In just its second season ever, the Georgetown University women’s club hockey team came into the Atlantic Coast Collegiate Hockey League tournament as the first seed with a regular season record of 7-4. The Hoyas lived up to their ranking, clinching the ACC Hockey League W2 Division title in the championship tournament Feb. 17 to 19.
The Hoyas traveled to Winston-Salem, N.C. for the tournament and played their first game against the University of Virginia. Georgetown held UVA off for most of the game, but after a run in the second period, they had to dig deep to hold onto their lead and defeat the Cavaliers 3-2.
“The game against Virginia was a good game to play and set the tone of high competition for the rest of the tournament,” team captain Sofia Kuusisto (SFS ’23) said.
As Georgetown laced up its skates for the championship game, the Hoyas prepared themselves for a familiar foe: North Carolina State University. Last year, they were knocked out in the first round of the divisional tournament by the Wolfpack after an undefeated season, the loss a devastating blow for the team.
With Forward of the Year Aynsley Kaufman (CAS ’23) playing for the Hoyas and the Goalkeeper of the Year playing for N.C. State, the players expected the game to be close. However, Georgetown came out strong and scored 3 unanswered goals in the first half. In the third period, N.C. State scored 2 quick goals, changing the tone of the game. The Hoyas fought back and scored another 2 goals of their own, though, finishing out the game with a score of 5-2.
“Getting to play N.C. State and winning was a vindicating moment,” Vice President Lily Brown (SFS ’23) said.
Brown was unable to be at the tournament, but said she jumped for joy when she heard the news. Overcoming a shallower bench and the challenges of having a younger and less experienced team made the victory even sweeter. Georgetown’s men’s club hockey was there competing and attended the women’s team’s games to support their fellow Hoyas. The team also celebrated with graduates in attendance, who were proud to see the results of their legacy.
Girls who had never stepped out onto the ice, including Sophie Dalfonsi (CAS ’25), received equal playing opportunities and stepped up for the team. Other team members said the joyful, inclusive and productive team atmosphere reignited the love for hockey that many said they lost in high school due to a high-pressure environment.
Addison Basile (CAS ’26) said the no-pressure environment meant players of all skill levels could be equally involved.
“This team is proof that everyone can be included and still be successful,” Basile said.
The team is composed of both undergraduate and graduate students, and players said they developed valuable bonds with their teammates.
“Beyond hockey, my teammates were always there for me to talk about anything,” player Kathryn Lynn (CAS ’26) said.
Kuusisto said she has a lot of pride in the team and its younger players.
“Seeing everyone’s progress and development from October to now was an incredibly valuable experience,” Kuusisto said. “There is a nervousness when you start a program, but I am sure that the underclassmen will make sure the roots that we dug can stay and grow deeper.”
Through weekly late-night practices at a sports complex twenty minutes away from campus, the group of girls was able to develop strong friendships and memories.
Though the team is young, and the program is new, the women’s club hockey team shows signs of a bright future.