Stefanie and her twin sister Julia will be blogging for WINIH at teh 2013 world championship in Ottawa April 2-9. Stay tuned for an update in March on both sisters and their post grad work in US.
2011 World Championship Switzerland.
Stefanie Marty's Blog on the game vs Canada.
The opening game against Canada was a very special one for us. For the first time ever the Top Division World Championship takes place in Switzerland and the crowd in the sold out arena was unique for women’s hockey in Switzerland. At the same time it was a game for which our expectations weren’t too high. It is always tough to play a team like Canada which we know is stronger in almost every aspect but we want to play our best as well.
The good atmosphere at the beginning of the game helped us to fight successfully against the Canadians for the first ten minutes and we even had a few chances. In the second half of the first period we started to play more offensively which gave the Canadians more room and lead to the goals. From now on the Canadians clearly dominated and despite some world class saves Florence Schelling was replaced by Sophie Anthamatten, who did as great of a job. After the second period the score was 8:0.
Our goal now was to come back to our simple game and give our best not only for our fans but also for ourselves. We played a decent third period and despite a 12:0 loss there were a lot of things to take away not only for the next game. Realistically it wasn’t our goal to beat Canada. Much more we took this game as a learning opportunity that will help us in the rest of the tournament.
Canada proved us once more that on this level you can’t afford small mistakes or unnecessary penalties. Also we took away the speed of the game for the rest of the tournament and finally we enjoyed the great atmosphere and hope to have gained some fans for women’s hockey in Switzerland.
Q/A with Elizabeth Etue Nov 2009
Q. What are you doing differently in your training now for Olympics?
A. It is not a lot different than in other years. The focus though is totally at a different time than in a normal year. Normally one of the highlights, the Worlds, was in April, this switched to February now. Last season I had to train so that I was still in shape one month after a long season. This year I have to train to be ready in February during the season with my College team.
In contrast to team USA, team Canada and some other nations we do not spend the whole season together as a national team. Next to our monthly training camps with the national team (3 to 4 days a month during which most of the players who play overseas will not be present) we will have two weeks in December plus one week in January to get ready for February.
Q. What did you learn playing US college hockey that was most helpful in terms of playing and training?
A. College hockey is totally different of what I was used to from my Club team in Switzerland. The conditions to train and play (facilities, support from the coaches and athletic staff, schedules) here are much better than at home. The daily ice practices, but also the schedule I have for my off-ice trainings are a great way to bring education and sport together.
I have learnt a lot during the last two years regarding my hockey skills. Physically I for sure could improve on my speed because of the constant high level at the College level. But I think even more important than the physical part is the way I am practicing and training with my College team. The competition here is huge and you have to push yourself hard every day to be able to compete.
What I also learnt during my two years in College is the importance of the mental part during my games and trainings. It is important for me to have fun while working out or skating or else I don't think the practice helps me.
Q. What was the most important influence in your hockey experience and why?
A. I don't think I can name the thing that influenced me the most in my hockey career. In general it was just my environment that helped me to get where I am now. From the beginning (I started playing hockey when I was eight years old) I had people around me who supported me wherever they could. My parents, my coaches, my teammates and my sister with their support, all had a great impact on me. I always had a coach who supported me and my sister (the only two girls in a boy's team). Later when I started to play in a women's team I had older team mates who constantly competed on their highest level, showed me the right attitude and how to work hard. Also I always had my twin sister on my side. It is definitely easier to work out together and to have someone who pushes you than being totally by yourself.
Q. What is your contribution to the team?
A. In the two teams I play for I have two totally different roles. I think I can say that I have a pretty professional attitude towards my sport and I am showing this no matter what team I am playing for.
As one of the more experienced players on the national team I try to bring in this attitude of professionalism together with a big part of humor to the team. I try to be a role model who can joke around when appropriate and is 100% ready whenever it counts.
On my college team, as the only not North American, I am more the quiet player with the professional attitude. As one of only a few upperclassmen I try to do the right things and support the new students.
