: "I work hard for everything I do because I won’t let myself settle for less than my best. It’s been a conscious effort for hockey because I always have a lot to learn and even when I think I'm working as hard as I can there’s always something that can be improved upon. I don’t think I'll ever be the person who can just go through the motions without putting my heart into it as well."

Why she wears number 41: "I've somehow always been 41. It's the year my dad was born, and he passed away when I was in elementary school. I wanted a number that would always mean something to me and I use it as motivation to work hard because I know that no matter what, he'll always be proud of what I do."

The idea of scheduling the University of Pittsburgh, where twin sister and former WIHC member Emma Embar now plays, next year: "It depends on how their season goes. They’re just starting out and have a lot of girls new to the sport. If it will help them, I would love to play them. I have never actually played against Emma. Since we started playing hockey freshman year of high school, we have always been on the same team, so it would be a completely new experience if we ever did end up playing Pitt."

What makes the Women's Ice Hockey Club unique: "Our team is unique compared to others out there because of the amount of work that we have to put in to get the results that we want. When I joined as a freshman, we didn’t seem to have much trouble at all making it to nationals. As players graduate, the team becomes younger and we have to remake ourselves into a team that can win in a way that maybe not everyone is used to. I think our ability to face adversity makes us unique."

Her favorite thing about attending Penn State: "My favorite spot on campus besides Pegula would have to be the Armory, which is the huge garage-looking attachment to the Wagner Building. It's called the Armory because all of the ROTC branches use it for formations, labs, and training but it is also used by our CrossFit Club. One of my favorite non-academic things about attending Penn State is, although it is a huge school, joining smaller groups really makes it feel like the greatest home away from home that someone could have. CrossFit Club is one of those groups and no matter how hard of a week or horrible of a day I am having, they make me feel like what I’m doing matters and the environment is always so supportive."

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