|Cassie Dunne now wears a letter for both Penn State and Team USA|
Senior defenseman Cassie Dunne has been named a co-captain of the 2017 U.S. National University Team, USA Hockey announced early Sunday morning, just before its World University Games tournament-opening contest against Russia.
Adrian's Jessie Rushing will also wear the C for Team USA, while Miami's Katie Augustine is an alternate.
For Dunne, the honor is particularly noteworthy in light of the fact that Team USA includes three returning players who also were members of the 2015 edition of the national university team, as well as six others who have played for one of the current squad's assistant coaches, Miami's Scott Hicks and Adrian's Brett Berger, in college. The Penn Stater, meanwhile, was a relative unknown to the staff prior to last month's World University Games selection camp, but one who has quickly impressed with her leadership skills.
The Women's Ice Hockey Club president's on-ice skills, of course, were already pretty old news to most. Her precise role as the 2017 World University Games unfold is still to be determined by head coach Shelley Looney and assistants Berger and Hicks, of course. However, at the selection camp, Dunne saw a drastic uptick in usage as things proceeded, notably including time on Team USA's penalty kill units.
Past Team USA captains have included Ashley Rumsey (Grand Valley State) in 2011, Ramey Weaver (Robert Morris) in 2013 and Monica Korzon (Michigan) in 2015. Emily Nelson (Michigan) and Shea Crawford (Lindenwood) were the alternate captains in 2011, while Paige Harrington (Massachusetts) and Hayley Williams (Robert Morris/Miami) wore the As in both 2013 and 2015.
Since its earliest days, the women's version of the U.S. National University Team has not only included numerous Penn Staters on the roster, but in key roles on the team. That list includes two primary starting goalies (Heather Rossi in 2011 and Katie Vaughan in 2013), a top-pairing defenseman (Lindsay Reihl in 2011) and another defenseman who ranked fourth across the entire tournament in blueliner scoring (Madison Smiddy in 2015). Penn State's Mo Stroemel, of course, was the head coach of both the 2011 and 2013 squads.
It now also includes one of a team's captains.
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