The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

December 24, 2013

East/Loyola's high-scoring Rebekah Kolstad Can't sit still

Cougars hockey player committed to North Dakota

Rebekah Kolstad isn’t one to sit around much. In September and October, the Mankato East junior could be found either on a soccer pitch or in a hockey rink. She played the former for her school and the latter in an elite-level fall league in the Twin Cities.

Not a day went by that she didn’t have something going — a practice or a game. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays were on the grass. Wednesdays and the weekends were on the ice. Every once in awhile there was a conflict.

There was only one part that bothered her:

“The car rides got long,” Kolstad said. “But the games and practices were fun, so it was worth it.”

Kolstad is just a hockey player at the moment, leading Mankato East/Loyola to an 11-3-0 record. The forward ranks 13th in the state in scoring with 35 points in 14 games, and her 21 goals rank eighth in Minnesota (all stats through Friday). Playing varsity hockey since she was in seventh grade, her totals have put her over the 200-point mark for her career.

“She’s taken a step up in her playing ability from where she was last year,” Cougars coach Nate Fuller said. “She’s playing at a high level, and she’s fun to watch.”

A season ago, Kolstad tied for the Cougars’ scoring lead with 55 points. That included a team-high 30 goals. With more than 40 points as a freshman and as an eighth-grader, Kolstad started catching the attention of Division I college coaches, and the recruiting process began.

She enjoyed the process — even as it took place amid her busy schedule. But she decided to make a decision with nearly two full seasons of high school hockey remaining. In early November, Kolstad verbally committed to play at North Dakota.

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