|Riley O'Connor will be the Women's Ice Hockey Club president next year|
The Women's Ice Hockey Club has elected its executive board for the 2017-18 school year and hockey season. The officers are:
President: Riley O'Connor
Vice President: Meghan Miller
Treasurer: Tarika Embar
Fundraising Chair: Rachel Cole
THON Chair: Sophie Paolizzi
O'Connor becomes president in the year after serving as vice president, as is the WIHC's practice, taking over for the graduating Cassie Dunne. Both on and off the ice, the junior has repeatedly proven the adage that one doesn't need a formal title or a letter on a jersey to be a leader. She has been one of the core members of the squad through most of her career, thanks largely to her willingness to take the lead on thankless but important tasks like this season's senior day ceremony and last season's postseason banquet video. On the ice, the former team rookie of the year has been the Lady Ice Lions' top center for most of her career, and her 46 career points are third-most among post-2012 players.
Miller, who now lines up to be president as a senior in 2018-19, will follow O'Connor in that role after also following a similar career trajectory so far, from high-impact freshman (in fact, she was the team rookie of the year subsequent to O'Connor) to respected locker room presence even before the halfway point of her career. The 200-foot player from Rhode Island was Penn State's leading scorer this past season, with four goals among her 14 points.
After apprenticing under the graduating Lucy Yeatman this past season, Embar enters the role of treasurer as perhaps the most-qualified first-year officer in WIHC history. The soon-to-be senior from Pittsburgh is universally praised by her teammates as both hard working and responsible, attributes that will serve the position well. She had a fantastic close to 2016-17, scoring twice in her last five games, against NCAA Division III's Lebanon Valley College and Northeastern in the ECWHL third-place game.
Cole takes over the lead for team fundraising duties and will continue the renewed effort, initiated by Anna Marcus, to seek out sponsorships and other opportunities to alleviate the significant financial burdens presented by the game of hockey generally, and by non-varsity collegiate hockey specifically. The pre-med major has always been one of the club's strongest academic performers - her 3,98 cumulative GPA tells a lot of the story, but omits details like the fact that she serves as a teaching assistant as an underclassman - and has steadily improved as a hockey player. She posted two goals and five points this past season, including the game-winning goal on November 20th at Northeastern.
Paolizzi steps into the THON Chair role after being a significant part of the team's record-breaking efforts in the fight against pediatric cancer this year, assisting previous THON Chair Kelly Watson. With the help of new assistants Meg Lydick and Kate Lombardozzi, she will coordinate THON-related fundraising activities (including those within the event's traditional repertoire, as well as other initiatives unique to the WIHC) and also manage the relationship between the team and its THON family.
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