Senior Essay: Kate Buesser

I don’t remember all that was said in the locker room the night my Harvard hockey career ended, but our coach spoke one phrase that I can vividly recall. She said, “In five, 10, 20 years from now, you will not remember our record this year, or any of the scores of the games, or the points you had over the season. What you will remember are the people in this locker room, and the memories you shared on and off the ice.” There was silent understanding in the room demonstrated by slow head nods, but every one of my teammates already knew that the best part of their experience at Harvard was Team.

Some might contend that those in our program have poor grammar, as they hear us talk about team having late-meal in Dunster House, or are startled by a loud and adorning “Teeeaaaaammmmmmm” from across the Yard as we head to class. We of course realize that adding an article before “team” results in correct grammar, but we ignore the rule because Team represents more than the 22 players we have on our current roster. Team reaches back to the members the inaugural women’s Harvard hockey season in 1979, continues with the alumni from the 1999 national championship team, and will go on to teams whose members are being sought out of the thousands that hope to play Division I hockey.

Team was special for me this year because not only was I surrounded by people with an unwavering dedication to the game and a constant strive to become better, qualities that have come to define our program, but also because they were equally intent on having a good time. When we hit rough patches in our season, this playful and young spirit that manifested itself early in preseason carried us through to success. It was an honor to be a leader of the most resilient team I have played on in all of my years at Harvard. I have nothing but the highest regard for Team as we fought through the adversity we faced in Palmer Dixon and in each opponent, yet found a way to enjoy all of the traditions that make Harvard hockey a unique experience.

I am grateful to have been part of the Harvard hockey program for the past four years, and will forever hold Harvard athletics close to my heart. Thank you to my classmates, Lee Lee, Wheels, Debbie, Chute, and Liza, who made my journey in college wilder and more spontaneous than I could have ever imagined. And last, but absolutely not least, thank you to Team. May the memories keep us all smiling and laughing for the rest of our lives. Oh, and good luck in your game!