She is only a freshman, but Jordin Pardoski is making her voice heard.
Listed at 5-foot-5, Pardoski can easily be lost in the team huddle. Everyone inside Greenberg Ice Pavilion knows that she is somewhere in the group of players, though, when she begins to pump the team up during its breakdown.
This season is not the first time Pardoski has been heard firing up her team before games. She said that she has always done it on every team she has played for.
“I feel like it just happened one day, and it just stuck because I was so outrageously loud,” Pardoski said.
However, Pardoski’s role did not begin immediately when she joined the Nittany Lions.
Senior Lindsay Reihl led the team’s breakdown at first. After a couple practices, though, Pardoski said she was recommended for the job by freshman Birdie Shaw, who played with her on Detroit Honeybaked, a club team in Michigan.
“It was actually one of our seniors last year who did it, so when she was gone I figured I would try and step in and fill her shoes,” said Reihl, one of the team’s two assistant captains. “But Jordin has proven to have the loudest voice on the team. So she automatically just took that.”
Pardoski said that after she led the team’s post-practice breakdown for the first time, everybody’s jaw dropped to the floor.
Reihl remembers the team being surprised by Pardoski, too.
“We were shocked. I’ve never heard anyone yell as loud as she yells. It’s very loud and raspy, and gets you pumped up,” Reihl said. “I was like, ‘This is her thing. I hand it over to you.’ I had no problem.”
Shaw was used to Pardoski by the time they were on the Lions, but she recalled being just as shocked when she heard her yell for the first time.
“I was scared. Girls are usually loud, but she’s got a whole other level,” Shaw said. “It sounds like someone’s being stabbed, like it’s loud. But it’s awesome, it gets us going.”
Assistant coach Casey McCullion said that one of the unique things about the team’s freshman-filled roster is that anyone can take on a leadership role, and it was great to see Pardoski take initiative.
There was just one problem when Pardoski took over, though.
“We had to talk to the team, because after the first couple of practices, she was louder than the whole team when they were responding to her,” McCullion joked. “[We] explained to them that they needed to drown her out a little bit.”
Even though most of the team is probably used to hearing Pardoski by now, she said that some players still have to prepare for her.
“Sometimes in the huddle, I go stand behind a girl, and they’ll be like, ‘Oh, no. I’m not standing behind her,” Pardoski said.
McCullion said Pardoski is a great vocal leader because she leads by example, not just by her words. She said Pardoski is constantly asking questions, trying to improve her game.
McCullion called Pardoski a natural leader who constantly cheers, pushes her teammates and has important things to say, always putting a positive spin on things.
“She’s one of those people who’s friends with everyone on the team. She’s constantly laughing and making other people laugh,” McCullion said. “She can break up tension, and so I think people respond when she talks.”
Reihl said that it is great to see Pardoski step up as a freshman and motivate the team, calling her a great influence on the ice.
Off the ice, like on it, she takes pride in her school. Pardoski most recently showed her team spirit on Thursday during the team’s trip to Missouri for its series versus Lindenwood.
“Just did a WE ARE on the air plane #LifeMade,” Pardoski tweeted. “The pilot called me an animal though…can’t help my #UniqueVoice.”
Shaw also said that Pardoski does a great job at being a vocal leader.
“She’s amazing. I always tell her she should go into motivational speaking,” Shaw said. “She knows how to address the whole team on an equal level, and she knows what to say — short and sweet, right then and there.”