By Shannon Sigafoos
Backed by strong leadership, stellar goaltending, and solid team play, the women’s club ice hockey team rolled through the competition last weekend to win the Delaware Valley Collegiate Hockey Conference (DVCHC) Division Three Championship.
The team capped its tournament run with a four-overtime win over top-ranked George Mason University in the championship game.
The victory marked the end of a consistent year for the team, which entered the playoffs on a six-game win streak and an overall 7-2-1 record. The team plays half of its games prior to winter break and half after it.
“Our first game after the long break was the day before classes started in January, so we didn’t have practice before then to prepare. Once that game started, we quickly got back into our groove and were able to win,” says Elise Bossert ’20. “It wasn’t difficult for us to maintain the chemistry we had built earlier in the season because we were all so excited to get back to playing together again.”
As the second seed in a four-team playoff bracket, the Leopards defeated Indiana University of Pennsylvania Saturday night, which set them up to play the only team they had lost to during the regular season (their other loss came as a result of a forfeit).
Having seen some of its founding members graduate since its inception three years ago, the team this year relied heavily on one senior and the addition of four first-year students who had played competitively in high school.
“Our team definitely had the same atmosphere throughout the years I’ve been on it. Everyone is very team-oriented and excited about our success, but one of the big reasons that we are all out on the ice is to have fun,” says Mackenzie Sangster ’20. “We realized that we had a chance of being even more competitive this year. We were also able to onboard an assistant coach, which allowed us to get individualized feedback and hold more productive practices.”
The roster for the championship team also includes Lauren Williams ’22, Aurie Greenberg ’22, Elizabeth Wiesgerber ’22, Madison Hugo ’22, Faith Price ’20, Renna Thomas ’21, Maria Giambruno-Fuge ’21, Genevieve McClean ’23, Sara Graham ’23, Layla Ennis ’23, and Leslie Phillips ’23. Team captain Chelsea Caitlin ’21 and Caroline Phillips ’21 are currently studying abroad but were important members of the team last semester.
“Winning this championship has meant so much to me, and I already feel the impact that this had had on campus. We’ve all been getting so many words of congratulations, and it feels awesome to have so much support,” says Thomas. “Starting to play hockey in the first year of Lafayette’s women’s club ice hockey program has taught me a lot about persistence and motivation, and I was lucky to make some really special friends along the way. I hope word of our successful season and incredible team environment continues to spread so we can get more girls back out on the ice!”