Kara Drexler: Senior, YALE University
Lady Ducks: 10u – 19AAA
As she enters her senior year at Yale University, we celebrate Kara Drexler’s 9-year career as a Lady Duck where she showed that a strong work ethic both in the classroom and on the ice pays off. Now entering her final collegiate season, the economics major, surfer and amazing Lady Duck, Kara came to the Lady Ducks from in-house at Toyota Center at age 9 in 2006. “I started playing hockey after I went to a friend's ice skating party when I was in kindergarten. I really liked skating, but I wasn't interested in figure skating, so I started taking hockey lessons and I fell in love with the sport!” Kara explains
As a 10u and 12aaa Lady Duck, Kara developed skating, shooting and puck skills which later morphed into her all-around solid play at 14aaa, with her teams visiting the USAHockey National Championships every year from 12u thru19u and earning a medal.
She was a “bubble kid” for National Select camps, didn’t make it every time, but definitely kept working hard throughout 14s and into 16aaa. Kara was a standout student, also scoring well on College entrance exams. As the opportunity to play for Yale became a reality, this was a good fit for her offering both Division I hockey and a world-class education.
Who helped to motivate Kara to reach her goal of playing Division I hockey? “One of my idols while playing for the Lady Ducks was my coach from my last few years in the program, Caitlin Hogan. She played college hockey at St. Cloud, and I learned a lot from her about playing women's hockey at a high level.”
Kara has really enjoyed playing at Yale. A few fun facts about Kara’s College experience, “My pre-game meal is provided by my team, so it's whatever they bring for us. Usually, I'll have grilled chicken, pasta, and some veggies. I don't really have any superstitions, but every game day I like to go through my routine that helps me feel focused and game-ready. This includes re-taping my stick, listening to my favorite game day songs, and playing spike ball or soccer with my teammates to loosen up before our team warm up. I also have special socks that I like to wear for off-ice warm ups on game days, not because I think they're lucky or anything, just because I think they look cool :)
Playing with the same friends and teammates throughout her youth career Kara says, “My best experiences from my time playing on the Lady Ducks were definitely the friendships that I made throughout the years. My greatest memories come from the times I had with my teammates, whether at the rink or in the hotels at tournaments, we would always find a way to have fun (and occasionally get in trouble at the hotels for playing knee hockey in the halls). Some of my teammates have become my life-long best friends, and I know that we will always be there for each other and have each other's backs no matter where life takes us!”
This is true for many Lady Duck players. Traveling to recruiting trips and competitive weekends from 9th -12th grade, including Districts and Nationals, Kara built a bond with her teammates, visited some amazing cities broadening her exposure and experiences along the way. Today, whether she crosses paths with her LD family during NCAA play or back at home at a summer bonfire, Kara’s 9 years as a Lady Duck has brought her friends for a lifetime.
So was there anything you could tell the young Lady Ducks of today? Kara explains, “If I could go back in time, I would tell my 10 year-old self that hard work pays off (both in hockey and in school!). No matter your age or skill level, you can get anywhere and achieve your goals if you work really hard for them. For me, this led to playing Division 1 hockey at an amazing school that I love.” . #GO_LD