Emma Polaski’s prep school experience pays off as she makes college hockey transition

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 6, 2017 at 11:39 pm Contact Isaiah: ifreedma@syr.edu Not only did Emma Polaski’s first collegiate goal come against No. 1 Wisconsin, but it was also the result of a frenzy on the rink.First, Syracuse forced a Badgers turnover inside the UW blue line. Then, the puck made its way to the stick of defender Amanda Backebo, who quickly slid it to forward Victoria Klimek, who subsequently rocketed it to Polaski. All the freshman had to do was tap it in.“It was a great moment,” Polaski said, “and I’ll remember that for the rest of my career.”Polaski’s goal occurred early on in a stop-and-go first season for the Morristown, New Jersey, native. SU head coach Paul Flanagan has plucked her in and out of the lineup, making it difficult for her to develop a rhythm. Nonetheless, Flanagan is confident in Polaski’s burgeoning skillset.“She’s someone who has to continue to work,” Flanagan said. “She’s a strong girl, has real good stick skills, shoots the puck well. I see her being a big part of what we’re trying to do offensively.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFlanagan is confident that score was the first of many for Polaski, but he’s cautious to not heap too much praise on his freshman forward. He knows there are more goals to come for the freshman, but he doesn’t want to jinx it.“For her to build off that is the main thing,” Flanagan said. “Just get some confidence.”Polaski, who attended prep school before her arrival on campus, has experienced a smoother transition to the ins and outs of college life than some of her peers.Prep school offers a similar experience to that of college, Polaski said. Her previous school, The Lawrenceville (New Jersey) School, had a rigorous hockey program where players played and trained daily, just like SU does. The intensity is greater, but the structure is similar.Senior captain Stephanie Grossi plays the same position as Polaski, and has seen the progression of her freshman counterpart first hand.“She’s a really good player,” Grossi said. “She has a lot of strength, a really good shot and works incredibly hard and has a good attitude. I think she can go really far in this program and help lead it in the future. She has a lot of potential for sure.”Flanagan understands that his freshman not only needs to adjust to the improved competition, but also navigate the uncharted aspects of life that come with transitioning from prep school to college.Polaski is still learning, Flanagan said, but all the freshmen are. But in particular, he’s expecting big things from his freshman forward.“We expect her to be a real core part of our program moving forward,” Flanagan said. Commentslast_img

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