Women’s hockey league expands
Marian (Wisconsin) will become the eighth women’s team in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association when the Sabres take the ice for the first time in fall 2009.
League members voted last week to approve the new varsity program’s application to join the league, which began competition in 2000-01.
The sport will be the 15th offered by Marian, which has sponsored men’s ice hockey since 1995.
“The NCHA is very excited that Marian University is instituting a women’s varsity hockey program,” said league Commissioner Bill Kronschnabel. “We are happy to see and assist with the continued growth of women’s college hockey, and look forward to Marian being a valued member of the conference.”
The creation of a varsity program at Marian would boost sponsorship of women’s ice hockey in Division III to 48 schools. Division III has sponsored a championship for Division III women’s ice hockey since 2002.
The addition of Marian marks the third time the NCHA’s women’s division has expanded. It began play with five members – Lake Forest, Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Wisconsin-River Falls, Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Wisconsin-Superior— then added Finlandia in 2003 and Concordia (Wisconsin) in 2005.
“Marian University is excited by the decision by the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association to admit our new women’s hockey program into the league,” said Marian President Josephina Castillo Baltodano. “The NCHA is the premier Division III league in the country and it is a privilege to become a part of it.”
“Student-athletes at Marian are successful academically” she continued. “They graduate at a high rate and they contribute greatly to the quality of social life on campus. The addition of women’s hockey provides the university with another opportunity for women students to participate in a competitive sport, which adds value to our already strong athletics program.”
Like Marian’s men, the women will play in the Blue Line Family Ice Center in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Marian’s men’s team plays in the Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association.HCJJo
© 2010 The National Collegiate Athletic Association