Athlete of the Week Q & A: Cassandra Poudrier
Each week, BRSN sits down for a Q & A session with the BRSN Athlete of the Week. This week, we caught up with Athlete of the Week senior Cornell hockey defenseman Cassandra Poudrier following her outstanding five-point weekend to lead the Big Red to consecutive wins over Boston University and Vermont in order to take home the Windjammer Classic.
BRSN: Cassandra, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. After coming out to a shaky start in the beginning of the season against some tough opponents, what do these two wins, especially against BU who has received several votes in national polls, mean to you and the team heading into the thick of ECAC action?
I think that winning both games this weekend was very important in helping us define our team identity. We picked up where we left off after the second game against Mercyhurst. The team is coming together, and it shows that when we work our hardest we can be one of the best team in the league. This week we will bring the energy from the weekend into our practices and get ready for the two big games coming up.
BRSN: After Brianne Jenner, Jillian Saulnier, and Emily Fulton graduated last year, how have you had to adjust as a player and step into a greater role this year both as a captain and a contributor?
After graduating Brianne Jenner, Jill Saulnier, and Emily Fulton, we all had to step our game up. I had the chance to be part of the leadership council with all of them last year. They were all great leaders, and I was fortunate enough to have learned a great deal from all three of them.
BRSN: When you first came to Cornell in the fall of 2012, you had an instant impact, greatly helping the team to an NCAA Tournament appearance after winning both the Ivy League and ECAC, but how have you seen yourself develop and grow as a player in the past several years with the Big Red?
I have learned a lot over the past four seasons. Coming in as a freshman, we always feel like we know a lot, but soon enough we are challenged, both academically and athletically. I have developed an identity as a player, and I have become more confident in my play, which, again, comes from experience and practicing everyday against some of the best players in the world.
BRSN: The team emphasized getting contributions on the scoresheet from all players this year, so what does it mean at this point in the season to have all but one skater who have received playing time record a point thus far? How has this led to the recent success?
We are a team that requires contribution from everyone. Over the past two weeks, the chemistry between the lines is coming together, and it has showed in our recent success. Everyone has been working so hard, and it is paying off now. The early games against Boston College might not have given us the outcomes we wanted, but it gave us a lot to learn from. Like Coach says, winning isn’t everything, but learning is. And if we can keep on learning, we will keep on getting better.
BRSN: In addition, all five freshmen skaters have earned multiple points this season. How have they adapted to playing at the college level and seen such great success as a group this early in the year?
All of the freshmen came in physically fit and prepared to work. They were all hungry to learn, and it has showed in their play and their success. They are all willing to work day in and day out. All of them are very open-minded and excited to be part of the team.
BRSN: What are some of you interests outside of hockey?
I really enjoy hiking, camping, and being outside in general. On days off, which are pretty much non-existent, I also like reading and watching movies. I also really enjoy my work as President of Athlete Ally. I have also been working with Angelica Gangemi, a friend of mine and captain of the Cornell Fencing Team, on a few projects to make the Cornell Athletic community more inclusive and supportive. We have a few projects coming up for the spring, which should be great.
BRSN: What is one thing that most people don’t know about you that you would like to share with fans of Cornell and, more specifically, Big Red Hockey?
I really enjoy cooking with friends. So everyone is always welcome over!!