When most people think about popular sports among collegiate women athletes, ice hockey does not usually come up on the list. However, for a group of five Denison women, this is not the case.
The women’s club ice hockey team is a relatively new club, currently in its fifth year on Denison’s campus after being founded by Courtney Testani ’15 in 2011. The club is now run by its two presidents, Abby Radnitzer ’18 and Eliza Laden-Mauro ‘18, who have been playing competitive ice hockey for 9 and 10 years, respectively.
Since the club is relatively new, they do not compete against teams in the NCAC like other club teams. The women participate in the Newark Women’s Ice Hockey League with about 15 other women from the greater Newark area.
Each Sunday, the team splits up with other members of the league and competes in a one-hour scrimmage at the Newark Ice Arena. According to Radnitzer, it is a good system for the team.
“It’s a nice set up because all we really have to do is register and show up,” says Radnitzer. “We don’t have to worry about scheduling ice time or anything, which also reduces our costs as a club.”
While she enjoys the system, she hopes to expand the team in her coming years on campus. She notes that the ice hockey team was not officially listed on Denison’s official club website until this past year, which could have possibly been a detriment to attracting members.
Despite this setback, the club is doing everything that it can to attract new members, including putting up posters around campus and taking part in the involvement fair each semester.
While Radnitzer and the other members of the club enjoy the current competition in the Newark league, they are striving for much larger goals.
“This year we have two freshmen and three sophomores, so we are a relatively young team which will help with building up our numbers in the coming years,” says Radnitzer. “The league itself is a pretty casual environment to play in, which can be good, but we would like to get to the point where we are playing against more experienced players. It would be great to get to play other college clubs.”
With no coach or formally scheduled ice time, the team does not get a chance to practice drills or refine their skills. Radnitzer hopes that this will change in the upcoming years.
“Once we get more members we would like to reserve some ice time just for our club to run through drills,” she said.
The first game will take place this coming weekend, on Sun., Feb. 7, at the Newark Ice Arena at 8:10 p.m.