Women's Ice Hockey and their Record Breaking Season

By Madeleine Cerone

After this year, there won’t be a soul at Hamilton College that asks “We have a Women’s Ice Hockey team? Since when?”

Hamilton College’s Women’s Ice Hockey team completed their best season in history this year after making it to the semifinals of the NCAA Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Championship on an at-large bid. The team is placed second in Division III Women’s Ice Hockey and ranked 6th nationally. The team took home several awards including a NESCAC Coach of the Year award and an American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) Division III Coach of the Year award for coach Emily McNamara. She is the first coach from Hamilton to receive this award, and only the second woman to receive it in the 23 years it has been offered. 

Our players earned some incredible honors as well. NESCAC Player of the Year award was given to Defender Abby Kuhns, who was also named an AHCA All-American. Forward Nancy Loh was also named AHCA All-Americans, and was appointed to the first NESCAC all-conference team. Goalie Evie Sheridan, a freshman at Hamilton this year, was appointed to the second NESCAC all-conference team. The Continentals won a record 22 games this season. Go team!

Not only did these wonderful women athletes make history in their own lives and for the college, but also for women athletes everywhere. Ice hockey is one of the contact sports that allow women the chance to play in much the same way as men do. For football and even lacrosse, this is not always the case. In historically male dominated sports, like hockey, it can be challenging for women to get the chance to play and demonstrate their skills.

When asked about what they might say to a young woman struggling to find their way onto a women’s hockey team, the captains of Hamilton’s Women’s Ice Hockey were overwhelmingly supportive. They expressed that there will always be adversity, wherever you go, but that hockey can serve as an outlet and a catalyst for change. “The women’s hockey community and the way players accept each other and form bonds are stronger than any adversity you may face,” Nancy Loh, forward and captain of the team explained. Abby Kuhns, defender and the other team captain for the team, expressed that facing and overcoming the challenges that come with your gender identity is a way to create a path for younger women to follow in their footsteps. “You should never stop pushing forward because that is how change happens,” Abby says. 

Overall, Hamilton College is lucky to have a women’s team that cultivates such great experiences, values, positive change, and people. Abby has nothing but gratitude for her time spent on the team. “I strongly believe as more time goes by I will only continue to reflect upon how lucky I am to have been on this team… it has helped shape me into the person I am today,” said Abby. Nancy also shared that she is always so proud when someone notices her Hamilton Hockey apparel to tell them that she is a member of the team. “We truly earned every opportunity we had over the years, especially this season,” Nancy told me. “And it took every single member of the team to get there”. 

Congratulations, Hamilton Women’s Ice Hockey 2023!

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