Crouse says goodbye to Queen's

Fourth-year Gael reflects on her time with the women’s hockey team

Kyla Crouse on defence for the women’s hockey team last year.
Kyla Crouse on defence for the women’s hockey team last year.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

Kyla Crouse is moving on. 

After four years as a Gael, she and two other women’s hockey players are parting ways as their impending futures nudge them towards their professional lives and beyond.

“I have no regrets, honestly no regrets, as cheesy as that is,” Crouse said with a beaming smile during an interview with The Journal. It’s now been about two weeks into the off-season for the women’s hockey team, who capped their season off at the U Sports Championship earlier in the month. Since their sixth-place finish at nationals, Crouse has had some time to reflect on her career as well as a wild season.

“Since I’m fully done and I’m not like some of the other girls coming back, it’s kind of a little weird transition for me because the girls actually have fitness testing tonight,” said Crouse who, since joining the team in 2013, has lived and breathed Queen’s hockey. Crouse sheepishly noted that she was still going to attend the fitness testing session with the team because she still wanted to feel like a part of the squad.

Knowing that her time at Queen’s is finished remains a tough pill for Crouse to swallow. “I mean it’s kind of sad thinking I will not get a chance to play hockey any more but I’m proud with everything we’ve done over the course of the past year.”

But it’s not the actual sport that Crouse thinks she will miss the most. “Hockey’s super fun but I’ll probably miss the relationship I’ve had with the girls. They’re like a second family. The first time I came to Queen’s [I] automatically had friends,” Crouse recalls. “They’re like your family because you see them every day, I talk to them more than my parents or even my housemates.”

The period has also allowed for the reflection of her fondest memories as a Gael. Crouse remembered the recent U Sports Championship being one of the most positive highlights of her time at Queen’s. “I’ve never really won or made it past playoffs so it’s an experience that I’ll probably remember for the rest of my life. Being able to compete in a national championship and finishing sixth in Canada is amazing,” Crouse said.

So what now for the former hard-nosed, penalty kill specialist? Crouse is currently awaiting a response from the Queen’s physiotherapy program but made it clear that a return to Queen’s University would not mean a return to Queen’s hockey.

“I’ve been thinking about it, I just don’t know if I would be able to handle the whole workload of doing physiotherapy and playing hockey. Now it’s like my undergrad, that’s my career so I don’t know if I’d ever want to jeopardize having to mess things up with my career for hockey,” Crouse stated firmly.

Crouse ended her thoughts on her career at Queen’s with only positive memories and a sense of fulfillment. 

“I’m just proud of everyone. I feel like I’ve had an impact on a lot of the younger girls on the team and not only the younger girls but my year as well. I find that I’m just proud of everyone.”

 

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