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Meet the WIHC: Darian Dempsey




18 DARIAN DEMPSEY

Year: Senior

Major: Public relations with a minor in sociology, possibly attending law school in the future

Hometown: Grosse Pointe Farms, MI

Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Right

Size: 5-foot-9, 155 pounds

Previous Team: Grosse Pointe South HS



DARIAN ON...

How she ended up both at Penn State...: "During high school my parents played a huge role in helping me decide which colleges to apply to. They helped me limit my options by coming up with some requirements. I wanted to go to a Big Ten school with football and hockey, of course. I didn't want to be in a city, but I wanted there to be a lot of people. Lastly, I wanted to school known for their pride and sense of community. Being from Michigan, obviously Michigan State would come to mind, but I wanted to leave home. Penn State became my top choice and I can’t describe how happy I was when I was accepted."

...and with the team: "Over winter break, right before coming back for my second semester as a sophomore, I found out that Penn State had a co-ed intramural team. I signed up, bought some new equipment, and packed my bag. When I got to Pegula for my first game I was told I was one of two of the only females in the league. I remember calling my mom and freaking out that I was going to get killed playing against all men. She told me I would be fine and go out there and have fun. In my first game I would say I did pretty well for having taken a year off. After the first couple of games I had a few points under my belt and I felt pretty good! A couple days later I received and email from [coach Pat Fung] asking me if I would be interested in playing for the club team. He told me he had heard about me playing in the intramural league and that I was doing well. A week or so later I went to my first practice and if I had a dollar for every time one of the girls made fun of my bright orangey-yellow helmet... anyway, I am so thankful that Pat reached out to me. Finding this team is by far the highlight of my college career."

How the team has progressed from the first series against Massachusetts through now: "When we played UMass in the beginning of the season we, as a team, were still figuring out how to work with each other. We gained many great new players, but that means we need to practice harder to gain that connection with the girls we've never played with. We have all worked as hard as we can these past weeks to get where we are, and I believe we are in a good place right now. We work together in practice to help each other gain the skills we need. Our attitudes have also greatly improved on and off the ice. The offense is still working on some adjustments, but at this point I don't think UMass has any idea what’s coming."

Getting to play close to home against teams like Adrian, Michigan and Michigan State: "We generally stay on the east coast, but when we do travel to Michigan I really enjoy it. The game there is a little different than it is in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, etc. I grew up learning how to be strong on my feet and how to take hits. Hockey in Michigan is rough and that is something I miss. Playing against Adrian this past weekend was great for me because I got to play to same game I grew up with. Hockey is a contact sport and I love when the refs let us play like that, like they did in Adrian. I know a couple girls on the Michigan and Michigan State teams and I am really looking forward to playing against them again."

Her favorite State College bar: "Bill Pickle's Tap Room is by far my favorite State College Bar! Last spring, I discovered the bar with another girl on the team and both of us basically fell in love. We went there at least three times a week and sometimes on Sundays we did homework there. I became pretty close with a lot of the people who work there, such great people. Now, even my mom feels the same way as I do about Pickle's. When I graduate, I will definitely be coming back to relive some of my great times there."

Getting involved with THON: "My freshman year I joined a sorority, and we all know how involved Greeks are with everything. I went canning a couple times and it was a blast! I went to THON my freshman year and had a fantastic experience. Everyone sings and dances, people blow bubbles in the stands, and the water guns people bring are probably the best part. The final four hours were breathtaking and I can't wait to experience it with my team this year. I know a lot of girls on the team haven't been to a THON yet because in the past it fell on the same weekend as playoffs. I know they are going to love it this year and I hope we get the chance to get dancers!" [Note: To donate to THON on behalf of the team, click here.]

Her favorite thing about attending Penn State: "I would have to say my favorite thing about going to Penn State is the sense of community. Being a Penn State student is unlike being a student anywhere else. I love that wherever I am in the world a Penn Stater is bound to yell, “WE ARE.” This is a place I can call home and a place I can look forward to coming back to after I graduate in May. I always tell my parents and friends that I feel bad for people who didn't go here and it's because Penn State is the best school there is."

What makes the Women's Ice Hockey Club unique: "Something that makes our team unique is that we all come from different hockey backgrounds. Some of us have played our whole lives and others started in high school. We all have a common goal in mind and we all work as hard as we can to reach it. Another thing that makes us different is that we are all always there for each other, no matter the situation. We love being together on and off the ice and are excited when another team event comes along."

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