As a sophomore at Mounds View High School, Sydney Brodt recalls being taken aback when she was named the Mustangs’ captain as a sophomore.
Four years later, Brodt had a bit of déjà vu.
In her sophomore campaign with the University of Minnesota Duluth, Brodt wears the ‘C’ for the Bulldogs this season following a vote by her teammates. It’s the first time a sophomore has been the captain of the UMD women’s team and a role Brodt has already embraced.
Prior to putting on the maroon and gold in Duluth, Brodt was bringing Mounds View to new heights at the high school level. She helped lead the Mustangs to state tournament berths as an eighth-grader in 2012 and in 2014 during her sophomore season.
Though she failed to make it to the big stage as an upper classman, Brodt has plenty of memories outside of her time at the Xcel Energy Center, including some of the games that preempted the state tournament.
“The section final games at Roseville arena were some of my best memories of high school,” Brodt said. “It was always a packed house and a super fun atmosphere.”
Brodt picked up experience playing against some of the best players the U.S. has to offer. She has seen many of these same top players again at the collegiate level. This includes her high school teammate, Bella Sutton, who plays with Penn State.
During her high school career, Brodt also had the chance to represent her country at the 2016 Under-18 Women’s World Championship. She picked up three goals in five games as Team USA won gold on Canadian soil.
“I think playing on that team helped jumpstart my college hockey career by going up against all that good competition. I knew what to expect when I got to college,” Brodt said.
Less than a year after playing on the international stage, Brodt was suiting up for UMD as a freshman.
In her first year, Brodt was a force for the Bulldogs. She had eight goals and 13 assists in her freshman season. This included a stretch in February where the North Oaks native had five goals and five assists in eight games and was named WCHA Rookie of the Month.
As a team, UMD found itself in the thick of the race for the national championship. The Bulldogs made the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2011 but lost in the quarterfinals to in-state rival Minnesota in overtime.
For Brodt, playing in Duluth has always been something that has peaked her interest.
“I always loved watching the Bulldogs. We went to a lot of their games against the Gophers growing up,” Brodt said. “Plus, I’ve always loved the up-north feel. It’s just always made me want to be a Bulldog.”
Brodt comes to the North Shore at a time when UMD appears to be on the upswing. In her second season, Bulldogs head coach Maura Crowell has gotten the team back into the national conversation.
“I’ve always kind of been an underdog and wanting to push my program to be better,” Brodt said. “I like that role and feel like I do really well in that role. It’s fun to see us get better and better every year.”
This season, Brodt leads a team that features plenty of potential. UMD was ranked fifth in the preseason USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Women’s College Hockey Poll.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they will have to play this season without its top goaltender, Maddie Rooney. The Andover native is redshirting this season as she plays with the U.S. Women’s National Team.
Hometown: North Oaks
High School: Mounds View
Favorite TV show: The Voice
Favorite artist: Thomas Rhett
Favorite hockey player: Sidney Crosby: “I first liked him because we had the same name, but I really like him as a player and what he does off the ice.”
Go-to meal before a game: Always pasta
Favorite teammate: Annika Brodt (her sister)
Favorite arena she’s played in: Amsoil Arena
One place you’d like to go someday: Alberta, Canada
Advice for young players: Enjoy it and have fun with it because it goes by really fast.
With these sort of expectations, Brodt will be relied upon as the team captain. Though she has her experience in high school to lean on, there are differences that come with being a captain at the collegiate level.
“In college, if you want the team to do something, there’s no questions asked. I really like that side of it,” Brodt said.
Brodt appears to be excited to take on this expanded role. Her teammates appear to share that excitement.
“She’s exactly the right person for the job,” UMD senior defenseman and assistant captain Jessica Healey told the Duluth News-Tribune. “She’s young, but has everything that a great leader has. She leads by example on and off the ice.
“We all look up to her. I’m an older player but I look up to her so much. She works her butt off on the ice and off the ice. She’s the right fit.”