|Rachel Cole is a product of the strong Steel City Selects program|
Penn State Lady Ice Lions coach Patrick Fung has announced that four student-athletes have joined the squad for the fall semester and the 2015-16 season. They are Jordan Chiavacci (Wyoming, PA), Rachel Cole (Wexford, PA), Rachel Lee (Binghamton, NY) and Sophie Paolizzi (West Chester, PA).
Forward | Shoots Right | Wyoming, PA
Prior to Penn State
Chiavacci has a rather unconventional playing background as she is largely a self-made player: she took up the game in high school and developed very quickly through a combination of skills camps, private coaches, house leagues and unwavering passion. Chiavacci does have plenty of sports background though, as she was a setter on the volleyball team at Penn State Wilkes-Barre as a freshman and sophomore. In her first year at that campus, she was named academic all-league by the Penn State University Athletic Conference before helping the team improve its winning percentage by 0.312 last season. At Wyoming Area High School, she was a star soccer goalkeeper, winning Wyoming Valley Conference MVP honors as a senior.
Jordan Marie Chiavacci was born on October 23, 1994 in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Her parents are Maria and Michael Alba, and she has a brother who is also named Michael Alba. She is majoring in kinesiology with the goal of entering the fields of physical therapy and sports medicine.
Fung on Chiavacci
"Jordan is a junior transfer from Penn State Wilkes-Barre who picked up hockey recently. She skated with several boys and men's teams prior to arriving at University Park, and has developed remarkably. Tough and hard working, we expect great things with a full season in a team system here."
Forward | Shoots Right | Wexford, PA | Steel City Selects U19
Prior to Penn State
Cole developed a reputation as an intelligent, responsible and skilled forward in the Steel City Selects organization with both the U19 and U16 squads, as she and her teams made consecutive trips to the USA Hockey Tier 2 national championships in 2013 and 2014. The first came in the U16 age group by upsetting the North Hills Vipers 2-0 for the Mid-Am District championship, with Cole scoring both of the contest's goals. As a U19 player, she joined eventual Lady Ice Lions teammates Tarika and Emma Embar for the 2014 run, which featured a win over the Armstrong Arrows for the district title.
Rachel Marie Cole was born on August 7, 1996 in Pittsburgh, PA to Edward and Norenne Cole and has two sisters, Hannah and Kathryn. She intends to pursue a science degree and attend medical school following her undergraduate studies. Edward Cole played hockey for Villanova University's former NCAA Division III program, graduating in 1991, while uncle Brian Cole is a 1984 Penn State graduate and cousin Ryan Cole presently attends PSU. In addition to her academic prowess as an award-winning high schooler finishing in the top 10 percent of her class, Cole is an expert in Irish dance, having participated in it for a decade.
Fung on Cole
"Rachel is an athletic forward with great academics who was accepted very early last year, and is a hard-working, gritty player with USA Hockey Nationals experience as a member of the Steel City Selects. She has a great combination of size, skill and hockey smarts that will contribute more and more as the season goes on."
Defense | Shoots Right | Binghamton, NY | Binghamton Blizzard U19
Prior to Penn State
Lee played in the Binghamton Blizzard organization on both the U16 and U19 teams, along with fellow Lady Ice Lion Kelly Watson. The Blizzard U16s qualified for the New York State Amateur Hockey Association tournament in 2011-12, a final step before qualifying for the USA Hockey national championships.
Rachel Elisabeth Lee was born on April 19, 1997 in Binghamton, NY to Robert and Lisa Lee. She has a brother, Jason, and a sister, Jennifer, and intends to major in biomedical engineering - eventually with the goal of designing prosthetic devices for a living. Lee was a great student at Union-Endicott High School, as she spent two years in National Honor Society before graduating summa cum laude. She also played on the tennis team for four years in addition to her hockey exploits.
Fung on Lee
"Rachel was a former teammate of sophomore Kelly Watson with the Binghamton Blizzard. Although she took some time off to concentrate on other sports last year, she has returned to ice hockey. With some time to get back into skating shape, we expect her to continue to develop quickly as a versatile player who can play both forward and defense."
Forward | Shoots Left | West Chester, PA | West Chester East HS
Prior to Penn State
Paolizzi skated for West Chester East High School where, as a senior, she was named an All-Area Honorable Mention by the (Chester County) Daily Local News. She was also an Inter-County Scholastic Hockey League all-star selection while putting up 10 points to rank third on the eventual Flyers Cup runners-up, with all but two coming in an eight-game stretch between December 6, 2014 and February 5, 2015. Over her high school career, she averaged better than half a point per game (35 points, 64 games) while serving as a captain for three years.
Sophie Germaine Paolizzi was born on February 28, 1997 in West Chester, PA to Vince and Celeste Paolizzi (the latter a 1983 Penn State graduate) and has an older brother Vinnie, as well as a younger sister Katie. She intends to major in psychology and is an outstanding student - she was a National Merit Commended Scholar in high school and will be participating in PSU's Paterno Fellows Program, a well-rounded and rigorous joint venture of the College of the Liberal Arts and the Schreyer Honors College.
Fung on Paolizzi
"Sophie is another standout academic who was admitted early last year. She grew up a neighbor of former Lady Ice Lions alternate captain Allie Rothman, who also coached her at West Chester East High School last season. A very coachable, talented multi sport athlete and the daughter of a Penn Stater, we expect to see great development out of Sophie as the year progresses."
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