Sports Person of the Week
Orlando Makes Great Strides on the Ice
Lindsey Orlando has seen huge improvement throughout her career as a hockey player for the Tigers. This year, Lindsey has scored four goals to with seven assists, while leading her squad as a senior captain. (Photo courtesy of Lindsey Orlando )
Lindsey Orlando’s career as a hockey player has been defined by constant improvement. Lindsey started playing hockey as a sophomore at Daniel Hand High School with no prior experience in the sport. In the span of three seasons, she progressed from seeing sporadic playing time to become one of the Tigers’ best players, as well as a senior captain this year.
“There was so much to learn, so I really didn’t get that much time on the ice my sophomore and junior year,” says Lindsey. “I took stats my sophomore year and kept working on my stick skills my junior year. I knew I wanted to keep getting better, so I went to my coach for advice, and he led me in the right direction.”
Lindsey was a ballet dancer as a youngster. In her sophomore year, she traded one passion for another when she signed up to play hockey. Lindsey had always loved skating and was inspired to try hockey by her father and brothers, who all played the sport.
“I had always loved ballet growing up, but I knew I wanted to try hockey because of all the skill needed to play the sport,” says Lindsey. “I was up for the challenge and put in the work necessary to get better.”
Head Coach Eric Roy saw that Lindsey had the skills to become a solid hockey player. Roy took Lindsey under his wing and helped her unlock her potential.
“My coaching philosophy is to give direction to everyone, but if a player really wants to excel, they’ll come ask me,” Roy says. “Lindsey was one of those players that was constantly asking questions and picking my brain as to how she could get better. That triggered me to nominate her as a captain, and she’s improved so much.”
This winter, Lindsey is having her best year yet for the Hand-Coginchaug-Valley Regional- Old Lyme co-op squad with four goals and seven assists on the campaign. Lindsey, who plays both center and wing, also helped the Tigers increase their win total by three on their way to qualifying for the SCC Tournament.
“I’ve got confidence in our team that we can go out there and put up a fight. Being out there with the girls and having fun is what it’s all about, and I know we’re all going to give our best effort,” Lindsey says. “I’m really excited about where we came from last year, though. Going from two wins to five is a big improvement.”
Coach Roy feels proud of Lindsey for the strides that she’s made on the ice. Roy also praises Lindsey for taking initiative by helping her Tigers’ teammates strive for their best.
“Lindsey was basically a fourth-line player. She saw a shift a game as a junior, and now she’s leading the team in minutes. She’s easily my most improved player,” says Roy. “Lindsey’s leadership is also a big reason why we’ve improved. She’s led a bunch of off-ice camps to help the kids on our team get better, and it’s just a testament to the kind of person and player she is. She’s always willing to lend a helping hand.”
Along with Roy, Lindsey credits her father John Orlando for aiding her improvement. Orlando coaches the boys’ lacrosse squad at Hand.
“My dad always pushed me to get better, and he’s led by example for me,” Lindsey says. “He played two years of hockey at West Point, and being able to learn from someone who’s played the sport at a high level has been really beneficial to me.”
Off the ice, Lindsey is a member of the Peer Advocate Program at Hand and has volunteered at Yale-New Haven Hospital during the summer. She plans to major in nursing at either Fairfield University or the University of South Carolina.
“I’m between those two schools right now,” Lindsey says. “I’ve always enjoyed my science and math classes, like biology and chemistry, and I feel like nursing is the path I want to take.”
Wherever Lindsey ends up, Coach Roy knows that she is going to succeed at whatever she puts her mind to.
“Lindsey is a great kid, and I know she’s going to be successful in her future endeavors,” says Roy “She’s had a great impact on this team, and all the girls love her. We will miss her next season.”