Marlowe Pecora can call herself a champion.
The third-year forward with the University of Western Ontario women’s hockey team had never won a title in her years of minor hockey in the Sarnia Ladies Sting organization, nor during her high school career at Northern Collegiate.
But the drought ended when she and her Mustang mates captured the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) title with a 5-0 win over top-ranked McGill at the national tournament in Calgary.
“It was an awesome moment,” she explained. “It was kind of surreal.”
The purple and white ended the season on a 13-game winning streak, amassing an overall record of 28-4.
However, the championship was bittersweet for Pecora. She suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) when kicked from behind while playing soccer last fall and was limited to just eight games this season with the Mustangs.
But the injury didn’t keep her from celebrating with teammates when the final buzzer sounded.
“I was able to get my gear on and get out onto the ice with the rest of the team,” she said.
“It’s been tough (watching) all year. But at the same time, I’m super proud for everybody and I was glad I was able to go (to nationals) and be part of it all. It was so exciting.”
Following surgery four months ago, the kineisology student continues with physiotherapy and strength training in hopes of playing summer hockey this year in preparation for Western’s 2015-16 campaign.
Western’s championship roster also included Petrolia’s Kendra Broad.
Broad, a transfer from Lindenwood University in suburban St. Louis, had a goal and an assist for the Mustangs in the title game.