MINNEAPOLIS -- The 2017-18 season marked the 21st season of Gopher women's hockey. Twenty years of student-athletes set the foundation for where the program is today, and it's time to reconnect with them. Up next in our alumni spotlight is Lacey (Franzmeier) Buss.
Buss, a native of Stacy, Minn., played for the Gophers during the first three years of the program in 1997-98 through 1999-00. She was part of Minnesota's first-ever national championship team in 2000, appearing in 26 games and recording five points on four goals and one assist.
GopherSports.com caught up with Buss to find out where life has taken her most recently.
Gopher Sports: Where has life taken you since you graduated from the University of Minnesota?
Lacey Buss: I ended up going back to school for a health information technician degree. It encompasses medical billing, coding, law, and ethics. I met my husband, Greg and stepdaughter, Celka several years ago, who have been taking me on adventures ever since: Riding the motorcycle on the windy roads of the Black Hills; taking the Ford Raptor on an expedition to the exotic sands of Baja, MX; and most recently snowboarding the majestic wonderland of Whitefish, Mont. I love to travel and just got back from visiting my parents, brother, and sister in-law in Phoenix where we went to the Wild vs. Coyotes game.
GS: Where do you currently live and work?
LB: My husband and I live in East Bethel, Minn. I work for Medica as a Special Investigator Coding Analyst in their SIU/Law department. I try to catch the bad guys who are fraudulent or abusive in their medical billing practices.
GS: What personal or professional accomplishment(s) are you most proud of since you graduated from the University of Minnesota?
LB: Personally, my husband and I purchased our retirement property on the Snake River last year. It’s offered more than we could have hoped for with fishing, kayaking, and hunting. I’m proud we’re preparing now instead of 20 years from now. Professionally, advancing my career as a Special Investigator makes me feel that my hard work of going back to school is paying off.
GS: What is your favorite memory about your time as a Gopher on the ice? Off the ice? On the ice?
LB: Playing at Mariucci in front of the crowd. It holds so much tradition, and all I wanted to do when I was little was wear that “M” on my chest and play in Mariucci, before there even was a women’s team. I’m glad the girls have Ridder and can create their own traditions. Off the ice? Traveling as a team in our stylish baggy matching 1990’s warm-up gear.
GS: What are you most proud of from your time as a Gopher?
LB: Most proud of making the team as a walk-on and winning a national championship in 2000. To get that ring was a childhood dream and a goal I had worked so hard for.
GS: What advice would you give your college self/current Gophers?
LB: Besides enjoy every moment; for most, being a hockey player is just a small part of your life. Have a plan from day one of what you are going to do after you’re done playing and prepare for it. Set a good foundation for your professional career. I wish I would have been more focused professionally and started networking at a younger age, but back then, hockey was all that mattered. Use your resources! "… Be better than you are. Set a goal that seems unattainable, and when you reach that goal, set another one even higher." – Herb Brooks.
GS: How did your college hockey career help prepare you for life after college?
LB: Time management and being able to collaborate effectively with a variety of personalities.
GS: Are you still involved with hockey or sports?
LB: No, I’m just a fan now days. I do miss the sights, sounds, the smell of the ice, and comradery. Maybe one day I’ll be directly involved again someway.
GS: Who is a Gopher Women's Hockey player you have enjoyed watching play after you graduated and why?
LB: #9 Sarah Davis because she reminds me of Doug Gilmore, always moving, grinding in the corners, and does what it takes to win that play, shift, or game. She had a game-winning goal in overtime in the national championship game with a 3-2 victory over Boston College a few years ago. I also enjoyed watching the stellar goaltending of Noora Raty and was rooting for her in this year’s Olympics.
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