When Jessica Kondas came out of Edge School for Athletes, a prep school in her hometown of Calgary, Canada, Minnesota State University, Mankato gave her an offer to play hockey that she just couldn’t refuse.
“It was a place I could come in and have an effect right away,” she said. “That’s what I was looking for in my development.”
Kondas played under the coaching of Carla Macleod, a 2-time Olympic gold medalist for Team Canada at Edge. Kondas says Macleod has helped with her development not only in hockey, but also as a person.
Although, Kondas couldn’t have started without the help of her brother.
“Growing up, my brother was my role model. I was always trying to do what he was doing and follow in his footsteps,” stated Kondas.
The senior defenseman, who is majoring in exercise science with a double minor in coaching and sport medicine, had to make the tough choice of which sport to play when entering the collegiate level.
Kondas is a phenomenal softball player, being named the top shortstop at the Canadien U16 Nationals.
“It was tough,” the alternate captain said. “Deep down I had more of a passion for hockey.”
She says she still loves to play all sports, as she tried to play as many as she could growing up, but hockey was the one that was always on her mind.
As her first year as a captain, she’s grateful to have the trust behind her teammates and coaches to be chosen for the role.
“We want to leave the program better than we found it and keep the program going,” she said.
MNSU’s women’s hockey team has their first game coming up against the University of Minnesota, Duluth Bulldogs on November 20.
Last season, four of the five meetings between the teams were within one goal of each other, with three of the games going to overtime.
“We have so much depth…It’s exciting watching what we can do out there in practice,” Kondas said about how they will take the first win of the season. “Hopefully we’ll capitalize on our opportunities more this time around.”
Kondas is hoping to use her degree to pursue a girls hockey training program. But first, she needs to make sure her work here is done.
“I want to get as much experience as I can before I can take any big steps with that, but that’s the end goal.”