Ari Rucker ’16 scores first career goal for Bruno

Sports Staff Writer
Friday, November 2, 2012

Women’s ice hockey forward Ari Rucker ’16 scored her first career goal in Bruno’s 4-1 victory over Colgate University (2-6-0) Saturday. The team (1-1-0) returns to Meehan Auditorium to face conference foes Harvard and Dartmouth this weekend. For her first college score, The Herald has named Rucker this week’s Athlete of the Week.

Herald: How did you get into playing hockey?
Rucker: I started playing street hockey when I was about five years old with my brothers. When I was about seven, I started roller hockey. I’d say when I was about 11, I transitioned to ice because I figured ice hockey … can give you more opportunities.

You played several sports in high school – field hockey, track and field, swimming and ice hockey. Has ice hockey always been your primary sport since you started playing it?
Oh, for sure. None of the other sports really compared to ice hockey for me. I always had a passion for ice hockey. I mean, although all the other sports were fun and I’ve been swimming for at least nine years now, I’ve never really liked it as much.

Do you still try to be involved with those other sports, just for fun, since you’ve graduated?
I swim during the summers. So, this past summer, I graduated from my swim team. So next summer I’ll probably end up going back and hopefully coaching, helping out the little kids, possibly running some camps. But that’s about all of my involvement in that.

Do you support an NHL team or have a favorite NHL player?
I like the Washington Capitals. And I’d probably say my favorite player is (Alexander) Ovechkin.

Why did you choose to come to Brown?
I wanted to go to a place that would challenge me academically as well as challenge me – well, I wanted to play Division I hockey. And Brown seemed like the perfect fit. I went on my official visit. I really enjoyed the team. I really enjoyed the coach. And it’s been great ever since.

What expectations do you have for this year, both for the team and for yourself?
Probably to manage my time better, to get my homework done, grow as a player, work hard academic-wise as well. Just become a better hockey player. I put my academics before athletics, but it’s good to balance both.

What about for the team?
Oh, for sure. Our program … is definitely building. We had a good start this past weekend. We played some tough teams, and I think we did really well. Our freshman class is a strong class, so I think that’s definitely going to help us become a better program. And we’ll get stronger throughout the year and hopefully throughout the next four years.

Has it been difficult adjusting to the college game? How different is it from the high school game?
It has been quite difficult to balance hockey and school. It’s only been like two months here, and I’m definitely adjusting. I would say I have more time now. The workload is a lot more in high school, but high school is like you go to school from seven in the morning until two. Then I would drive straight to practice, and that was like a two-hour drive for me. I wouldn’t get home until late, and then I’d have to do my homework. So, I’d say college is easier as long as I manage my time well.

What about on the ice? Has that been a difficult adjustment?
It’s really hard to adjust to how competitive it is. Just faster, more aggressive. But that’s another thing that I’ll become used to and, throughout my four years, I know I’ll get stronger.

Do you have any idea what you want to concentrate in, or what you want to do for your career?
As of right now, I want to concentrate in cognitive neuroscience. To be honest, I’m not sure exactly what I want to do with it yet. Probably go into some field related to psychology. But I mean I can always change, but right now that’s kind of the path that I’m on.

What do you do in your free time?
When I do have a little bit of free time, I’m probably hanging out with some of the girls on the team, even though I see them quite a bit. But, I mean we just all get along really well so I enjoy hanging out with them.


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  1. Ari Fan Club says:

    GO ARI!!!
    We love you!
    Love, The Ari Fan Club

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