NEWPORT, R.I. — Even though senior forward Angela Augusta hasn’t filled nets with a plethora of goals, she knows how important her role is with Salve Regina University’s hockey team.
“I definitely say my role is being a leader and a positive reinforcement for the younger girls on my team,” said Augusta, of Windham, N.H., who has five goals and five assists in her career. “Even though I don’t have as many points as my teammates, I like to play hard hockey and am a grinder.
“I would say during my time at Salve as a first- and second-liner, I’ve been more of a playmaker. Before college, I would score all the time. My role has changed in college in that I’ve learned to be a better hockey player by not worrying about scoring all the goals. I think I create a lot of opportunities when I’m out there.”
Augusta hasn’t been victimized by hitting pipes and crossbars. But Salve coach Beth McCann relishes what this Kimball Union Academy alumna brings to the Seahawks.
“She strives to contribute and last year was in the mix to create that offensive power,” McCann said. “She just came back from a bruised back bone and was out for three games.
“As a player, she’s a playmaker so she’s not the one who’s going to score goals but she tries to enhance players around her.”
When McCann was recruiting Augusta, she saw subjective and objective qualities that convinced her she would be a good fit for Salve.
“After evaluating her level of play and in an interview, I saw she had the character and mindset that would enhance our play,” McCann said. “Her level of play has improved at Salve. Her experience over the last three years should bring her success her senior year.”
When Augusta was at Kimball Union, she played hockey and lacrosse and captained the lacrosse team her senior year. But she opted to play hockey at Salve.
“I just had so much more drive to play hockey,” Augusta said. “Overall I loved the sport more than lacrosse. I considered playing lacrosse at Salve but hockey is such a long season and we have a 6 a.m. wakeup call for practice every day.
“Given the academic standards, I thought I would just play one sport.”
Augusta didn’t mince words when discussing how playing at KUA laid the foundation for playing hockey at the college level.
“Playing at a prep school helped prepare me for college hockey,” she said. “I grew up playing in Manchester and played for the Lady Hurricanes. When I was younger I was more of a force and then once I got recruited to go to prep school I saw other girls as talented as me.
“Prep school prepared me for the speed and skills that are involved in playing college hockey.”
McCann understands the value of recruiting prep school players as well as ones who play more than one sport.
“Anytime I get a player from a prep school of that caliber, it makes the adjustment from high school to college a lot easier,” she said. “When you have multi-sport athletes, it shows the athlete has a different vision for each sport.
“When you have multi-sport athletes, it contributes to building the foundation of a team and the culture.”
McCann also got something else when Augusta decided to enroll at Salve: a young woman who understood the importance of academics.
Augusta has been a two-time NECH All-Academic Team selection and a 2018 AHCA Krampade All-American Scholar while majoring in business administration along with minors in health care administration and marketing.
“I think hockey has taught me time management and how to excel not only academically but as well as athletically,” Augusta said.
McCann was even more specific when it came to Augusta’s ability to excel in different venues.
“Our season starts in September,” McCann said. “Their main concern is academics and athletics. We practice four or five times a week and then play games on weekends.
“For an athlete to achieve a 3.6 (GPA) is outstanding. It’s difficult for a student to achieve that and she works hard at it.”
Augusta benefited from the fact her older brother, Adam (who graduated last spring), also played hockey at Salve.
“When I was little, I really looked up to him,” she said. “Growing up, I thought he was the best hockey player I ever saw because he had incredible skills.
“I played boys’ hockey for a long time and, along with Adam, it helped me develop my raw skills like my hands and stickhandling. It also was comfortable knowing he was there.”
When Augusta isn’t in a classroom or on the ice, she can be found volunteering for Best Buddies, a program for mentally disabled adults.
“At freshman orientation, I had to do community service hours with mentally disabled adults and took a massive liking to it,” Augusta said. “I’m honestly more comfortable around those individuals than other students at school. I think just knowing you can help someone with a mental disability and realize they’re just like you or everyone else gives you great satisfaction.
“I worked with a man who was 46 and had the mental capacity of a 6-year-old boy. But he was able to laugh with me, show empathy and connect with people regardless of his mental ability.”
McCann has high praise for Augusta’s accomplishments regardless of where they take place.
“While balancing academics and her athletic commitment, Angela finds time to volunteer for the Best Buddies program,” McCann said. “Her passing and dedication to inspire and mentor the participants involved with the Best Buddies for four years at Salve is outstanding.”