By Liam Glass | WVUGo Staff Writer
The newly formed WVU Women’s Hockey team is preparing for their inaugural season this fall. Founded in March by WVU Junior Ashley Osborne, the team held their first Prospect Skate on the 23rd and now sports 15 skaters on the roster. With team members actively pursuing off-season work and an executive board planning events and fundraisers, all that’s left for an exciting first year is filling the roles of goaltender and head coach.
The team looks to enter the Delaware Valley Collegiate Hockey Conference where they’d face off against teams including Saint Joseph’s University, Lafayette College, and the University of Virginia. Their first season is slated to open in November, with 5 home and 5 away games that could stretch into March with additional tournaments.
The team is currently centering their focus on recruitment, as they are actively seeking a goalie and head coach for the team.
“We’re in desperate need of a goalie,” said Osborne, team founder and president. “We’ve garnered a lot of interest in the past few weeks, but that position is one we have to fill.”
As for a coach, they’ve been in talks with WVU Sports Management grad students and are primarily looking for someone with a background in hockey or past experience in coaching. The team is encouraging players of all experience and positions to attend try-outs in September, which should occur right before practices begin.
Besides the coach and goalie search, the focus for now until the fall is fundraising and conditioning. “With Morgantown melting their ice rink for the summer, it’s seemingly impossible to get any ice time for our players that live in town. Be it a private rink built in the area or carpools to rinks in the Pittsburgh area, I’d like for us to get ice time in some way,” said Osborne. Out-of-state students will be looking for personal ice time to hone their skills, while Morgantown players will mostly be seeking off-ice practice and conditioning to prepare for the season. In the meantime, the team’s executive board will be planning fundraising events for the fall, some in correlation with the men’s hockey team or potentially the figure skating team, to offset the individual player cost, as ice time is far from cheap at any location.
The team has a long way to go before their home opener, but the road looks bright for the new team of Mountaineers. “Social media has been a big help in getting the word out, we’ve already had high schoolers looking to play for the team,” said Osborne. “We have a lot of work cut out for us, but I’m mostly looking forward to getting back on the ice with a team of my own.”Be sure to keep an eye out for more news regarding events for the team, and feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.