Dutchwoman of the Week: Emily Erickson ’17

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Courtesy of Union Athletics
Courtesy of Union Athletics

Hometown: Crosslake, Minn.
Major: Entrepreneurship
Sport: Women’s Hockey
Clubs/Activities: Women’s Golf, Love Your Melon, Entrepreneurship Club.

Q: Can you briefly explain your experience playing before coming to Union?
A: I started skating when I was 5 years old when the lake in front of my house would freeze over. My dad played hockey for Minnesota’s Bemidji State and had me in skates at a very young age. My parents used to joke that I was skating before I was walking. My mother, on the other hand, wanted my younger sister, Hannah Erickson ’18, and I to be dancers. I remember growing up going from school to dance class and then changing out of my leotard and into my hockey gear in the car as we rushed to the rink for hockey practice. Hockey ended up winning, to say the least. I would spend the next 10 years playing for my hometown boys, youth and high school hockey programs in Breezy Point, Minnesota. When I was a sophomore in high school, I moved to Stowe, Vermont, to play for the North American Hockey Academy and continued for the next three years before committing and playing for Union.

Q: How do you think playing a Division I sport has prepared you for life after graduation?
A: It has definitely prepared me for the future and in more ways than one. Hockey has taught me many life skills such as time management, teamwork, self-confidence, leadership and effective communication.

Q: Are there benefits to playing a Division I sport at a small, majority Division III school? Are there any disadvantages?
A: I think the biggest advantage is that we are treated very well. We have access to many great resources and accommodations. I’m very grateful for the best four years of my life and to have been supported by my family, friends, Union’s administration, professors and fellow students. With that comes a lot of responsibility and our team is held to a higher standard on the ice, in the classroom and around campus.

Q: The team has experienced some coaching changes over the past year. Do you think the culture of the team has changed at all?
A: Building a culture that will outlive my time at Union was the main goal for myself, the rest of my senior class and the new coaching staff. As a team, we have spent a lot of time defining what the team stands for and have begun to build a foundation of what we want to be known for, our style of play and how to be a family. I believe very strongly in the culture our team has built and I have no doubt that it will last for years to come; that will be the legacy I hope to be remembered for.

Q: What are some of your favorite things about Union?
A: Some of my favorite things about Union are the lifelong friends I have made along the way, the professors that have challenged me, the time it’s given me to grow into the person I am and aspire to be, the ability to study and earn a degree in something I am passionate about, the opportunity to play two sports I love and for being my home away from home for the past four years. Union is such a small community. That is why I fell in love with it the minute I toured here. I come from a very small town in northern Minnesota where everybody knows everybody and Union has that small-town feel that has always made it feel like home to me.

Q: Balancing a varsity sport, particularly a Division I sport, and a full academic course load is tough. What advice do you have for other students, both athletes, and non-athletes, in regards to better managing their time?
A: My advice for better time management is to unsubscribe from your Netflix account.

Q: What is your favorite thing to eat on campus?
A: Ozone Lunch on Friday afternoons is definitely my favorite!

Q: What is your favorite restaurant in the Schenectady area and why?
A: My favorite restaurant in Schenectady is Katie O’Byrne’s probably because my teammate, KJ Davis ’17, and I have been going there just about every Saturday after a home series since freshman year with friends and family. I have shared a lot of good memories and food there over the past few years!

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