Sports Editor Andrew Marzullo interviewed Baruch's roller hockey team captain for an inside look at the team.
Andrew Marzullo: When did the roller hockey team form?
Peter Lambrou: The team was formed in 2012 by our current coach Freddy Cicchetti. He and another student, Carlos Mendoza, founded the team while they were still students. They heard about the ECRHL, which is the organization that we play in, and he really wanted to create a team. In their first year, they actually won a Division IV championship, which is a big accomplishment for a first-year team that started from scratch and had no budget at all. That’s what we’re trying to emulate this season, with bringing Freddy in as our coach. We’re going to try to learn from his experiences and win a championship, a goal I believe we can achieve.
Do you believe that the “homegrown” aspect or feel of the team helps the players grow a certain connection or chemistry with each other?
100 percent. [The team] is a tight group of kids who all enjoy hockey and like to hang out with each other. It’s often hard to develop lasting friendships and relationships in the school, especially when everyone has different interests, but we all share the same passion for hockey, which helps us to form bonds on and off the rink. Our goal is to be a social or leisure club on the Baruch campus that also plays a competitive sport. So far, it’s worked out great.
Are you looking for more members to join the team this season?
Yes, we’re looking for anyone to come try out for the team. Defensemen, goalies, forwards, we can certainly use more guys. Our first tournament is Oct. 7 to Oct. 8, where we will evaluate our players. Everyone is going to get a chance to play. Anyone interested in playing should email our account, email@example.com, and we can try to arrange something.
Do you know who you’ll be playing against in the first tournament?
Our schedule hasn’t been released, but off the top of my head, I know we’ll be playing Cornell, Farmingdale teams, Niagara University, as well as other teams that will be joining in the coming weeks.
There are really some big name schools in the league, even though the league is a fairly small one.
Yes, that’s what makes it so great. In my time here, I’ve played against teams such as Penn State, Cornell and Boston University; these are all big hockey schools, proving how strong the competition is.
That's great, a club team that plays against some of the biggest schools in the nation. That's an extra incentive to play.
Definitely, it gives the players a chance to play against huge schools and compete for a trophy against these schools, while also not taking away too much of their time for school and work.
How does the team look this year? Do you think you have the right guys to bring a championship back to Baruch for the first time since the team’s inaugural year?
The team looks great, and [a] bevy of talent is returning. I think that the team can absolutely make a run with the core we have, as well as some new players to shore up any holes we may have to fill. I think we have a great shot at a title this year.
You will be looking to lead the charge in a championship run. When were you named captain of the Baruch roller hockey team?
I took over in my sophomore year. I’m a senior now. I started playing my freshman year. It was a great way for me to acclimate myself into Baruch College. I was always in love with the game of hockey, and [joining the team] was a great way to go over and meet new kids. The team also allowed me to get the feeling of participating in a competitive, athletic team, without having to dedicate too much time to the sport while balancing school at the same time.
The team has a more relaxed feel to it, since it is technically still a club instead of a team. Do you think the more relaxed feel of the team helps it to succeed?
Yes, I think that many students at Baruch find it difficult to balance school, work and their athletics and hobbies. The roller hockey club allows for students to play in a competitive sport, without the burden of daily or weekly practices that might affect their schedule. We have a few practices planned. We have a rink up on 96th Street, but the practices don't impose a heavy burden on the players.
Great! Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
Anyone who has a passion for the game of hockey, or anyone who is looking to get involved in a sport should definitely contact us. I think this is going to be a big year, and I really believe we can make a run at a championship this season.