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The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

After two years away from the sport, Faithe Harris is ready to start her Utica career

Faithe+Harris+transferred+from+Manhattanville+in+Spring+2022.+Courtesry+of+Maxwell+LeBuis
Faithe Harris transferred from Manhattanville in Spring 2022. Courtesry of Maxwell LeBuis

Growing up in a small town in British Columbia, transfer student Faithe Harris said the only thing to do was play hockey. Even though her hometown is more than 40 hours away from Utica, the transition was not difficult.

When Harris turned 15, she decided to attend an academy to play hockey that was around eight hours away. She moved on to the Ontario Hockey Academy (OHA) two years later. 

“Ontario Hockey Academy had a very strict regime which included practice, workout, school, and a weekend of sometimes up to five games,” she said. “It enabled me to completely focus on the game and feel how intense college will be. After my three years spent at academies, I feel they set me up for success here at Utica.”

The transition from Manhattanville College to Utica was a completely different experience, Harris said. From the teammates to the coaches and the overall culture of the team, Harris said Utica is the better fit for her. 

“We have a close-knit team and the bond everyone has with each other is special,” Harris said. “Every girl on this team is positive and a joy to be around. Not only are the people better, but the facility is better, the school itself is better and the coaching is better.”

Harris said she is proud to be playing hockey again. After leaving Manhattanville in the spring of 2021, she stayed home in Canada to focus on herself and her mental health after the experiences she endured at Manhattanville. She joined the Utica women’s team this fall. Harris said she’s proud of herself because it takes a lot out of a person mentally and physically to get back into a sport after that much time off.

When it comes to being a teammate, the junior defenseman usually tries to be herself and to leave whatever issues she may be dealing with at the door. 

“The girls in the locker room are going through the same things I am so I feel we all have a good understanding of each other,” Harris said. “If I am having a bad day, I know to try my best to not show that to the girls, because they all have a busy schedule and are most likely overwhelmed.”

She described a good teammate as someone who supports one another, does not get jealous of another teammate and pushes everyone to get better as a player. In the eyes of sophomore forward Kaci Ryder, it seemed as if Harris had described herself.

“Faithe always comes to the rink with a smile on her face. She is so easy to get along with and always brings so much positivity to practice,” Ryder said. “Faithe works so hard during practice and always gives 100% effort. She is someone you want to be around.”

Harris might always be smiling at practice but she comes ready to push her teammates to the best of their ability.

“If I’m having a hard day and not very confident in myself, I know I can go to Faithe for help,” Ryder said. “She is always going to reassure you that you’re a good player and even give you good advice if there’s things you could work on. Faithe is an inspiring player as she’s always going to push others to want to work hard.”

Whenever Harris is in a slump or feeling down, she thinks about why she is there, how she got there and what’s to come in the future.

 “I think about all of the hundreds, honestly thousands of hours I have spent in rinks,” she said. “And how grateful I am to have been given another opportunity to play college hockey.”

 

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Nick Phillips, Sports Reporter

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