Q. What is your national teams biggest advantages and challenges?
A. The expectations of our team as well as of our environment are high because of what we have reached in the past. The biggest challenge is to prove the performances we have made over the last three years. It is going to be a big challenge to play Canada, Sweden and Slovakia in the Olympics; three totally different games in which a lot is expected from us and in each single one our team has a totally different role. One of our advantages is our goalie position. Our goalie team is for sure one of the best on the international level.
Q. How is this Olympics team different from previous teams?
A. Our team is young, but as skilled as never before. Over the last years the concentration of Swiss players who are able to compete on international level has grown immensely, which we can also recognize by the constant high level in the national team.
Q. What would you ask your country's fans to do to support the team?
A. Women's hockey in Switzerland does not have a lot of fans and is still very biased by different sides. All I could wish for from Swiss fans is to watch our games and cheer for us. There are so many people who on principle refuse to watch women's hockey. If we could just gain some of these people's attention it would be a great success for our sport.
Q. What is your strategy vs Canada and US?
A. We for sure adjust our game and play more defensively than against any other team. But at the same time we know we may not have too much respect and we play our game as good as possible. Than if we have too much respect we have no chance to compete with them. Our goal usually is to score at least one goal in such games which shows that we want to keep up our game.
Q. What is a regular training day for you? or what makes up your trainingdiet/exercise?
A. Also during this Olympic year I am a normal student athlete. We usually have games Friday/Saturday and Sunday off. We practice Monday through Thursday every afternoon on the ice. Additionally I usually have two weight work outs, plus one to two cardio or speed sessions a week. One thing that is important for me is the warm-ups and cool-downs before and after each ice session.
My training schedule also depends on how stressful school is. I am always looking that the recovery does not come to short.
Q. What do you read to inspire you or who inspires you in the hockey world?
A. I am not a big reader and occasionally come across quotes that inspire me. It is less something written that inspires me than much more people I meet and talk too. I have had many great team mates who have helped me to where I am now.
Q. What is your mental motivation to keep working so hard?
A. I just consider myself really lucky to be in the position I am today. There are so many people, players from Switzerland, Europe and America who dream of being a D1 College athlete.
I have the best conditions to work as hard as possible everyday and to get ready for the Olympics. I feel if I would not utilize what I got today I would regret it one day. My goal is to be the best I can be, if I am not doing what I should do, there is someone else coming who would eventually take my spot.
Q. What else do you think it is important to know about you and your hockey team?
A. For the upcoming Olympic season I am planning on doing the normal Fall semester in school. For the spring semester I will just be absent in February, otherwise I will study as every other student athlete.
Q. How is it different having your sister on the bench?
A. It is just nice to have my sister one the same team. Whenever we play on the same team, I have someone who I can easily talk to and who understands me in every situation. During the game I like to play on the same line with her, because I think we know each other better than other teammates, not only off but also on the ice.
Q. What do the other players think about sisters and twins on the team?
A. That's a funny question, because this year it is the first year when I am not one of the twins on the team. I have twins on my Syracuse team right now and I think I can sometimes see the same relationship between them as I can between me and my sister. As twins you are just closer together with each other than with any other teammate. You know your twin better and you are used to criticize and correct and thus to help each other more. I also think the other team members are able to recognize this relationship. Julia and me have a similar attitude, similar interest and thus do a lot of the same things. Often our team members refer to us as "the twins", just because it is easier and we usually do the same thing. But at the same time the see us as two individuals, what I think is important. I want to be perceived as myself and not as "one of the two."
I don't know if you know that or not. Since last season there is another pair of twins on the national team (Sara and Laura Benz, 1992). It is just interesting to see how they interact with each other. Also on them you can recognize the closer relationship of twins on a team.
Q. What are your strengths and what are you working on to improve?
A. Physically I am mainly working on my quickness. I think I am overall pretty strong and my deficit is the quickness. On the ice I think I am good in reading the game and playing defense. One thing to work on is for sure my creativity and the patience in front of the net.