One of the things I enjoy most about talking to former athletes is talking about their retirement. Well, enjoy might not be the right word. Some players get retirement tours where fans and even opponents shower them with gifts and adoration. Others just pack up their locker, walk uninterrupted to their car, and drive away.
After losing Friday’s semifinal to the Minnesota Whitecaps, Miye D’Oench now has her version of a retirement story. Listen to my interview with the Stanford Law bound Riveters forward after her final game Friday night.
Erica L. Ayala: All right. Let’s see where to start. Seems like with the team really pushing hard on the forecheck especially in the first period, you were one of the players really rushing to attack the net. Was that something that the team knew coming into this game you wanted to focus on?
Miye D’Oench: Not something I like announced. I just knew I wanted to be a pest out there to the other team and crash the net as much as I can, forecheck as hard as I can and just try to get as much energy on the bench as possible. So you know I think it’s it kind of is contagious and rubs off when somebody does that. And I know I love seeing it. So I just wanted to hopefully be that player that could bring some energy.
Erica L. Ayala: Yeah I think you’ve definitely done that in pockets throughout the season but it was evident today. So much I’d say to the point that maybe the Whitecaps took some exception to your style of play. It seemed like you were really mixing it up a lot with them.
Miye D’Oench: Yeah I thought that you know whenever that’s the role I play, I’m expecting to get hooked and expecting to get you know a couple of punches to the face cross checks whatever. Which I definitely did.
: And yeah it was you know, you know you kind of hope that some of those things get caught by the refs. But you know either way it’s something you got to play through and I did it to varying degrees of success tonight.
Erica L. Ayala: Fair enough. You know I think the final score was 5-1. Just curious if you think that that score stands given what you and the rest of the team and the Whitecaps, to be honest, put out there.
: Yeah I think it’s an unfortunate score that I mean you only need one and the rest is for ego. So for us it’s a bummer that it was a 5-1 score because I really thought that we played ’em really, really, well. We had a lot of chances. I thought [Amanda] Leveille played great and so did Fitzy obviously. Huge, huge stops but sometimes you know it’s just that’s sort of been the story of our season a little bit. So it’s a bit of a bummer but honestly you know a loss is a loss.
Erica L. Ayala: Yeah. And when I kind of go off of that I mean the last week alone has been trying and I think people know that. But I’m sure there are things that every team goes through that that are known to the team not necessarily to everyone. But it seems like even some things were evident that there were struggles for this team. And so to kind of push through get that big win against Buffalo then push through get a pretty nice feeling win in the play in game and then it just seems like the momentum really halted.
: Now I’m asking you to look back but you know now that you know the results of this do you feel that some of that caught up to you guys tonight.
Miye D’Oench: It’s hard to say. I mean honestly I thought we played a good game. So you know there are pockets of mistakes that were made as there always are. But you know I think we really gave a really solid effort. And so it’s hard for me to look back and blame it on you know a lot of adversity that we faced in the last few weeks and all season for that matter.
: But of course you know who knows we’ll never know like what could have been if we had a couple more players on our on the road in the lineup or if we had gotten a little more sleep last weekend or whatever. You know I don’t know. But, you know either way my hat’s off to them.
: They play a good game and they are a great team and there’s I’m not going to stand here and say like oh you know if only things had gone a different way earlier this week we definitely would have beat them. You know, You got to do what you can with the with this hand you’re dealt.
Erica L. Ayala: And so me we know that this is your last game before you head off to law school. Have you had time to think about just what this experience not just this year but being a part of this this league and and this team has meant to you?
Miye D’Oench: Yeah. Not really, honestly. I’ve done a lot of sort of reflecting this week knowing this would be my last weekend no matter what just kind of … sorry.
: Just on like all the people who supported me and particularly like my family. And both the people who got to be here and the people who aren’t here. So you know looking back on it really fun and exciting career. It’s been you know, I’m just really grateful. It’s a bottom line and it’s obviously emotional.
Erica L. Ayala: Sounds like there might be some other people who are also stepping away.
Miye D’Oench: Yeah. Yeah definitely.I think people are all kind of, no matter what at the end of the season you’re gonna take stock about you know the amount of work and effort and everything they put into the season. And I think at the end of her career you also take you know even even greater stock of you know all the things that got you there and all the things you’re gonna miss and all that. So you know I think I think other people are in a similar situation where this was probably their last year competitive game of hockey and I’m glad that I got to share it with those people and the people on this roster. So yeah
Erica L. Ayala: Thanks Miye.