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Lee uses glove to guide challenges of being two-sport athlete

By Chris Dierken
On April 17, 2013


Life as a college student is difficult. The time management skills it takes to juggle
classes, work and studying is enough to drive some students crazy.
Jordan Lee, on the other hand, might scoff at the notion that the average student has
a demanding schedule. Lee, who balances school with playing for two Buffalo State
sports teams, is probably one of the busiest students on campus.
Lee is not only the starting goaltender for the women's hockey team - she also
plays for the softball team in the spring. She said the most difficult part about having
such a hectic schedule is remaining focused on where she is at the moment.
"(The hardest part is) keeping the grades up and making sure I'm focused," Lee said.
"If I'm at hockey practice I need to focus on that, if I'm at softball I need to focus on
that and just not get distracted with everything that is going on."
Bengals coach Marie Curran, herself a busy student and full-time coach, said Lee
takes it all in stride.
"I think she handles it really well," Curran said. "I think she does a good job of
balancing everything and still has a social life - (she) still is a college student."
Lee got interested in hockey in 1996, when she went to a Colorado Avalanche game
and saw Patrick Roy play goalie. The Colorado Springs, Colo. native fell in love with
the game and has played ever since.
A year later, Lee began playing tee ball in Colorado, which spiked her interest in
softball. The criminal justice major has been playing both sports for over 15 years,
and she noted although the two sports may seem drastically different, one skill has
translated very easily from the ice to the field.
"My glove. I have a fast glove, so taking that to softball helps a lot," she said. "If I play
third base, or even first base, I have a quick glove so it helps a lot."
Playing two sports not only presents a huge challenge in regards to time
management, but also in terms of health and training issues. Lee said she gets sick
about three to four times a year, as a result of constantly playing at least one sport.
On top of that, Lee has weak knees from playing goalie and had to have surgery on
her left knee two years ago. She still wears a brace as a precaution.
Still, her coach sees the extra training as a good thing. Curran noted that two-sport
athletes bring an added element to a team, being that they train in different ways.
"I think any multi-sport athlete brings a different dimension because they train
differently for their other sport," Curran said. "They do things differently, so they
also bring stuff to the coaching staff."
One thing Lee misses out on with such a busy schedule is the typical offseason
training for softball. Curran said that Lee missed three weeks of preseason practices,
but got caught up in just a week.
This work ethic and thirst for help is what makes Lee successful, according to
"Every day, she asks for extra," Curran said. "... That part is great because you know
she is putting in all that additional time to get better."
Lee's first love, hockey, is also the sport she has been most successful in during her
time at Buffalo State. She has 13 wins and a .907 save percentage in her two seasons
with the Bengals, to go along with three shutouts.
Lee's success on the ice can be attributed to her mindset. In a sport where games
often hinge on one play, Lee embraces that pressure and has learned to use the
demands of her high-stress position to her benefit.
"I like the pressure on me, and I'm very hard on myself so I guess it's a perfect match
for me to be goalie," Lee said.
Lee has yet to earn a starting role on the softball field, but Curran thinks her hard
work and versatility might pay dividends in the future.
With four senior starters leaving the team after this season, vacant positions will
need to be filled for next year's team. When asked about the possibility of Lee
earning more playing later this season or next year, Curran was optimistic about her
"I definitely think so because Jordan has the work ethic to improve her ability for
that," Curran said. "I think the glove work with softball, I hope it's going to help her a
lot next year."
Still, Lee maintains that her first love is hockey, and said the reaction she gets when
people find out she's a hockey player cannot be matched.
"I love hockey, it's my favorite sport," she said. "I like that people, when I say I play
hockey and I'm a goalie, they're like, 'Oh wow!' It's just something that I've always
Whether it's on the field, on the ice or in the classroom, Lee's work ethic - and her
glove - will continue to impress as long as she is at Buffalo State.
Chris Dierken can be reached by email at or on twitter

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