To be great, you have to pay the price.
After wins over Grand Canyon, Colorado State and Denver, the Arizona State women's hockey team has qualified for the Western Woman's Collegiate Hockey League playoffs later this month in Fremont, Nebraska.
"It's been so special," said K.C. McGinley, a senior captain who grew up in the Valley. "As a first year team last year all we hoped is we would make a name for ourselves. "
McGinley transferred back home after a year and a half at UMass-Boston. She and fellow captain Taylor England first laced up a pair of skates together on AZ Select and the Lady Coyotes at the Arcadia Ice Den in Phoenix.
"We're definitely the under dogs," said England who left Arizona in high school to play in Colorado.
"I think that we've earned this spot. I think we're ready to go to Nebraska and show that AZ girls can play some hockey."
The ASU women aren't on scholarship. They're a club team funded by player dues. It's going to cost an additional $15,000 to go to the playoffs, so the Sun Devils have set up a go fund me to $5,000 of their costs.
"It means so much to us," said McGinley.
"That's so cool that people would donate to us. This is everything we've worked for and all we can ask is to grow it for the girls."
Coach Lindsey Ellis started the team two years ago. The Sun Devils have made it to the playoffs with just two lines and one goalie. Ice time is hard to come by in the Valley, so practice starts at 7 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
"Especially for college kids, 7 a.m. is early," said Ellis, who played college hockey at Miami(OH). "They make so many sacrifices for this team."
"When the inaugural season started it was pretty tough," said England. "Not for this one(McGinley) because she's an early bird every day."
"Most schools have the opportunity to just drive a couple of hours to play their opponents," said McGinley.
"We have fly or bus 15 hours. Hopefully, we grow it for girls on the west coast, so the future generations have the opportunity to just have those quick road trips. But, I wouldn't change it for the world."
The Sun Devil women close out the regular season with a trip to Miami(OH) and Ohio State this weekend. The trip to the playoffs, funds willing, is set for Feb. 22.
The GoFundMe for ASU Women's Hockey can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/asu-women039s-hockey
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