Sept. 16, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Senior Sara Schmitt will serve as captain of the Ohio State women’s hockey team for the 2014-15 season, while fellow seniors Kari Schmitt and Kara Gust will be recognized as the squad’s assistant captains, head coach Nate Handrahan announced Tuesday.
“I am very pleased to announce our leadership group,” Handrahan said. “I believe they are very capable and responsible to lead our team to where we want to be. We have many leaders in our locker room who all lead in their own way and will help fuel our culture.”
A native of Canton, Mich., Sara was a rock for the Buckeyes last season, ranking as the team’s second-leading scorer with 28 points on seven goals and 21 assists. In WCHA play, the defenseman contributed 19 points on six goals and 13 assists in 27 games during her junior campaign. This summer, Sara was selected to train at the 2014 USA Hockey Women’s National Festival in Lake Placid, N.Y.
An understated leader on and off the ice, Sara has an outstanding work ethic in the classroom, earning both WCHA Scholar-Athlete and Ohio State Scholar-Athlete recognition each season eligible.
“Sara is an excellent person who has been an unrecognized leader in her time as a Buckeye,” Handrahan said. “She has shown to be well rounded in all areas of her life and will be able to interact with all team members in a positive, constructive way. I trust her and her abilities to lead us effectively.”
Kari and Gust will return to leadership roles after serving as assistant captains for the 2013-14 campaign.
Also a native of Canton, Mich., Kari suited up for 26 WCHA contests last season, earning 15 points on four goals and 11 assists. The backbone of the Buckeye defensive unit, she garnered All-WCHA Second Team recognition as a junior. With 23 points on nine goals and 14 assists in 35 games played overall, Kari ranked 16th in the nation for a defenseman in scoring. She is a two-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete and three-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete.
“Kari will continue to be a part of our leadership,” Handrahan said. “She learned a great deal last year and has been able to continuously perform at a high level on the ice and in the classroom.”
A redshirt senior this season, Gust will contribute a plethora of experience to the Buckeyes. A product of Orland Park, Ill., Gust transferred to Ohio State after spending two seasons at Quinnipiac University. Now, in her third season of suiting up with the Scarlet and Gray defense, Gust will look to build on a consistent start to her Buckeye career. Last season, she saw action in all 37 games, finishing with a +8 on-ice rating and 28 blocked shots. Gust is a two-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete.
“I feel confident in having Kara return as an assistant captain with us,” Handrahan said. “She has experience on her side and has had to work hard to be where she is as an athlete. She plays a consistent game and has a calm demeanor to help our team.”
Ohio State will kick off the season with an exhibition game against the Western Mustangs, a Canadian University of the CIS, Sept. 28. The game is scheduled for an 11:07 a.m. start time and will be held in the OSU Ice Rink.