Alumni Update: Nina Elia


One of Penn State's freshmen as the team was forced to rebuild in 2012-13 following the reorganization of PSU hockey, Nina Elia quickly became known as a gritty glue player who would do anything for the team. On the ice, the Skaneateles, NY native is perhaps best remembered for her double-overtime goal in the ACHA semifinals against defending Division 2 national champion Wisconsin-Stout on March 9, 2013 - the first goal of her life in any context - and for the fact that she never missed a game during her career, save for one semester studying abroad. Elia, an alternate captain as a senior in 2015-16, actually did score one other game-winning goal against a defending national champion during her career. The latter tally helped PSU get revenge on West Chester for the 2013 ACHA final on January 19, 2014, delivering a third Lady Ice Lions win with a tie in four 2013-14 meetings between the teams.

Major: Health Policy and Administration, with a minor in Economics ("hi Lucy Yeatman")

Favorite Penn State hockey memories: "1. Kim [Badorrek]'s third senior night in a row, when she finally decided to leave (joking); 2. The game-winning goal against Wisconsin-Stout; 3. My sophomore year when we went to the championship game versus Iowa State. Before the game my dad gave me a pep talk, and I'll never forget it. We lost that game, but that stuck with me. Shoutout to my parents who went to nearly every game; 4. Playing on Blue Line with Carly [Szyszko] and Jackie [Saideh]."

Favorite Penn State non-hockey memories: "1. Ohio State versus Penn State [football] in 2016 - me Kim and [Kim's eventual husband] Will [Boger] freezing our butts off, but Will cried when Penn State blocked the field goal; 2. Blue and White tailgate weekend every year; 3. Rookie Night 2012, 2013, and 2015; 4. Studying abroad in Italy in 2014."


Home: Skaneateles, New York

Career: "I work at Upstate University Hospital as a Clerical Specialist in Ophthalmology. Those are a lot of big words that just mean that I work at a hospital in an eye clinic/eye trauma center doing registration, quality, and data reporting. It's a foot in the door for the healthcare industry."

Outside of work/current hockey involvement: "Other than work, I spend the rest of my time in either in the rink or with my personal trainer. I coach a 14U Tier I girls travel team, the Syracuse Nationals. Coaching was what I always wanted to do, really - I found a bucket list I made 10 years ago and the first thing on that list said 'head coach of a girls team.' This is the dream. Here are some fun facts about the team:
  • I was an assistant coach with the 12U girls last year, and a handful of the girls moved up to be on the team this year with me.
  • We won silver in our first tournament of the year at the Oshawa Fall Classic in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.
  • My assistant coaches are Jeff Grinnals and Allisa Coomey. Does that name sound familiar? It should. Allisa's twin sister Allison Coomey is an assistant coach for Penn State's NCAA team. Small world!
  • The girls are talented, funny, and very coachable and excited to learn. We are focusing a lot on systems work and skills. Honing our forecheck, neutral zone regroup, d-zone coverage, power play (both overload and umbrella), and penalty kill, while still drilling passing, shooting, and edge work.
  • They come from all over central New York to play - a lot of girls drive over an hour to get to practice.
  • Our schedule is highly competitive. We play in Canada, Philadelphia, Providence, Albany, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and many other places."

Here are photos of Nina with her team (click to enlarge):

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