UW-Eau Claire women’s hockey player, Stephanie Martin, receives WIAC Kwik Trip Award

Martin was awarded for her exceptional performance during her last season on the ice



Stephanie Martin received the WIAC Kwik Trip award.

Every week, the WIAC recognizes student-athletes for their exceptional performance and contributions to their team, according to wiacsports.com.

This past week, Stephanie Martin, a fifth-year biology and business administration student, was granted the WIAC Kwik Trip award. 

Martin serves as the goalie for the UW-Eau Claire women’s hockey team and has been a member of the team for two years. 

“I have to attribute a lot of my success to my teammates. We had a really good weekend and we knew what we had to do to keep our NCAA tournament hopes alive,” Martin said. “Our first game of the weekend was the best game we have had offensively this year.”

Over the weekend, the Blugolds were able to shoot seven goals during their first game against UW-River Falls. Martin stopped 28 of the 32 goals shot at the net. According to blugolds.com, the team won the game with a final score of 7-4. 

“Putting up seven goals against the No. 1 team in the country is not easy,” Martin said. “We played a defensive battle to keep it 1-1 against River Falls.”

This win was important for the Blugolds, who rank No. 9 in D3 women’s hockey, according to blugolds.com

Statistically speaking, UW-River Falls is the most offensively skilled team in the division, according to Martin. She was proud of her team’s ability to defend against them.  

The second game of the weekend ended in a 1-1 tie, with the Blugolds falling to the Falcons in the shootout. During the game, Martin was able to stop 28 of the 29 shots taken by UW-River Falls, according to blugolds.com

“When a team like River Falls lets up seven goals and loses a game, they are going to switch up a lot defensively going into that second game,” Martin said. “We just focused on keeping them to one goal and not letting them score on us.”

Martin said she was shocked and honored to receive the WIAC Kwik Trip award. Although she was not expecting it, she said she was proud and very grateful to be acknowledged by the WIAC for her accomplishments. 

“This award is more of a testament to my team and how well we played this past weekend,” Martin said. “I’m really proud of the work we put in while playing River Falls.”

According to Martin, her teammates and coaches were supportive and proud of her when she was recognized by the WIAC.

“I think part of what makes my team so great is our ability to be so uplifting and kind towards each other,” Martin said. “Everyone is so positive and encouraging during the highs, but even when we have personal or team lows, we are there to support each other.”

She said that being surrounded by her team has helped her immensely this season. According to Martin, the good morale her team upholds inspires her to work on herself and reciprocate the same energy. 

Martin was injured following the games this weekend, but she said she intends to continue to be a good teammate while she’s rehabilitating. 

“I want to get better and keep my focus so that, once I recover, I can get back out there during upcoming practices and games,” Martin said. “I want to be there for my team as we get closer to the end of our season.”

The Blugolds will face the UW-River Falls Falcons once more before the NCAA tournament, at 2:05 p.m. on March 4 in River Falls, according to blugolds.com. 

“Playing River Falls in their own barn will be tough, but we just need to continue executing on what we have already been doing well,” Martin said. “We have had some really great games this past month, and we just need to carry that momentum forward.” 

If the team wins their game against the Falcons, they will continue into the NCAA tournament and compete for a national title. According to Martin, this game could make or break the Blugolds. 

“We have shifted our mentality to look at pressure as a privilege,” Martin said. “Few teams are still playing at this point in the year. Our season could have ended by now, so we are all just grateful to still be playing. We are just trying to soak up every moment.”

As Martin finishes off her last season with the Blugolds, she said she is grateful for the time she has had with this team. 

Erik Strand, the head women’s hockey coach, said Martin is an aggressive player who gives the team a sense of calm when she’s at the net. 

“It’s my last season and I mainly want to focus on leaving it all out there on the ice,” Martin said. “I have been making sure I take in every moment because it all goes by so fast.”

As the UW-Eau Claire women’s hockey season nears its end, keep up to date with their schedule by visiting blugolds.com

Allessi can be reached at [email protected].