Women’s club hockey team earns more notice
Published: Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 02:10
After starting off the season 3-0-1, the Miami University women’s club ice hockey continues to enhance its status as one of the best club sports programs that Miami has to offer. This is astounding to think about since the club has only been in existence since the 2010-2011 season.
In the spring of 2010, Natalie Dillon, Jess Wood and Liz Wardlow, who all had wanted women’s club hockey at the school, approached Miami administrators. Miami accepted their offer and went about searching for a head coach for the fledgling program. It was decided that Scott Hicks was the best candidate for the job with his 22 years of hockey experience as a player, coach,and official, as well as working under Miami men’s varsity ice hockey coaches Steve Cady, Bill Davidge and Enrico Blasi.
The 2010-2011 season had some growing pains for the RedHawks, as they went 1-6 in seven exhibition matchups. However, having fielded a team earned them respect in the women’s hockey community and Miami joined the Central Collegiate Women’s Hockey Association (CCWHA) following the season, a conference that includes Ohio State University, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Western Michigan University.
In the first season in the conference, Miami showed it belonged in the ranks of elite programs as it knocked off the University of Buffalo, Colorado State University and Ohio State in the Buffalo Invitational Tournament on its way to a sixth place finish in the CCWHA and a national ranking of 13. Wood and Channing Abhe were named honorable mention All-Americans following the season.
Last season, the RedHawks had a record of 12-12-5-1 and earned the distinction of being the 12th ranked team in the country. Abhe earned Second Team All-American honors in the 2012-2013 season along with being named to the All-CCWHA First Team with Morgan McGrath and received a place on the All-Tournament Team. McGrath was recently named to Team USA for the World University Games.
The rise of women’s hockey at Miami also mirrors the rapid growth in the sport that has occurred in the past couple of decades. In 1990-1991, there were 2,700 participants in women’s hockey according to a count by USA Hockey; today, the International Ice Hockey Federation states there are 66,692 women hockey players in the U.S. and they are ranked second in the world while the men’s world ranking is seventh.
The women’s ice hockey club has come a long way since its inception and this can be seen at the games at the Goggin Ice Center. The women play with a passion for their sport that cannot be duplicated and the fans are as rabid as they are at the men’s games. The team’s success, without a shadow of a doubt, will continue to grow as the interest increases in the team throughout campus.