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Putting in the hours
It was no surprise when Kallie Flor was elected captain of the Quinnipiac women’s hockey team at last season’s end-of-the-year banquet. The senior forward from Farmington, Minn., was an obvious choice due to her hard work on and off the ice, as well as her team-first attitude.
Many people might feel obligated to perform at a higher level after receiving such an honor, but Flor remains grounded.
“I don’t feel any added pressure,” Flor said. “I should be playing at my highest level at all times. Just because I have the ‘C’ on my jersey doesn’t mean I should be trying any harder. I should be doing that to begin with.”
This type of attitude makes people such as head coach Rick Seeley proud to be associated with Flor. Seeley, now in his second year with the program, expressed how important players such as Flor are to a team.
“She is an exceptional leader, a very confident individual and I was extremely fortunate to inherit her as a player,” Seeley said. “It’s very important to have players like [Flor] when first taking over a team. You never quite know how things will go right away because you don’t have your recruits, but players like her make that transition much smoother.”
The smooth transition that Seeley was fortunate to receive was not only accredited to the personality of the players, but also because of their hard work.
Flor is no stranger to hard work. She has felt obliged to work hard since the moment she arrived at Quinnipiac.
“Leaving high school, I knew it was going to be a tough adjustment playing at Division I speed,” Flor said. “I also knew I would have to work as hard as possible each day to stay out on the ice.”
That hard work paid off. Flor has started in every game since she was a freshman, and others around her know it would take a lot to keep her from playing.
“It’s great to have a player like that,” Seeley said. “I could never imagine her being in the trainer’s because of how tough she is.”
Playing injury-free has kept Flor spending more time focusing on where she can improve as a player and less time on healing wounds. Her main focus, naturally, started with defense.
“As a team, we need to focus on our defense before we can start thinking of winning games,” Flor said. “We need to stop the other team first in order to be successful.”
Seeley said Flor’s defense has improved substantially heading into this season, and hopes it can lead to more success for the team.
If Flor and the Bobcats tighten their defense and improve offensively, they can become a very dangerous team, according to Flor, who has high expectations for her senior campaign.
“I want the team to have the best record in program history, have a team GPA of 3.2 and not only reach the playoffs, but have playoff games on our home ice,” Flor said.
Flor also mentioned plans of returning to Minnesota to undergo a graduate assistant program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., and being a coach at the same time.
It would be a happy homecoming for Flor, as she is well known for her achievements on the ice. Flor had a tough time choosing which sports to play as a child.
“I wanted to play everything,” Flor said. “My mom wanted me to figure skate – she only signed me up for hockey because she thought I would wind up hating it.”
Flor never looked back and now holds four records in her high school for goals (243), assists (178), points(421) and plus-minus (+434). Flor played six total years of high school hockey after making the team while she was only in seventh grade, a move that would be considered intimidating by most.
“The hardest part was the size advantages of the other players, but I was having a lot of fun because we had made it to states in my eighth and ninth grade years,” Flor said.
Winning is something that Flor hopes to get used to this season with the Bobcats.
Despite being ranked ninth in the conference heading into the season, Flor believes the team can be much better.
“We know we can be better than that, but we can’t take any plays off if we want to be,” Flor said.
Flor and the Bobcats play their next game home vs. Boston College on Friday, Oct. 16.