By Hannah Barnes, Athletic Communications Student Intern
MINNEAPOLIS – Following the conclusion of the 2016-17 season, GopherSports.com talked to sophomore forward Sierra Smith about her role on the team and her life as a student-athlete in a rigorous major.
Gopher Sports: What is it like for you to be part of Gopher women's hockey?
Sierra Smith: It’s awesome. We have a great group of people, and that’s really what makes it so special. It’s not the wins, the losses, or the championships. It’s all of our teammates.
GS: How do you embrace your role on the team?
SS: I just come every day with a smile and do whatever I can to help the team.
GS: What was it like to win a national championship your first year?
SS: It was awesome. I don’t know if there will ever be anything comparable. The group that we had was so special. Being able to play or not doesn’t matter. It’s an amazing experience.
GS: What are your career goals?
SS: I would like to go to med school, become a doctor or an orthopedic surgeon. In seventh grade, I fell on glass and my doctor left glass in my knee. I had to have reconstructive surgery. I have arthritis from it. It’s just a whole long process that could have been avoided.
GS: You're studying biochemistry with a minor in Spanish. What is your advice to a student-athlete who wants to pursue a rigorous major like your own?
SS: It is very difficult. I would advise them to really consider if it’s something they want to do before getting into it because it’s not easy. You really have to be motivated and dedicated to your career goals in order to succeed.
GS: How have you balanced being a student and an athlete?
SS: Sometimes you just have to take some losses; sometimes there’s not enough time. Other times you just have to keep working, keep plugging away. Whenever you do get the free time, take advantage, but it’s not often.
GS: How did it feel to be honored for your academic standing by the WCHA?
SS: It was pretty sweet and special. It’s obviously not something very many people get.
GS: What do you like to do in your free time?
SS: I usually just watch Netflix because it’s convenient. Otherwise I just hang out with my friends. I like to be outside whenever it’s nice.
GS: What are your plans this summer?
SS: This summer, I will hopefully work as an EMT or do something along those lines. I will be taking a class this summer, and maybe find research or a job.
GS: What was your favorite part of the season?
SS: I think just the quality time we get with teammates.
GS: What are your goals for the remainder of your academic and athletic careers?
SS: I just want to be the best I can be and continue to grow as a person and academically -- improve and enjoy the experience.
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