Bonding through a love of sports

Becky Conner and Lauren Legault were best friends before they came to St. Thomas University after going to the same high school. (Hillary Latham/AQ)

Whether you’re best friends, teammates or both, spending most of your time with one person can be a bittersweet challenge.

Lauren Legault and Becky Conner can attest to that. Conner and Legault play as forwards on the St. Thomas University women’s hockey team.

“When you’re playing hockey, you can be together, but you’re focused on something so it makes it easier to spend so much time together,” said Conner.

The pair knew each other before coming to STU. They met in their hometown of Winnipeg, Man. where they went to Shaftesbury High School together and played on the same team.

Legault is in her third year and Conner is in her fifth. Both agreed that it’s going to be difficult without each other when Conner graduates.

Becky Conner is graduating this year and will miss playing hockey with her best friend. (Billy Cole/AQ)

“I’m very sad about it because we’ve played together since high school,” said Legault.

With games, four practices a week, morning workouts and classes together, the pair are inseparable.

“It is possible to have too much of somebody sometimes, but we just take our five minutes apart and you start missing each other right away,” said Legault.

Conner said sometimes being together all the time can be tense on and off the ice.

“You can definitely argue,” said Conner.

“When you’re frustrated with your own play, it’s really easy to get mad at someone else.”

Katie MacDermaid and Moira Kinney play together on the women’s soccer team. They’re also best friends. They met on their first day at STU and started living together in second year when they joined the team.

“I asked Moira to come try out with me because I didn’t want to go alone,” said MacDermaid.

Katie MacDermaid convinced Moira Kinney to try out for the soccer team with her so she wouldn’t be going alone. (Hillary Latham/AQ)

Kinney was glad MacDermaid asked her to join.

“It’s been an amazing experience that I would have never gotten if she hadn’t put it out there,” said Kinney.

Conner and Legault see each other everyday and spend time together outside the rink.

“We hang out on our off days so we can bond as friends and not just teammates,” said Legault.

Conner advises other best friends playing on the same team to not let stress affect their relationship.

“Have fun. It’s way less stressful when you’re having fun.”

Kinney and MacDermaid said their friendship has always been smooth sailing.

“I don’t think we’ve really gotten mad at each other on the field or off the field,” said MacDermaid.

MacDermaid enjoys the added support she gets from having a best friend and roommate on her team.

“If you have a bad game or practice, even if you have a good game or practice, the other person is always there to recognize that and support you.”

Both MacDermaid and Kinney are graduating this year. MacDermaid is staying in N.B. and Kinney might be going to Ontario for school. They agree it’s going to be hard being apart.

“It’s going to be noticeable when we won’t be together. When fall hits, it’s such a routine to go back early, do training camp and get back into the season,” said Kinney.

Kinney is grateful for the experiences she’s had with MacDermaid during the last four years.

“I know this experience will be something I carry with me forever and it’s been nice to have someone that I care about so much to experience it with.”