The crowd took a collective breath and for a split second time seemed to stand still as the puck flew toward the net. When the shot was blocked, fans erupted with cheers. A sudden rush of emotion spurred on the goalie in one of her greatest moments.
During Maine’s premier competition for high school hockey athletes, the Greely High School girls’ hockey team faced a rival, Falmouth, whom they had failed to beat during the season. Falmouth had the state’s leading scorer, but goalie Emma Seymour was undeterred and made the saves to shut down the opposition and bring home the trophy for Greely.
Now months and miles separate from her final high school action, Seymour sticks out as the lone woman on the BYU hockey team.
Seymour, a freshman studying physiology and developmental biology, looks and talks like a normal student on campus. However, being on the men’s hockey team makes her stand out.
“When I talk to guys, they always ask me about it,” Seymour said. “They are surprised, but they like it.”
After classes are over, she heads to Seven Peaks Ice Arena to her very own locker room. The scene is odd for someone used to spending this time with teammates just a few months back.
“I definitely miss being with a team in the locker room,” Seymour said. “The locker room was one of the most fun parts of being on a team with bonding time you had before and after a game. ”
She does arrive with teammates to practice and spends as much time as she can with them. She said they don’t make her feel like she is any different. However, her teammates have noticed a change with her addition to the team. Captain Mitch Facer said the impact has been positive for the team.
“She definitely helps keep the Spirit a little more,” Facer said. “You get a lot of hockey guys together and it can get a little raunchy. She definitely helps us stay more appropriate representing BYU.”
Seymour has had to work hard to get where she is. She has always wanted to come to BYU and contacted coaches to see if they would give her a shot. Coaches have been pleased with what they have seen so far, but there is still room for improvement.
“Aaron, our goalie coach, says that she is very good mechanically,” BYU Coach Jeremy Weiss said. “The biggest thing with Emma is being able to adjust to the heavier shots at the men’s college level. She’s done a good job so far. I think it’s still going to be a process before she is comfortable and confident.”
Competition for playing time will be stiff with two goalies with game experience ahead of her and two more joining the program during winter semester, but her hard work could pay off.
“Right now the way we’re structuring our lineups is merit based,” Weiss said. “The players who are playing well will play more.”
Captain Tanner Billingsley has said the defense is ready to protect her if the occasion should arise.
“If she gets out on the ice we are definitely going to get more physical,” Billingsley said.
This is one thing Seymour said she enjoys about being a goalie, your teammates always have your back. She has been the underdog before and came out on top in high school with the help of her teammates. She will look to do the same here at BYU.