NEW HAVEN, Conn. – As the Yale women's ice hockey team looks to build on the momentum from three ECAC Hockey playoff appearances in the last four years, seven incoming freshmen will join the Bulldogs in 2017-18. The Class of 2021, which was announced Thursday, includes four forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender. The group represents four U.S. states, one Canadian province and the District of Columbia.
The incoming Bulldogs have had many accomplishments on the ice, including one who won a pair of National Championships in high school (forward Rebecca Foggia (Rumson, N.J.) with Shattuck-St. Mary's). They have racked up impressive statistics, such as 106 points in 70 high school games for forward Tess Dettling (Wilmette, Ill.). They have served in leadership roles, with three having been captains or assistant captains of teams, and have taken on initiatives such as co-founding the high school hockey team (goaltender Gianna Meloni (Washington, D.C.)).
The incoming freshmen have also excelled at other sports, including one who has played for the U.S. in multiple roller hockey World Championships (defenseman Christina Kao (Huntington Beach, Calif.)). And they have been active in their communities -- for example, defenseman Lauren Moriyama (Toronto, Ont.) has volunteered for the Daily Bread Food Bank and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
The Class of 2021 has also displayed great academic prowess, with one member (forward Greta Skarzynski (Lake Forest, Ill.)) earning the HPHL Academic Excellence award four times and winning her school's William E. Kelly award for the highest GPA on the team over four years.
The incoming freshmen join a program that is entering its eighth year under Joakim Flygh, Yale's Susan Cavanagh Head Coach of Women's Ice Hockey. In 2017-18 the Bulldogs return nine forwards and five defensemen who played in 25 or more games, plus a pair of goalies who totaled 26 starts.
Here is a look at the incoming Bulldogs:
Minnesota Whitecaps, Minnesota Elite Team
Blake School: Hobey Baker High School Character Award … Hockey team captain as a senior … Minnesota State High School League all-state and all-conference … Wells Fargo 2016 Minnesota State All-Tournament team … Led team with 25 goals and had 24 assists … Team won Minnesota State Championship 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 (runner-up 2015) … Team won Minnesota Section 5 Championship all five years she played (2013-2017) … Played on a line with Jordan Chancellor, who is now her teammate at Yale … Lacrosse team captain as a senior … Lacrosse team placed third and second in the Minnesota State High School League in 2015 and 2016, respectively … Awarded Blake School's Brano Stankovsky Character Award.
Minnesota Elite Team: Fifth place in 2016 USA U19 Hockey National Championship Tournament.
Notes: Plays cello … Enjoys snowboarding as well as canoe trips in the Boundary Waters … For five years, has been an active volunteer at The Minneapolis Children's Hospital … Also raised local awareness against sex trafficking in Minnesota: in 2016, with support of head of sex trafficking unit of the Minneapolis Police Department, organized a fundraiser to raise awareness about sex trafficking and raise funds for a local shelter for victims … Has volunteered at The Link, which works on overall sex trafficking prevention and also houses victims in Minneapolis … Hosted a screening of "I am Jane Doe", a movie representing the realities of sex trafficking, to further public awareness and raise funds for a separate local shelter … Younger sister, Addie, will graduate high school in 2020 and has committed to play hockey for University of Minnesota … Mother swam for University of Texas and was captain of a three-time NCAA Championship team.
Why Yale? "I chose Yale because I appreciated the unique and challenging opportunities offered by both the academic and athletic programs. The connection I felt with the culture of the team and coaching staff, in addition to Yale's impressive academic resources, facilities and faculty, lead me to the unequivocal decision to become a Bulldog."
Loyola Academy: Led team to four straight state championships finals, including 2016 state championship … Four-time Illinois all-state team selection … 2017 Blackhawk Alumni Award All-Star Team ... Tallied 106 points during 70 high school games … Was also on sailing team.
Chicago Mission: Four-time HPHL All honors academic honoree … Three-time state and regional champions 2015-17 … 2017 Nationals runners-up.
Notes: Has worked at Wilmette Harbor.
Why Yale? "To be able to play hockey at the highest level while attending one of the best universities in the world is a dream come true. It was an opportunity I couldn't pass up."
Shattuck St. Mary's
Shattuck St. Mary's: Won two National Championships … In addition to ice hockey, played lacrosse and soccer.
Why Yale? "I chose Yale because it offers both competitive athletics and academics."
Huntington Beach, Calif.
USA Hockey: USA Hockey National Development Camp 2015, 2016.
California Wave: Lady Ducks Fall Classic Champions 2014 … MLK San Jose Classic Champions 2015 … Pacific Districts Champions 2015 and 2016.
Roller Hockey: FIRS World Championships in Toulouse, France, for Team USA 18u 2014 … FIRS World Championships in Huntington Beach, Calif., for Team USA 2013.
