(Fairfield, CT) – The Sacred Heart Women's Hockey team has announced the nine incoming freshmen they will feature for the 2011-12 season
"We're happy with our incoming class," said head coach Tom O'Malley. "We are excited about the players coming in and challenging for impact positions right away. Filling the skates of the graduating seniors, we're looking for many of our incoming freshman to step in those roles when we face off against the University of Maine."
Alanna Woodford (Scituate, MA) comes to Sacred Heart with what Coach O'Malley calls "a serious hockey background." She was a three-year captain for Scituate High School, where she finished sixth in the state in scoring as an all-league and all-star senior. "She is a very steady player," said O'Malley of his freshman forward.
Briana Connolly (Duxbury, MA) played on the Massachusetts state high school championship team this year at Duxbury High School, where she scored a big goal in the championship game at TD Banknorth Garden. She was named Ice Hockey MVP for the state her senior year and All-League her junior year.
Jaclyn Bria (Shelton, CT) is a local recruit who captained Notre Dame High School. A sound all-around skater with good upside and a hockey background, she predominately played defense, but could possibly play forward.
Catherine Chittick (Hingham, MA) is a defenseman who captained her Hingham High School Division-II Massachusetts State Championship team. She is a tall blue-liner with god character, as evidenced by her winning the MIAA & Boston Bruins Sportsmanship Award, the Hockey Night in Boston Leadership & Dedication Award, the Mulloy Sportsmanship Award, and the Hobey Baker Character Award.
Melissa Robbins (Nashua, NH) comes to SHU from Nashua High School from a hockey-oriented family (her father Jim played at Providence) with an aggressive, speedy, and strong style of play at the forward position.
Breanna Simon comes from Shattuck St. Mary's High School in Faribault, Minnesota, where she played five years starting at 13 years old. She also played on the U-16 team, moving up to the U-19 team at 16 years old, winning the National Championship for all of Women's Hockey U-19 in 2011. Before that, she won the Wisconsin State Championship games two years running before joining the U-16 team at SSM. A forward with a strong defensive style of play, she is known for an unmatchable work ethic with high upside.
Meaghan Souza (Wilmington, MA) is a solid, quick, aggressive, and skilled player who built the reputation of playing hard on either forward or defense at Pingree School, where she was named Easton Independent League MVP her senior year. She also is a two time-all league selection in both hockey and lacrosse and has trained at the US National Camps.
Alex Davis (Pembroke, MA) was hockey captain at Pembroke High School, where she was named All-Scholastic All-League as a senior. She also played on Massachusetts State Championship Bay State Breakers in 2008, and displays what O'Malley calls "a maturity and hard-nosed quality."
Natasha Klinoff, who went to Soutfield School, "is an aggressive play-maker and goal-scorer," said O'Malley.
Alexis Molotky (Zeeland, MI) is a goaltender who played on Team West Michigan (an All Star Midget Major Boys team) and won the MDHL League title. She played with the Grand Rapids Griffins Boys teams from squirt major through midgets including this past year, helping backstop her team to an International Silver Stick Tournament Championship. Other teams that Molotky has played for include the U 19 LC State Championship Team and the the Little Caesars U19 Tier One Women's Team, who were State Champions and National Quarterfinalists.
Emy Albert (Duluth, MN) is a tall forward who is expected to a be a playmaker with a good shot and hockey sense.
Finally, Gianna DeSisto, a transfer who comes to SHU after stops at both UMASS-Boston and Massasoit Community College, is a forward who was named a 2008 All-Star for Whitman-Hanson High School.
The Pioneers begin their season on September 23-24 with a two-game series at Maine.