Even though the NHL is on lockout, the WSU men’s club ice hockey team is still going strong.
Senior goalie Scott Darragh had the team on his list of primary interests when he visited WSU his freshman year for a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program.
Now team president, Darragh is pursuing a double major in history and communication, and is minoring in military science and anthropology.
Originally from Los Angeles, Darragh knew he wanted to play hockey in college. His plans, however, did not involve WSU at first. Darragh also knew he wanted to join ROTC because he felt it went against the normalcy of Manhattan Beach, where he grew up.
Wanting to leave California, Darragh came to Washington state, the home of his father’s family. UW did not feel right for him, but once he stepped onto WSU’s campus he knew this school fit him.
Darragh started his hockey career at a young age. His parents divorced when he was young, and his mother began dating someone with children his age. He now had others to play sports with and started roller hockey, a more cost effective sport than ice hockey.
“I played other sports when I was a kid,” Darragh said. “But hockey was the one I was good at first out of the gate.”
Darragh also played t-ball and basketball, but said he was never stellar at either sport. Back in his natural habitat, he started in the hockey rink as a standard player. It wasn’t until he had the chance to play goalkeeper that he instantly fell in love with a position.
“After that game I went out and bought goalie stuff, and I’ve been a goalie for the rest of my hockey career,” Darragh said.
While attending Mira Costa High School, Darragh played football and club hockey. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL during his senior year in high school, which affected both his football and hockey careers.
“It was really tough because the football team actually went to the championship that year,” Darragh said. “And then it was tough for hockey because I couldn’t do anything as a goalie.”
Darragh knows adversity, even at WSU. He said his team has had to overcome many challenges. Pullman doesn’t have a rink, so the team has to travel to Lewiston for practices and Spokane for games. The team’s coach, Chris Soriano also lives in Bellingham.
Despite the challenges of travel, Soriano is happy to coach players like Darragh.
“Scott is definitely a leader for the team,” Soriano said. “I’ve been coaching collegiately for 10 years now, and he’s one of the best kids to coach. He puts me in my place, which is rare to coach someone like that.”
Challenges aside, Darragh said the team has turned around in his four years. Since their winless record his freshman year, he is proud to say the team went 6-10-2 last year.
Darragh is waiting to hear if he has received a position with the Washington National Guard, but said he is excited to finish the season with his teammates. He said the team hopes to make it to the Pac-8 Hockey Conference Tournament, which is played in Anaheim, Calif.
“These guys are my best friends, and we just want to make the team more recognizable,” Darragh said. “We’ve upped the image and all the marketing so more people will come to the games and so freshman can hear about the team.”