|The new women's ice hockey club will benefit from Katie Vaughan being left off of the NCAA roster.|
The first players to skate for the newly-formed ACHA D2 women's hockey club have been posted to the ACHA's website.
Defenders (7) Yr. No. Hometown
Nina Elia Fr. 5 Skaneateles, NY
Georgia Foulds Fr. 7 Monmouth Jct., NJ
Lisa Frank So. 23 Hopewell, NJ
Amanda Krakovitz Fr. 35 Penn Valley, PA
Allie Rothman Jr. 20 West Chester, PA
Ashton Schaffer So. 9 Midlothian, TX
Tara Soukup Fr. 19 Pittsburgh, PA
Forwards (6) Yr. No. Hometown
Devon Fisk Fr. 15 West Chester, PA
McKenzie Kirk So. 22 Jamestown, PA
Jacqueline Saideh Fr. 8 Concord, MA
Carly Szyszko Jr. 14 Bensalem, PA
Mary Kate Tonetti So. 6 West Chester, PA
Alex Warren-Caldwell So. 18 Arlington, MA
Goaltenders (2) Yr. No. Hometown
Sarah Eisenhut So. 31 Lansing, NY
Katie Vaughan Jr. 1 Pittsburgh, PA
While 15 players might seem a little light, it's not at all out of line with the competition. Defending D2 national champ Wisconsin-Stout carries a roster of 16. West Chester and California (PA), two known opponents for the coming season, have 15 and 18, respectively. Rules differences from women's D1 include "recommended" 17-minute periods with a "minimum" of 12, down from 20, which of course minimizes the need for a huge roster.
Several of the names, including Frank, Rothman, Schaffer, Szyszko, Tonetti, Eisenhut and Vaughan are familiar from last season's Lady Icers team that won the ECWHL regular season championship. Vaughan, as she was with the Lady Icers, will likely be counted on heavily to ensure the team's success against more established outfits. Notably Tonetti, the club's president and a former goalie herself, will play forward to help address the team's thinnest position.
|Freshman Tara Soukup was an alternate captain at Baldwin High School.|
The newcomers are quite capable as well, though. Warren-Caldwell (who actually started last season with the Lady Icers) and Saideh both earned honors for their high school play in the ultra-competitive Boston hockey market. Soukup was an alternate captain for her boys high school team in suburban Pittsburgh. Foulds has been to the USA Hockey national championships with both the New Jersey Rockets (Tier I) and Hershey Jr. Bears (Tier II) - and in fact, scored the goal that got the Bears there in 2011. Kirk comes from the Behrend campus where she played water polo (not necessarily related to hockey, but awesome nevertheless), while Fisk is a six-time invitee to Atlantic District Select Camps.
Even as a first-year team, the women will be eligible for the six-team D2 national tournament, which will be held in Washington, DC this season. The full schedule has not yet been posted, but from the submissions of opponents to the ACHA website, we do have the following:
Sat. 6 at California (PA), 6:10 p.m.
Sun. 7 at California (PA), 2:00 p.m.
Fri. 14 vs. TBA, 8:00 p.m.
Sat. 26 at West Chester, 5:15 p.m.
Sun. 27 at West Chester, 12:45 p.m.
Sat. 9 at Buffalo (ACHA D1), 6:00 p.m.
Sun. 10 at Buffalo (ACHA D1), 12:00 p.m.
Thur. 7 at ACHA D2 National Tournament (Washington, DC), TBD
Fri. 8 at ACHA D2 National Tournament (Washington, DC), TBD
Sat. 9 at ACHA D2 National Tournament (Washington, DC), TBD