Penn State News – Athletics MONACA, Pa. — The shift is over. The gray team’s forward rolls to the bench and tumbles over the wall, fist-bumping a teammate on the way over. With feet back on the ground, the forward turns toward the action, finally still after several chaotic, blurry minutes of chasing down the puck.So for the first time, you can really see it — the auburn ponytail peeking out from beneath her helmet.
The gray team’s forward is a woman, one of only two on the Penn State Fightin’ Beavs inline hockey team. Or, if you ask her teammates, one half of Katie Peri.
No, not that Katy Perry, the pop princess with the maddeningly catchy, sugar-coated lyrics that you just can’t shake from your head. This Katie Peri is the inseparable duo of Beaver sophomores Katie Work and Peri Coleman, who prove the oft-repeated adage that, in college as in life, you can be anything you want to be.
That they are the first, and still the only, women donning helmets and pads and taking to the rink with a bunch of guys on the Fightin’ Beavs is simply the screaming exclamation point on two personalities made for cracking glass ceilings.
Katie Work did not know how to skate, had never even been on skates.
“Doesn’t matter,” said the Fightin’ Beavs representative at the campus’ annual activities fair her freshman year. “We can teach you.”
The hockey team needed a goalie and Work was accustomed to objects flying at her head at frightening speeds. She’d been a softball catcher and a soccer goalie. She agreed to give it a try.
At the first meeting, she sat down next to Peri Coleman. Coleman had done a bit of figure skating in her youth, so balancing on a single row of tiny wheels didn’t intimidate her. Doing …