Women’s Ice Hockey comes to TU
When sophomore Beth Kennedy and her eight teammates took the ice Sunday, Oct. 20 at the Brigade Sports Complex at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., months of hard work had finally paid off.
What started as an idea had become a reality, and the first ever Women’s Club Ice Hockey Team at Towson was about to play its first game in school history against Navy’s women’s club team.
“We went to the rink and everyone was fine warming up, but I think the last 10 minutes before we got on the ice, everyone was just like, ‘Oh wow,’” Kennedy said. “It hits you that this is our first game. … It makes you feel real good.”
Towson would end up losing 12-8, but the game meant more than just a win or a loss, Kennedy said.
It was another step toward becoming a title contender, such as other club teams at Towson (Rugby, Men’s Ice Hockey, Frisbee).
“That’s one thing we want to mirror,” Kennedy said of the men’s ice hockey program. “They have been so successful and they’ve been around for at least 12 or 13 years. They’ve won championships and they’ve gone to the playoffs. Having their support makes us more excited to get to that point.”
Kennedy’s passion for ice hockey started around 2006 in middle school when she was asked to play during a free skate at a local rink. She took up the offer and began playing defense.
Although she wanted to keep playing during college, Towson did not have a women’s ice hockey program at the time. She joined the women’s rugby team, and as an officer, she learned the ropes of club sports.
With a desire to get back on the ice, Kennedy decided to take matters into her own hands and began the process of bringing a women’s team to the University.
Last February, she began posting flyers around campus and got immediate responses from several women already involved in local club teams.
She then sent out emails to everybody she knew in the hockey world, and people as far as New Jersey responded.
After weeks of recruiting, Kennedy got together a team of nine players, just enough to take the ice.
After assembling the team, Kennedy contacted the president of the Delaware Valley Collegiate Hockey Conference to express her team’s interest in joining the league.
The other members of the league – including Maryland, Navy and Slippery Rock – all voted Towson into the league at the beginning of this past March.
The team then created a letter of intent and a constitution and presented it to the club sports program at Towson, where they were approved and told that they’d begin playing the following semester.
After months of training and preparing for the upcoming season, the team was informed that it might have to wait another week before playing its first game.
Because of the government shutdown, much of Navy’s club sports events had been cancelled.
However, ice hockey dodged the axe and Kennedy and her teammates were told that their first game representing Towson would take place as scheduled.
“We were practicing like we were going to play anyway, so we were even more excited,” Kennedy said. “It was their home opener too, so I think it made everybody ready to go.”
Towson scored the first goal in the back-and-forth contest, but with such a small roster, fatigue took its toll and allowed Navy to get the win.
Towson will play its home opener Saturday at Ice World in Abingdon, Md. against Slippery Rock.
“We are extremely excited,” Kennedy said. “We’re expecting a good amount of people to come out. We’re so excited.”
The game is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.