Photo courtesy of USM Athletics

By: Cullen McIntyre, Sports Editor

Alexa Henriksen, a sophomore nursing major from Marshfield, Massachusetts returned to the ice after an injury sidelined her for her freshman season.

The Women’s Ice Hockey goalie graduated from Thayer Academy, playing between the sticks there for three seasons.

She earned the 2018-19 William B. Wise Scholar-Athlete Award her first season.

The Free Press spoke with Henriksen on her successes on and off the ice, and what it was like to return to the game.

Q: Why did you choose Nursing as your major?
A: I chose nursing as my major because I love helping people and medicine is really fascinating to me. I’ve been in the hospital a bunch of times and the nurses really made a big difference.
Q: Is there a certain reason you wear #1?
A: I was #1 all throughout high school, so It just felt fitting that I would continue to wear that particular number for the rest of my hockey career. It’s one of the goalie numbers too!
Q: What brought you to USM?
A: I knew I wanted to go to a school that was a little farther away from home, but within driving distance. Southern Maine seemed perfect for that. USM is two and a half hours away from where I live in Massachusetts, so that seemed like a good distance for me. Also, USM has a great nursing program which is important to me. I really wanted to play collegiate hockey as well so USM was a good fit!
Q: When did you start playing hockey?
A: I started playing hockey when I was 4 years old or so. Despite that, I didn’t become a goalie until 6th grade.
Q: Why do you play hockey?
A: I really enjoy the feeling of being on a team surrounded by people who love the game just as much as I do. Playing hockey has always been such a fun activity for me, whether it just be skating around or actually playing in a game.
Q: What is something you’ve learned from hockey that has translated into your life outside the sport?
A: I definitely think teamwork in the biggest thing that I’ve learned from hockey that has translated into my life outside the sport.
Q: How do you balance school with hockey?
A: Balancing school with hockey can definitely be difficult, but I think that just planning things that I have to do in advance helps a lot. I always have to remind myself that school comes before hockey, because sometimes it can be easy to lose sight of that.
Q: What do you do outside of hockey?
A: Outside of hockey, I like to do a lot of things. I’ve loved singing ever since I was little, so I’ve done that for fun and competitively for a long time. I also enjoy working out, hanging out with my friends, going to the movies and going to the beach in the summer.
Q: What are you planning to do after school?
A: I’m a nursing major, so hopefully after college, I will be working as one in a hospital!
Q: Who is your inspiration in life?
A: My inspiration in life is definitely my parents. They are such hard-working people and I’ve always aspired to be like them.
Q: How have your coaches helped you on and off the ice?
A: My coaches have definitely had a big impact on my hockey career. I’ve learned many things from them, like work ethic and just sportsmanship in general.
Q: What piece of advice would you give to other student-athletes who are looking for success?
A: To other student-athletes, I would just say that you should give all you can to your sport and to your academics. You will regret if you slack off in either aspect. I would also say to just enjoy the experience, because it’s going to fly by before we even realize it.
Q: If I were to ask a teammate “Tell me about Alexa”, what would they say?
A: If you were to ask one of my teammates about me, they would probably tell you that I like to goof off, and that I’m one of the clumsiest people they know.
Q: After missing your first season due to injury, what has it been like to get on the ice this year?
A: Being injured my first season at USM was really hard, but this year has been awesome. It’s been such a great experience being on the ice with all the girls, and I missed playing so much so it’s been a lot of fun.
Q: What are your goals this season?
A: I think my goals this season are to just have fun and work as hard as I can.


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