Notes: Did not start playing ice hockey until 12 years old … Had played roller hockey prior to that, and still participates in roller hockey tournaments and events … Shadowed Dr. Michelle Thai at St. Jude Medical Center Department of Psychology starting in 2016, observing different branches of hospital … Assistant Chess Director at Mundy Community Center starting in 2014, helping set up and run chess tournaments along with teaching children chess note-taking, skills and time management … Operation Christmas Child Volunteer 2015, 2016 -- volunteered for Samaritan's Purse humanitarian aid organization; helped package shoeboxes of toys and necessities for children in Africa … Interests include traveling, sports, art, baking, cooking, reading, volunteering and leadership … Older brother Christopher Kao is also an Ivy Leaguer -- attends Penn and is double majoring in computer science and business (Wharton).
Why Yale? "Yale appeals to me in the sense that they can offer so much in just four years; it comes with a great academic challenge, the nice feeling of home, and it is the obvious, best place for me to grow to my highest potential with the challenges I will face. Specifically, Yale's outstanding psychology department would tremendously improve my understanding in this field for me to further move along my path to my profession."
Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School
USA Hockey: Attended 2014 USA Hockey U18 National Development Camp.
Georgetown Visitation: Co-founding member of Georgetown Visitation Ice Cubs hockey team.
Washington Pride: Assistant captain 2016-17 … Junior Women's Hockey League Goaltender of the Year 2016-17 … .950 save percentage, 1.76 GAA and one assist 2016-17 … JWHL First Team All-Star 2016-17 … Led league in games played (23) and shutouts (12 overall) 2016-17 … Named JWHL Second Team All-Star 2014 and 2015 … Selected for JWHL All-Star Game 2014, 2015 and 2017 … Team won 2015-16 JWHL Championship.
Notes: Volunteer on-ice mentor for Montgomery Cheetahs Special Hockey Club … Enjoys playing hacky sack … Poetry enthusiast … Amateur harmonicist … Member of Société Honoraire de Français … Other Ivy Leaguers in family -- grandfather and great uncle attended Harvard.
Why Yale? "I chose Yale because I could picture myself being challenged academically, refined athletically, and inspired daily; I wanted Yale to be the place to help me define myself for four more years."
Bishop Strachan School
Toronto Junior Aeros
Hockey Canada: Invited to OWHA Team Ontario U18 selection camp 2016.
Bishop Strachan School: Team MVP 2016-17 … Team was CISAA Silver Medalist 2013-14 … Varsity Hockey 2012-17 … Captain 2016-17 … Assistant Captain 2015-16 … Also was on softball (2017), track and field (2015) and ultimate Frisbee (2014) teams … CISAA junior 400m Champion 2015 … Bishop Strachan School Silver Service Learning Pin (100+ service hours) … Middle School Mentor for 2015-16 school year … Elected to Sports Council 2014-17.
Toronto Junior Aeros: Seventh on team in regular season with 14 points (2-12-14) … Second on team in points among defensemen … First on team in power play points (0-4-4) … Team was PWHL Silver Medalist 2017 … Team had best goals-against average in regular season … Captain of Toronto Midget Aeros in 2015-16 (OWHA Provincial Silver Medalist 2016).
Mimico Mountaineers Women's Field Lacrosse: Captain of Mimico Mountaineers U19 lacrosse team 2017 … Ruby Lang Award for Outstanding Player Performance in the Mimico Minor Girls Field Program 2015 … Ontario Women's Field Lacrosse Provincial U19 Champions 2016 … Ontario Women's Field Lacrosse Provincial U19 Bronze Medalist 2015 … Ontario Summer Games Women's Field Lacrosse Bronze Medalist 2014.
Notes: Volunteer at Daily Bread Food Bank … Volunteer for Heart and Stroke Foundation … Brother, Michael, plays field lacrosse for University of Western Ontario and won National Lacrosse Championship in 2017.
Why Yale? "From the moment I first visited Yale, I fell in love with its rich architecture, amazing atmosphere, and the residential school system. The opportunity to be a part of an excellent athletic program and receive an education at Yale is unparalleled."
Lake Forest, Ill.
USA Hockey: USA Hockey 2014 National Camp Participant … USA Hockey Select 66 Participant 2015 and 2016.
Loyola Academy: Varsity hockey 2016-2017 … Illinois all-state team 2016-2017 … 17 points in 19 games played … William E. Kelly award for highest GPA on the team over four years ... Team was 2017 state runners-up … Led homeroom class in 2015 and 2016 during Gonzaga Christmas Drive by collecting nonperishable food items and donations to buy gifts for families in need.
Chicago Mission: Four-time HPHL Academic Excellence award winner … HPHL Champion 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 … State Champion 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 … Regional Champion 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 … National semi-finalist 2014, 2016.
Notes: Turcotte stick-handling instructor during summer 2013-2016 … Uncle played four years of football for Yale and graduated in 1981 … Mother played four years of varsity tennis at University of Chicago … Brother, Luke, played hockey at Middlebury College … Sister, Sophie, plays hockey at University of Minnesota.
Why Yale? "I chose Yale because it has academics second to none with endless research opportunities in addition to an amazing hockey program with great coaches."
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity