By Allison Kamel
The St. Joseph’s College Division IV Roller Hockey team finished its season last weekend at the Eastern Collegiate Roller Hockey Association’s championships. While the squad could not make it to the quarterfinals, it finished the season with seven wins and just four losses.
The team went into this season with hopes of winning the championship.
“I pictured us as less of a favorite to win and more of a dark horse team that could steal the championship,” stated junior defenseman Bobby Yevoli. “The regular season went as expected: we finished third out of 10 teams and put ourselves in a position to win.”
This is only the second season for the SJC Roller Hockey team. For a team that has only been together for two years, the Golden Eagles have formed an incredible bond with each other.
“My favorite thing about this team is the personalities involved,” said Yevoli. “We had a lot of characters on the team. Each person had a few personalities quirks and habits that were distinct to them. Having a team like this made the tough times easier and the good times better.”
“My favorite memory had to be preseason during Columbus Day weekend in Feasterville, PA,” said senior forward Chris Carleo. “It was our first weekend together and we just had a great time. In between games on Saturday, we drove into Philadelphia and ran the steps from the movie Rocky. We won a couple of those games together and it was just fun getting used to each other on road trips.”
That bond is obvious in the ways they support each other. Joseph Tedesco, president of SJC Roller Hockey and goalie, spoke of his brother Christopher’s struggles with injury. After being unable to play due to a tumor in his knee, Christopher was unsure about his ability to face other college teams.
“In preseason he kills it, getting a hattrick in his second game!” remarked Joseph Tedesco. “Now he has finished the season with a total of 16 goals and seven assists!”
Joseph had just as much success as his brother this season, winning the Goalie of the Year Award.
“It’s always great to be recognized for doing something you love to do and do well!” said Tedesco. “I believe that it was thanks to my teammates that I was motivated each game to play my best for them. I also need to give thanks to God for it is Him that gave me this amazing ability, opportunity, and team that I love. If not for Him none of this would be possible!”
Tedesco also talked about another member of their team, Pat Donahue. “He is by far our most passionate player, and when everyone else seemed to be in a slump he was still his same eager and motivated self no matter what was happening before during or after each game.”
Despite the wonderful regular season, the team was not so lucky during the championships, which occurred the first weekend of March. “We could not make it out of the round-robin games to get into the quarterfinals,” stated Tedesco. “We went 0-2-1 when we believed we could have gone 3-0, or at least 2-1.”
Even with the loss, Yevoli remained positive about the weekend. “We fell behind in a lot of games, but we showed a lot of heart and managed to come back and make every game competitive.”
Tedesco stated a very particular reason for why they did not achieve what they had hoped for: “Some believe it was us being overly confident, some say we just didn’t play our game, but I say it’s because we never played our pre-game song before we left the locker room, ‘Run-around Sue.’”
While the Roller Hockey team’s attempt at the championship could have had a better ending, their season was still impressive.
“I think that we have to take into account that this was only our second season as a team,” said Yevoli. “Sometimes it takes a while for championship teams to be built.”
“Overall, I think we had a solid season and really made a name for SJC in the league,” said Carleo. “Hopefully we will continue to trend upwards season after season.”
“Regardless of how the season ended,” said Tedesco, “I am extremely proud in the way that this team played throughout the season. Twenty-five weeks of passionate practice sessions, countless hours of ‘off-ice’ training, and hundreds of miles of traveling all for the love of the game, school pride and each other.”
If you are interested in joining the SJC Roller Hockey team next season, email Chris Carleo at firstname.lastname@example.org.