This year’s Wisconsin women’s hockey team has looked unstoppable. Aggressive offense combined with concrete defense have given the Badgers an overall record of 10-2-0.
The Badgers won six championships — one of which came two seasons ago. Wisconsin lost in the second round of the NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Tournament last year, but their chances of returning to championship contention seem plausible. With several new players this year, the Badgers have continued to look like a championship-level team. One player in particular stands out this season — Caroline Harvey.
Harvey got her start playing youth hockey in Massachusetts, eventually going on to play for the USA Olympic women’s hockey U18 team. She and fellow Badgers, such as Lacey Eden and Jesser Compher, are part of a new generation of younger players who have recently taken over women’s hockey as a whole, not just in Madison.
Harvey is currently a freshman defender at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. So far this season, her immense natural talent has resulted in production — totaling six goals and 13 assists for the team so far. Her early play earned her WCHA Rookie of the Month honors for September and October. A day later, Harvey was announced HCA National Rookie of the Month.
Harvey has not only shown off her defensive skills, but she has also excelled on offense. Of the rookie’s six goals so far, one was the game-winning OT goal against St. Cloud during the October series. Harvey has also demonstrated her accuracy with several multi-goal games and goals from the defensive blue line.
Aside from great individual play, Harvey has also positively impacted the Wisconsin team as a whole. Her 13 assists show an ability to help the team score goals on paper, but Harvey has also been described as a great teammate both on and off the ice.
A 2021 ESPN article on Harvey’s impact as the younger generation for women’s hockey includes statements from Harvey’s teammates when she played for Team USA. Harvey’s energy on the ice is mentioned in the article, including a quote from veteran U.S. defenseman Megan Keller.
“She's so fun to watch, especially at her age, the things she can do with the puck, her skating ability. She's a little Energizer bunny out there too," said Keller.
Harvey’s early contributions to women’s hockey, and specifically Wisconsin hockey, have been nothing but positive. She, alongside her rookie teammates Kirsten Simms and Claire Enright, paved a path for themselves and other future hockey players.
If the Badgers continue their winning streak, their chances at another championship win are undeniable. Harvey’s impact continues to spread on and off the ice, influencing the next generation of hockey players.
The Badgers take on rival Minnesota next week on Nov. 19 and 20. These will be important games as Minnesota tends to be one of Wisconsin’s biggest obstacles. Despite Wisconsin’s current dominance and chemistry they’ve developed, these games should be competitive and close.