Saint Anselm Goaltender Enjoys Slow Ride To The Top

Jason Kates

When Maddie Scavotto joined the Saint Anselm College hockey team as the third string goalie, her expectations were minimal.

As is the case with most college freshmen, playing time was hard to come by for the East Falmouth, Mass., native, who started just three games during the 2015-16 season. But instead of letting the lack of playing time get her down, Scavotto used the experience to make herself a better goaltender.   

"I really needed that time to get up to the level of play at the college level," she said. "Everything was just way faster so I really needed that first year to assimilate with the team.

 "Just coming to practice every day with not a ton of stress and knowing I wasn't going to have to play in a game was a really big part of my development."

 Two years and 35 appearances later, the current number one goalie for the Division II school located in Manchester, N.H., can look back at that first year as a crucial one in her on-ice development.  

"That first full year of just practice without being thrown into a game situation when I wasn't ready really helped with me confidence," Scavotto said. "I was more confident facing my players who are probably better than some of the teams that we would've played against."

As a sophomore, Scavotto went 17-1-2, which helped pave the way for her most recent campaign when she started 15 of the team's 29 games, recording a 10-2-3 record and an eye-popping goals-against average of 0.99. 

Head coach Kerstin Matthews admired how much Scavotto has progressed over the years.

"Maddie is unbelievably dedicated to her craft, she's probably from a technical standpoint one of the best goalies," Matthews said. "This year you could see her grow into the position a little bit more. It was really exciting to see her develop and grow into her skin."

When asked what makes the junior Psychology major such a capable netminder, her coach pointed to her uncanny ability to stay mentally sharp, whether it's in a practice or game.

"She doesn't come to the rink with baggage. She's reliable and she is the backbone of our team," Matthews said. "She is just 100 percent focused and she's able to lead the team with her steadiness and reliability."

And that helps her shake off surrendering the occasional goal, which are few and far between.

"Obviously everybody wants to go out there and get a shutout, but that's very unrealistic. When you're playing good teams, goals are going to go in," Scavotto said. "No matter what kind of goal it is, you have to come back the next play and be ready to stop another shot."

While a stipulation allows them to qualify for the NCAA Div. I Women's Ice Hockey tournament, the Hawks still play a Div. II schedule, which leads to a lack of national attention paid to the team.

 This doesn't bother Scavotto.

 "I play because I love hockey and I want to get better," she said. "We do get coverage at our own school, and if it doesn't extend outside of that it's not something we really pay attention to. Especially for myself, I don't like to focus on stats. Sometimes they get in my head, but we really just try to play for one another in the room." 




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