Written Senior Perspective - Bradley Fusco, Women's Hockey

Written Senior Perspective - Bradley Fusco, Women's Hockey

The 2019 Senior Perspectives is the 14th in a series of annual collections. Senior captains and representatives of teams at Harvard have been invited to contribute viewpoints based on personal experience from both their senior seasons and full varsity careers at Harvard.

Bradley Fusco
Leverett House
Harvard Women’s Hockey
Concentration: Economics

One major principle of the Harvard hockey program is to leave the program better than you found it. Hopefully I was able to accomplish this over my four years, especially in my senior season. Not only did this motto help shape my actions while playing hockey at Harvard, but it also changed my future outlook as I transition into a new chapter of my life. 

My hockey career at Harvard was full of hurdles that left our team thin with numbers. This year included, a lot of injuries kept our bench short, and I was grateful to stay healthy throughout the year and play an impactful role on the team. The season concluded in me being presented with the Joe Bertagna Most Improved Player award, displaying my determination to improve both individually and collectively as a team, with the goal to compete for a National Championship. I cannot wait to continue to watch the program grow and have a different role as the bright future of Harvard Hockey unfolds.

The stalls in our locker room hold the names of the players who wore our jersey number before us—a reminder to play for those who paved the way for the current team to succeed. As I prepare for my name to be put on the #9 list, three things resonate with me about what makes Harvard Hockey so special: Team First, Tradition, Family.

Harvard Hockey always talks about being “Team First” and how to encompass all that it means to be a hockey player at Harvard. After four years, the meaning of “Team First” has transitioned to having a more expansive connotation. Originally, the meaning was to focus the attention of the players on the bigger goal of the team rather than the individual. This progressed into the idea that being selfless means developing oneself in order for those around you to get better. Being the best version of yourself in order to make those around you thrive is one of the ways you can leave the program better than you found it.

Tradition is a characteristic of Harvard hockey that is unique to the program. The traditions that have carried on through my experience foster an environment that focuses on the reach of Harvard hockey beyond the ice, and for that, I am forever grateful. Harvard hockey also creates a sense of family within the team that carries both on and off the rink. I was lucky to find a family among my teammates and the staff over my four years at Harvard. This sense of family results from the emphasis Coach Stone places on team culture, which is a staple of the program. I would like to thank Coach Stone and the rest of the coaching staff for believing in me as a player and making me a better person through my involvement in Harvard hockey.

My hockey family extends beyond my college experience because both my father and uncle played hockey at Harvard. I also learned to skate at the Harvard rink when I was two years old. I would like to thank my family for helping me become a Division I athlete and for investing their time for me to become a hockey player at Harvard—something I always dreamed about. The commitment my family has shown towards both my career and the Harvard hockey program is something I am very grateful for.

During my freshmen fall, I wrote a feature for “Around The Yard” to describe my life as a Harvard student-athlete. In this piece I wrote, “the primary facet of this tremendous university that will remain closest to my heart when I graduate is the team environment and sense of home I feel when I am here”. The immediate sense of home I found at Harvard is a feeling that will continue to go unmatched. Hopefully the lessons I’ve learned throughout my time at Harvard will allow me to find another home aside from the sport that has led me to where I am today and introduced me to many people that are considered friends and family.

As I leave my home at Harvard behind, I feel lucky to be a apart of a community in which, although my name is no longer on the roster, I will always have a sense of belonging in Harvard Athletics.