By Joe Konze Jr. email@example.com
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — Julia Duquette is a stay-at-home defensemen. She doesn’t make a lot of mistakes.
She’s physical when she needs to be and takes advantage of her opponent’s mismatches offensively when given the opportunity.
But one thing that stands out among all things is that she isn’t going to get beat in her own zone.
“She can make that breakout, outlet pass and she sees the ice very well,” said her father, Jeff Duquette. “That’s what’s made her what she is. She’s able to see the ice better and she’s got some good hockey smarts.”
Duquette, a Mount St. Mary Academy graduate and former captain of the Monsignor Martin girls varsity hockey team, currently plays for the Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team.
The Cardinals are coming off an impressive season in which they finished as the No. 1 nationally ranked team in women’s Divison III hockey, including a 9-2 win over Norwich University for the NCAA women’s Division III hockey championship.
It was the program's third title in program history and first since 2008.
"I’m really happy with the way I played,” Duquette said. “I didn’t actually expect to do as well as I did. I think I did pretty well from being a freshman and coming in and winning a national championship. It doesn’t get any better.”
When Duquette first arrived on campus, she knew there would be an adjustment period.
She’d have to get used to the speed of the game and the strategy of her new hockey team.
But her hockey smarts helped her fine tune her game and flourish into a consistent blue liner for the Cardinals.
“The speed (of the game) was hard to get used to at first,” Duquette said. “I knew it was going to be hard but I think I transitioned pretty well.”
She has found her niche with the Cardinals and gelled nicely with her line mate Allison Era.
In 25 games this season, she finished with two goals and eight assists to help earn herself a spot on the ECAC Women’s West All-Rookie Team.
She also helped solidify the defense, helping Plattsburgh State allow only 12 goals on the season.
Jeff Duquette said the success that she has had this season puts an “exclamation point on everything.”
“It’s just kind of a culmination of the many years of hard work,” he said. “It’s a great showing that she got to that level and to that point. It’s really great as a family to see that. It’s good.”
The Cardinals finished the season with a 28-1-1 record, and Duquette looks forward to gearing up again next season.
“Our team works really hard and our season couldn’t have ended any better,” she said. “It paid off in the end.”Follow @tonanewssports on Twitter for complete high school sports coverage.