Sept. 11, 2013
Senior Kim Sheaffer has started all four games for the Wolverines this season and with 17 underclassmen, she has been a valuable member of U-M's veteran senior class. In preparation for the Wolverines' first home weekend, after three weeks on the road, Sheaffer took a minute to talk about the advantage of Phyllis Ocker Field, U-M's resiliency and her goals for her final season.
Sinking Springs, Pa.
Q: After three weekends of road events, is it a relief to finally play at home this weekend?
A: I love playing at home and being in Ann Arbor. Obviously, it's easier when we don't have to worry about traveling. We can just be home and focus on school and hockey. It definitely makes a difference having a home crowd and more fans cheering for us. We're all really looking forward to finally playing at home and seeing what we can do.
Q: This team has had quite a bit of success at home over the last several seasons. What contributes to that?
A: I think we're all just very comfortable being on our own field. We spend a lot of time here, and we know the little bumps and bruises of it. Having the crowd in our favor is also a big advantage. We have great homefield crowds.
Q: Obviously, you'd like to have a better record, but is the team used to facing tough opponents early? Is the team still figuring everything out, and are you confident that you figure things out?
A: Oh, I definitely think we'll figure things out. We've kind of had a similar start the past couple of years, and we bounce back from it. We start with a really tough schedule, and it helps us in Big Ten play and gets us ready for the end of the season. So, we know that and have a lot of confidence in that. So, we'll be fine. We'll take what we saw and learned over the past two weekends and really use it as we prepare for the next couple of games.
Q: Like last year, you've got a big freshman class this year. How do you think they're blending in with the rest of the team?
A: I think they're doing just great. Our team chemistry is really strong, and I think that will start to show on the field over the next few weekends. I think it helps to have a big group of seniors. A lot of us have gone through the ups and downs of season, including similar slow start, and have experienced Big Ten play. I think our senior leadership on this team is really good.
Q: What would you like to see for your senior season?
A: We're keeping our eyes set on winning the Big Ten championship and making it to the Final Four. I think we're capable of it. We have a great set of girls that all have a common goal. We really want it this year, and I think it could happen.
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