The Lightning defenseman concluded her prep career with an appearance in the Class 2A girls’ hockey state tournament. It was the first state trip in the history of the program. Here is a closer look at EspindaBanick, who also was a member of the soccer team in the fall:


Q Three words or phrases your friends or teammates would use to describe you are …

A … unique, funny and kind.


Q How did you get started playing soccer and hockey?

A I started playing soccer when I was really young because my older brother played. For hockey, when I was little I took figure skating lessons and asked for hockey skates . I started mites soon after that.


Q At my first varsity practice you felt …

A ... really nervous, but also excited to prove to people my skills.


Q What is your most memorable moment as a high school athlete?

A Definitely winning the Section 3 championship [6-4 over Eagan] this year. It was a back-and-forth battle. I scored the first goal of the game, which was very memorable. [It was her third goal of the season to go along with three assists.]


Q How do you balance school and sports during the year?

A Personally, I think sports help me focus in school because they help me relax after a hard day of school. They also help me get my work done faster, so I can go play.


Q Name one sport you wish you could participate in that you don’t?

A I always wished I played basketball because it seems like a fun and interesting sport.


Q What is the best sports advice you have ever received?

A My high school soccer coach encouraged me to be “brave, wise, genuine and kind.” This is the best advice I have ever received because it not only applies to sports but to everyday life.