Women’s ice hockey comes to Rowan

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
Thomas “Pops” Ryan had an idea.

Ryan, the current head coach of Rowan’s Division III club ice hockey team, wanted to see Rowan get a club that very few schools in the area have: a women’s ice hockey team.

The challenge was finding a student to start it.

While proposing the club to a graduating senior who could not commit, Ryan finally found that interested person. Alesha DeBose, a junior writing arts major who serves as a manager for the men’s team, overheard Ryan’s conversation and volunteered.

Now what started out as just an idea has become a reality.

The club team has been accepted to the Delaware Valley Collegiate Hockey Conference, the same Conference that Ryan’s men’s team plays in.

The team will play a 20-game schedule, beginning in October, against schools such as St. Joseph’s University, the University of Maryland, the University of Virginia and Rutgers-New Brunswick. The club’s inaugural season begins in October.

“I thought it was a great leadership opportunity,” DeBose said. “I think this opens up more diverse opportunities for women here on campus.”

DeBose, who has noexperience playing ice hockey, will serve as the team’s president.

She isn’t the only student with no playing experience to join the club. Rachel Ferrante, a freshman elementary education and English major, will serve as an assistant captain and will be playing ice hockey for the first time. She was a manager for the men’s team last season.

“Alesha was saying she was putting this team together,” Ferrante said. “She was just doing it for the school and because she thought it was necessary, not that she plays and I thought that was really great.”

Ferrante and other first-time players will be under the leadership of Laura Gedrimas, a sophomore chemical engineering major who played for the St. Joseph’s women’s team last year. Gedrimas attends Rowan, but was allowed to play for St. Joseph’s because Rowan did not have a women’s ice hockey team.

Gedrimas said she played competitively in high school. She will serve as the team captain.

“I feel like the first season will be more about distinguishing the team and making it [a] known team and teaching people how to play,” Gedrimas said. “I get really excited when girls want to play hockey because it was such a big part of my life growing up and I wish a lot of people could have experienced it, too.”

Team practices will begin during the second week of the 2013 fall semester.

 

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