Millis Students at Home on Medway-Ashland Girls’ Hockey Team

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Millis students Emma Rice and Marina Yasuna have found the Medway-Ashland girls’ hockey team to be a welcoming group, despite the challenge of traveling to practice in Marlboro.
Issue Date: 
February, 2019
Article Body: 

For the past ten years, the Medway-Ashland coop has given girls the chance to play ice hockey for a high school. Some five years ago, Millis joined under the Medway-Ashland banner, so their girls could also continue to play a sport they had a passion for. This year, two girls Emma Rice and Marina Yasuna, are skating for the Medway-Ashland team.
Both athletes have shown Coach Karl Infanger that they belong on the team and can contribute to the team’s success. Rice is a junior third line center, while Yasuna is a senior blue liner.
“Emma knows that she is on the third line, but wants to move up. She’s a hard working individual and is making the adjustments that we need her to make as center and has a high hockey IQ,” Infanger said. “Marina plays a tenacious defense and has drastically improved in her making the right decisions while on the ice. She knows what she has to work on and has done so every drill she takes part in.”
Both girls have been playing the sport for some time; Yasuna picked up the sport while at Dover-Sherborn before transferring to Millis, and Rice has been playing for about seven years since her friend got her interested.
“A friend of mine from elementary school in Norfolk took me to the ice rink to take part in a ‘learn to play hockey’ program. I fell in love with the sport,” Rice Said. “Immediately joined the KP/Walpole club team as a center, because I wanted to play a forward position so that I could skate a lot and score.”
Yasuna also plays for a club team, the Natick Comets, where she has been one of the team’s forwards for the past three years before she was asked to help them out on defense. She liked the position so much that she continued to play it in high school.
Prior to her playing hockey, Yasuna didn’t have a sport to participate in during the winter season. She started looking for something to keep busy during the winter time frame and came upon hockey. She borrowed some equipment to try out for the team and found it to her liking and has been playing the sport since. Although she had played forward, she likes defense much better.
“As a soccer defender you get to see the entire field, it’s the same with hockey,” Yasuna said. “I get to watch everything from the backline and see things developing, it gives me more control of the game.”
Both girls found that the welcoming that they received from their new teammates was great, and that they had their backs, Rice also noted that her new teammates would give constructive criticism to help them with their game.
The only downfall to being members on the Medway-Ashland girl’s hockey team is the practicing. The team has ice time in Marlboro at the New England Sports Club, usually later in the evening, and with only a small bus, Medway can only bring their own athletes. The Millis girls need to carpool.
“The ride situation is very tough,” Rice said. “Living in Norfolk and getting to Marlboro late at night is too much.”
Yasuna agreed.
“The hard part about playing for Medway-Ashland is getting to and from practices,” she said. “The other girls have the Mustang mini bus or one another to car pool with; we’ve only got each other.”
Prior to this year, Rive had been sitting on the bench for most of the game seeing some ice time near the end of the game. This year, as the team’s third line center she was able to notch her first varsity goal against Norwood. Trailing 2-1 late in the game Rice tallied her first goal at an opportune time giving Medway-Ashland a tie.