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Taking it to the Ice: Sophie Guthrie ’21

Campus Life

headshot of Sophie Guthrie

Published June 7, 2019

It’s not the elegant grace of figure skating that motivates Sophie Guthrie ’21 to strap blades to her feet and jump out on the ice.

Rather, it’s the quickness and the velocity of ice hockey that she loves. “It feels like flying,” she says about speeding across the ice, leaning and swooping, chasing a puck and passing. Guthrie has been playing ice hockey since she was a child in Santa Fe, NM, but it wasn’t until she got to Smith that she joined a formal team. It gave her a way to compete as an athlete and also to get out on the ice and blow off some steam.

She has become a critical member of Smith's ice hockey team, playing defense and serving as one of three team captains for the 2018–19 season. Hockey at Smith is a club sport with a mix of novices as well as experienced skaters. Guthrie likes to tell the newcomers, “Don’t worry, you’ll be skating better than me soon.”

Here Guthrie discusses her life on and off the ice:

We practice twice a week at the Williston Northampton School ice rink in Easthampton, MA. We almost went to the playoffs [in the Independent Women’s Club Hockey League] this past season. But in our final home game with Keene State College, with the clock running out, we didn’t have time to Zamboni [resurface] the ice. The game was tied, and it was Keene State’s call to say that because of the condition of the ice, “We don’t want to go into overtime.” So, they were declared the winner. It was a good energy game, though.

Originally, I wanted to play at a school with varsity ice hockey, but I’m glad I didn’t because playing hockey as a club sport still gives me time to focus on academics.

I applied to Smith thinking I would be a biology major; I was such a science geek in high school. Now I am a history major. I took a first-year seminar in history and realized I was more interested in stories that aren’t the overarching narratives we’re usually told, which I was discovering through the history classes I started taking.

My other academic love is landscape studies, which I discovered when I took a class in the subject, and it was nothing at all what I thought it would be. But I was fascinated. It’s a really cool discipline, a rich field. You can approach it from a science perspective or you can do a sociological study of how people interact with the environment and combine history, personal narrative, art and design.

I am a Smith Outdoor Adventure student leader. Last fall, I led an orientation program trip where we took eight first-year students on a hike and overnight stay along the Appalachian Trail in western Massachusetts. We spent the weekend hiking and camping and took in some great scenery on the trail. I also did an Outdoor Adventure Leadership course during interterm at the MacLeish Field Station. It was two weeks of rock climbing, trailblazing with compasses and cooking outdoors on backpacking stoves. I love to hike, so it’s great being an outdoor leader while I’m at Smith.

I’ll be studying abroad next year, so I won’t be eligible—or available—to lead those trips or play ice hockey. I hope to be in Denmark taking classes in history and landscape studies at the University of Copenhagen. As for my time with ice hockey, there will always be a chance to put on my skates again and return to the defensive zone on the ice for my senior year.

Summer 2019 Smith Alumnae Quarterly