Women's Ice Hockey Staff Ready to Help Program Take Next Step
WORCESTER, Mass. – As the associate head coach of the Holy Cross women’s hockey program these last two seasons, Katie Lachapelle knew the transition to Hockey East would not be an easy one. Her experience as an assistant coach at Boston University and as a player at Providence College prepared her for that. Now the Crusaders’ head coach, Lachapelle and the rest of her staff are excited for what the future holds.
“This team has an incredible work ethic and desire to get better and keep moving forward,” Lachapelle said. “They want to help get this program on the map at the next level. If we can continue to build on the foundation we have set, I know that we will keep getting better every year.”
The Crusaders return 19 players from the 2018-19 season and add a talented freshman class on top of that. Rising seniors Hannah Gillis and Victoria Young, along with rising junior Antonia Matzka, will captain the squad for the 2019-20 season. All three played in each of the squad’s 33 games last year and were integral parts of the defensive core.
Two-thirds of the team’s offensive production will be returning as well. Leading scorer and rising senior Rachel Moore, who had seven goals and seven assists for 14 points, will be back, as will rising sophomore Carlie Magier, who was tied for second on the team with six goals and five assists for 11 points.
Assistant coach Maddy Norton, a 2014 graduate and four-year member of the hockey team from Union College, will be entering her fourth season with the Crusaders. She is confident in the returners’ abilities as well as what the incoming freshmen have to offer.
“I’m really looking forward to building off of last season,” Norton said. “We improved so much from the first game to the last, are continuing to get better in the offseason, and have some talent coming in in the fall that we are excited about. I expect year two in Hockey East to be big for us.”
Meredith Roth will take over Lachapelle’s previous role of associate head coach. Roth comes to Holy Cross after serving as the head coach of St. Norbert College’s NCAA Division III women’s hockey team for the last four seasons. Before that, she spent time as an assistant at Providence and Cornell and played for the Friars from 2000-2004, serving as a captain for two seasons.
"I’m hoping my four seasons at St. Norbert will be helpful in relating to and understanding what Coach Lachapelle is going through as she starts her well-deserved journey as head coach,” Roth said. “At the same time, my experience playing and coaching in Hockey East will help me provide guidance to our players and program. It's an incredibly competitive league, and I'm excited to be back in the mix."
Both Lachapelle and Roth have experience at the national level with Team USA and all three of these coaches have the skills and experience to help the program become a contender in Division I. Lachapelle is looking forward to working with this new group, and had extremely high praise for both Norton and Roth.
“Maddy is a tireless worker,” Lachapelle said. “She has really dug in her heels and learned all she can to help our program. She has a great way with the team and is awesome working one-on-one with our players.
“Meredith has a wealth of knowledge and experience that will certainly help. She is a very successful recruiter and will be able to step in right away and help our program grow. She does a tremendous job with skills and she and Maddy will be able to help our team improve right away on the ice.”
Behind the scenes is the team’s Director of Operations Michaela Tosone.
“Michaela is the unsung hero of our staff and just quietly keeps everything moving forward,” Lachapelle said. “She takes care of every tiny detail so that we and the student-athletes don’t ever have to worry about anything. She is ridiculously good at her job and makes all of ours easier.”
Lachapelle, her staff, and the players know nothing will come without hard work and are aware that sustained success is not built overnight. The coming season is sure to be filled with tough practices, matchups against some of the nation’s top-ranked competition, and unexpected twists and turns along the way.
Last season’s highlight victory over then-No. 5 Northeastern will be hard to top, but this group is ready to try.