Assumption Women’s Ice Hockey Plays First Game in Program History

Oct 03, 2023

The Assumption Greyhounds Women’s Ice Hockey team made history last Friday night at the Worcester Ice Center as they officially dropped the puck in their inaugural NCAA season. 

In 2022, Assumption University and the New England Women’s Hockey Alliance (NEWHA) announced the Greyhounds Women’s Ice Hockey team had accepted an offer to join the conference and begin competing at the NCAA Division I level starting in the fall of 2023. The team had previously competed exclusively as a Blue & White club sport since 2019.

On September 29, the dream that had been years in the making finally became a reality when the team played its first NCAA game in program history against the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers. 

“It’s amazing to be a part of this first team,” captain Sheridan Terrazzano, a business management major from the class of 2025, said. “It’s also nerve-wracking because we get to build something that started from nothing.”

Terrazzano scored the first goal in program history early in the second period off an assist from teammate Caroline Lilley, a member of the class of 2027.

“I don’t know if I can even find the words to describe the feeling. I was thrilled…and knowing we got that first goal out of the way, was sort of a relief,” Terrazzano said. “It didn’t matter who had gotten that goal, it was just the fact that we had gotten it as a team.”

President Greg Weiner drops the ceremonious puck to start the first game in AU women's ice hockey history

“This was a truly special moment for the University and our athletics department,” Eric Gobiel, Director of Athletics, said. “The inaugural game was years in the making and was the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication by our student athletes, coaches, and staff. While we are just beginning this new era of NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey, we are extremely excited for the future of this program and what they will accomplish this year and in the years to come.”

To honor the first game in program history, along with the start of the women’s ice hockey season for Assumption, President Greg Weiner dropped the ceremonial first puck in front of the spirited family weekend crowd at the Worcester Ice Center. 

“The support from the community has been great,” Terrazzano said. “A lot of the parents from our team were there, along with the entire men’s hockey team. There were also players from other Worcester teams as well; it wasn’t only the Assumption community supporting us, but the Worcester community as well.”

Head Coach Jack Sweeney also emphasized the importance of community, saying that being on campus and being able to create a strong community within a women’s ice hockey program was what drew him to take on the head coach position in the first place. Prior to his role at Assumption, Sweeney worked in several hockey coaching and administration positions throughout the Northeast, including as Director of Operations for the Eastern Hockey Federation

“Having worked in New England, I knew Assumption and the strength of its community,” Sweeney said. “I wanted to be able to connect with my players and have those strong relationships, and this was a fantastic opportunity for me to get exactly what I was looking for.”

As captain, Terrazzano says her primary focus is on establishing a positive culture and inspiring the future of the program.

“It’s about the future teams and the future players that are going to come here,” she said. “I want to show the first-years on the team what it means to be an upperclassman on a Division I team and everything that comes with that, and how they need to someday be the upperclassmen that are going to continue to build this team.”

Coach Sweeney echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing how he hopes the team will not only impact future Assumption players, but will inspire more girls in the Worcester community to play the game as well.

“If we’re not advocating for the youth, we’re not helping to grow the game,” Sweeney said. “I want our team to be part of the developmental process for young girls so that they can aspire to not only play at the highest level, but also have a great experience playing.”

Sweeney’s emphasis on players’ mental health and creating a great experience for players is what drew Terrazzano, who transferred to Assumption this summer, to this team.

“The support that [Sweeney] was already giving me before I had even committed was a level of support I had never gotten before,” she said. “He really sold me on the fact that this team was going to be exactly what I wanted.”

“The importance of this program cannot be overstated,” Sweeney said. “Assumption University adding this program opens the door for twenty-five more women to live their dream of playing Division I college hockey.”

The Women’s Ice Hockey team will next face off against Dartmouth College on Tuesday, October 10, at 7:00pm in Hanover, New Hampshire. The next home game for the Greyhounds will be on Saturday, October 21, at 7:10pm against the Post University Eagles. View the full schedule here.