Jen Ascencio '07 was a force to be reckoned with on the ice at Millbrook, and she continues to bring her determination and skill to bear for her current hockey team, the Manhattanville Valiants. As of January 20, 2009, Manhattanville had its 12th consecutive victorywith a win over UMass Boston. This is the longest winning streak in Division III women's hockey and the second longest streak in all of women's hockey. But thinking beyond the glory of their next win, Jenand her Manhattanville teammates were more focused recently on their collective power to contribute to a worthy cause.
On Friday, January 23rd, Mahattanville's women's ice hockey team hostedtheir first "Think Pink" night, a benefit to raise money for the In the Pink Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides social programs and emotional support to young women with breast cancer. The event was held at the Playland Ice Casino, and the entire team worked extremely hard to make the event a success. The stands were painted pink with fans, and the referees even had pink arm bands. There were pink balloons and a ceremonial puck drop with a pink puck prior to the game.
While the game did not go in Manhattanville's favor, the players were proud of the evening, nonetheless, as they raised over $700 for the foundation, having drawn 500 hockey fans and supporters. At the very end, the team welcomed 20-30 young girls into their locker room where they signed autographs, gave out pink socks and laces, and answered any questions the younger girls had about college hockey.
For Jen (who also plays field hockey and lacrosse at Manhattanville),the importance of service, community involvement, and sportsmanship,are givens, and she really learned their application at Millbrook whereshe was co-captain and most valuable player on the girls hockey teamher senior year:
While I've learned a lot at Manhattanville about thetechnicalities of each sport I play and about what it takes to play incollege, I have to say I learned more at Millbrook through [the]athletics [programs]. Playing at Millbrook for coaches like Ms.Duhoski prepared me to face a lot of challenges here atManhattanville. I find I came in more prepared as a freshman than manyof the upperclassmen on my teams. At Millbrook I was taught the mentalaspect of sport and how those aspects transfer to life as well. Respect for your teammates, the importance of team bonding,sportsmanship, how to push through when you don't think you can keepgoing, confidence, positive attitudes, the list goes on and on. Millbrook helped me realize who I was as a person as well as an athleteand for that I am truly grateful.
Millbrook extends hearty "congratulations" to Jen and her teammates fortheir initiative, important efforts, and service to their community anda sincere "thank you" to Jen for sharing her story with the entireMillbrook community.