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Sophomore Maggie Brawley is not afraid to “play like a girl”

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Sophomore Maggie Brawley is not afraid to “play like a girl”

Making a dramatic entrance onto the ice, Brawley skates in to the championship game. The Lady Liberties, Brawley’s club team, won first place in the Championship Game on March 4. 
“They called the starters to the game to skate to the blue line and do the national anthem. I got to skate through smoke, and it was really epic,” Brawley said. “I scored the first goal of the championship game, which was really cool.”

Making a dramatic entrance onto the ice, Brawley skates in to the championship game. The Lady Liberties, Brawley’s club team, won first place in the Championship Game on March 4. “They called the starters to the game to skate to the blue line and do the national anthem. I got to skate through smoke, and it was really epic,” Brawley said. “I scored the first goal of the championship game, which was really cool.”

Making a dramatic entrance onto the ice, Brawley skates in to the championship game. The Lady Liberties, Brawley’s club team, won first place in the Championship Game on March 4. “They called the starters to the game to skate to the blue line and do the national anthem. I got to skate through smoke, and it was really epic,” Brawley said. “I scored the first goal of the championship game, which was really cool.”

Making a dramatic entrance onto the ice, Brawley skates in to the championship game. The Lady Liberties, Brawley’s club team, won first place in the Championship Game on March 4. “They called the starters to the game to skate to the blue line and do the national anthem. I got to skate through smoke, and it was really epic,” Brawley said. “I scored the first goal of the championship game, which was really cool.”

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Joining the team with a seven-year hockey career, sophomore Maggie Brawley is currently the only female member of the West non-school sponsored hockey team.

“Playing with guys is fun. They’re not afraid to get in there and be aggressive,” Brawley said. “We’re a team and that’s all that matters.”

Along with being on the JV hockey team, Brawley also plays with the Lady Liberties, an all-girl intermediate club-team of about 20 players.

“I’m close with most of the girls on the team. They’re really cool,” Brawley said. “We have practices in South County and Afton sometimes [which] is far.”

Growing up, Brawley was supported by her two brothers and father who share her love of hockey.

“There’s something about [hockey]–it’s fun, it’s competitive, it’s high energy and it just gets me going. I enjoy it so much,” Brawley said. “It gets my adrenaline pumping, and everyone is out there going as fast as they can trying to score and win. The environment is really fun.”

There’s something about [hockey]–it’s fun, it’s competitive, it’s high energy and it just gets me going. I enjoy it so much”

— Maggie Brawley

Most rinks have a smaller locker room for female hockey players that is separate from the boys’ room. These are generally closet-sized with a bench and sometimes a hook.

“It’s better than nothing,” Brawley said. “I get my own room which is pretty nice because it’s not as crowded. I miss some stuff, but I don’t really mind. I listen to my own music and get hyped and focused on my own. I find it easier for me.”

Along with separate locker rooms, boys and girls also have different equipment as hockey is a largely male-dominated sport.

“I have a different chest protector, made specifically for girls. [There are] more options for guys,” Brawley said. “I don’t wear a cup like the guys.”

Although Brawley hopes the opposing teams treat her the same as her teammates, this doesn’t always happen.

“It depends on the team. Some teams aren’t [as rough], while some teams are,” Brawley said. “I expect all teams to treat me as one of them. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.”

Competing teams often jeer at their opponents, but Brawley receives slightly different commentary.

“Guys on the other team say stuff all the time,” Brawley said. “[They say] the basic ‘go play volleyball,’ ‘you suck’ and curse words. It’s just kind of chirpy.”

Brawley does not let the remarks get to her, and she never wants special treatment.

“I feel like we should always have more girls in the sport [to] make it more gender-equal, but either way, it’s all fun,” Brawley said. “I feel like we are all hockey players, boys and girls, so we should all be treated equally.”

Brawley, on the far left, sits with her teammates for a JV hockey shot. “It was a little weird at first [being on a team with all boys] but we kinda got used to each other,” Brawley said.

The JV team may be predominantly male, but Brawley is not discouraged by the lack of girls who play.

“It’s a little different for me sometimes, but all in all, I think they include me and treat me as a teammate,” Brawley said. “My coaches are pretty chill and cool and treat me as they treat the guys like there’s no difference.”

Brawley refuses to allow the ideals of gender norms bother her love for her sport.

“[The phrase] ‘Playing like a girl’ doesn’t bother me,” Brawley said. “When we step out on the ice, we are just athletes, teammates and players.”

 

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B Antonenko, STAFF WRITER

Grade: 10

Years on staff: 1

Life soundtrack: "lil’ bit wrOng" - Maty Noyes

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Sophomore Maggie Brawley is not afraid to “play like a girl”