This semester, the William Smith Women’s Club Ice Hockey team competed against St. Lawrence, Rome, SUNY Geneseo, and SUNY Oswego. Established in the late 1980s, the team has been experiencing a resurgence since the early 2000s. Gretchen Sword ’06, a member of the team during this time, describes the evolving program as a product of the dedication of a few women who were devoted and passionate about ice hockey.
“Initially we had a lot of practices and only a few games. Within a few years, the first-year women started to up the ante,” says Sword. “In 2002, the program began competing consistently with a roster of 12 women under the guidance of Alumni Director Jared Weeden ’91 and Associate Professor of Chemistry Christine deDenus. Now, in 2009, there has been an increased interest in the program and the roster stands at more than 20 athletes participating in the program.
Under the guidance of Casey Peterson, director of development at Alumni House, and Skylar Beaver ’08 who played while attending William Smith, the team is progressing more than ever.
“Each year we are seeing more and more skilled players joining the team,” says Beaver. “We’ve come a long way. The program is becoming a draw for William Smith, young women are now aware that our team exists.”