Hockey: Alexandria's leading scorer Lauren Maras commits to Franklin Pierce
The 5-foot senior forward currently leads the Cardinals in goals, assists and total points. She is only nine points away from 100 career points.
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — Standing at only 5-foot-0 can make the sport of hockey a tough task, but Alexandria senior forward Lauren Maras has found ways to be a successful competitor despite being one of the shortest players out on the ice.
The 17-year-old Maras has competed in four varsity seasons for the Cardinals and has been a top-five scorer on the team each year. She currently leads the squad in goals (10), assists (15) and total points (25) after 20 games played this season.
Although the senior isn't the tallest one out on the ice, her playmaking abilities and speed stand out among the other skaters.
"I obviously have to work out a lot more and build more strength, but that's a good thing," she said.
"Lauren is a dynamic player that can change the pace of the game at any given moment," said Alexandria head coach Molly Arola. "She is passionate and driven to be the best that she can be for her team and demonstrates leadership on and off the ice."
Maras' success eventually caught the eyes of Franklin Pierce University. She reached out to the program in mid-2022, before the Upper Midwest High School Elite League started, and they replied back saying that they were interested. Talks started to pick up after that.
The Alexandria native took a visit to the campus in early December before making the decision to commit to the Division I program on January 16.
Franklin Pierce University is located in Rindge, New Hampshire, which is in the southern part of the state just above the Massachusetts border. The hockey program competes in the New England Women's Hockey Alliance (NEWHA) alongside schools like Long Island and Sacred Heart.
"I absolutely love their coaches and their facilities with their weight training ,and just everything they had to offer," said Maras.
The university typically has around 1,700 undergraduate students enrolled and Maras is excited for the opportunity to go to a smaller school. She is currently planning on studying health sciences and knows that being a student-athlete will be challenging so the opportunity to have more one-on-one time with a professor could be a big benefit in the classroom.
"I've loved it out east and one of my goals was to potentially play college hockey out there, so I was really excited when I committed," the skater added on her decision. The Minnesota native has played in various hockey tournaments on the east coast and has always enjoyed her time out there.
Franklin Pierce typically recruits quite a few Minnesotans for their hockey program. There are currently nine on the 2022-23 roster (not counting two Wisconsin players who competed for Minnesota high school teams). This includes freshman Memphis Mertens of Roseau, who Maras is already a little bit familiar with after skating on some summer teams together in the past.
The 17-year-old currently has 91 points in 94 games for Alexandria over her four varsity seasons so far. It seems very likely that she will hit the 100-career point milestone sometime this season.
Maras originally started out in dance and gymnastics when she was younger but ended up trying hockey with a seven-day clinic as a kid. She's been hooked ever since. Maras' father used to play the sport and she also has a younger sister, Alena, that is a hockey player as well.
This season the Cardinals are 9-10-1. The record isn't the best, but the team has played a pretty tough schedule that includes some of the top teams in the state (Gentry Academy, Warroad, Holy Family, Maple Grove, Orono, etc.).
"Obviously we've had our ups and downs and we just want to make sure we're staying consistent for all three periods," said Maras on the team's season so far. "But I feel like we're playing a lot better now than how we started out the season."
In her free time, the senior forward enjoys working out and has a trainer at Alexandria that works with some of the hockey players. She also grew up playing softball and was a varsity runner for the cross-country team in seventh grade before quitting to focus on a busy hockey schedule in the fall.
Maras will finish out the 2022-23 season with the Alexandria Cardinals before heading out to Franklin Pierce this fall.