For most Saint Joseph’s University incoming freshmen, participating in club sports is involvement enough for them. But when Therese D'Allegro ’13 realized that there wasn’t a women’s ice hockey team on campus, she took action.
“Since St. Joe’s didn’t have a team, I took it upon myself to start it,” she said.
Now in its inaugural season, the women’s ice hockey team has been two years in the making. As president and founder, D'Allegro has secured funding, ice time, coaching, interest, and placement in a regional conference for the club.
But it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. In her freshman year, D'Allegro secured initial funding from the school to afford the club ice time, but due to low and inconsistent interest, she had to postpone plans to join the Delaware Valley Collegiate Hockey Conference (DVCHC), a regional club conference.
D'Allegro called it a discouraging experience, but she persisted.
Last year, the women’s ice hockey team grew in size to 16 skaters, holding 9 practices. The team participated in a club invitational tournament at the United States Naval Academy, and was voted into the DVCHC over the summer.
This year, the Hawks have an 8-game schedule with a full host of weekly practices. D'Allegro has had the opportunity to watch teammates transition from beginners, some who required the boards for support, to full-fledged hockey players centering pucks and having fun.
“We’ve been getting so much better; each game we score more goals,” she said.
D'Allegro’s experience with Saint Joseph’s club sports has allowed her to continue playing the sports she grew up on without the restrictions of varsity athletics. Through her involvement with the women’s ice hockey team, she has gained a sense of community and come to love and appreciate Saint Joseph’s even more.
“The school gave me an opportunity and I was able to make it grow,” she said. “I’m glad I did it, it’s been a lot of fun.”
The women’s ice hockey team will complete the second half of its schedule next semester and looks to continue to improve in every practice and game. And D'Allegro looks forward to her remaining three undergraduate semesters left with the team.
“It hasn’t really sunk in that we’re a team, I don’t think it will until I graduate,” D'Allegro said.
Saint Joseph’s University campus programs and activities are made possible through the funding and support of alumni, parents, and friends. To help make more stories like Therese D'Allegro’s possible, consider making a donation to the Saint Joseph’s Fund today.