Select’s 19U AAA’s seniors off to NCAA ranks
Over the past 15 years, the Colorado Select Girls Hockey Association (CSGHA) has developed dozens of players who’ve advanced to the NCAA ranks, and this season is no exception.
All five of the 19U AAA team’s graduating seniors – forwards Elizabeth Dohner, Jocelyn Gacek, Julie Matthias and Caley Mueller and goaltender Jaime Meroz – will attend and play hockey at NCAA Division III programs beginning in the fall, much to the delight of CSGHA director of hockey Kendall Hanley.
“This is such a great accomplishment for these girls and their families, and well deserved,” said Hanley. “We pride ourselves on delivering a top-notch developmental experience, on and off the ice, while getting our student-athletes plenty of college exposure, and these five worked hard for their opportunities.”
Both Dohner, who’s played 11 seasons with the Select, and Gacek, in her seventh year with the program, will attend Utica College in Upstate New York.
Dohner plans to study business management and accounting while skating for the Lady Pioneers with the hopes of starting her own business upon graduation.
“I liked Utica because of the education and athletic opportunities it provides me,” said Dohner. “I also felt a connection with the coach (Dave Clausen) and the team.”
Gacek is looking forward to a career in crime scene investigations, and possibly even becoming a lawyer, after her time at Utica.
“The school has the top criminal justice program in the U.S., as well as a pre-law program,” Gacek said of Utica. “That’s what made it so attractive for me.”
Matthias will conclude her six years with the Select as she prepares to head east to Massachusetts where she’ll attend Holy Cross.
She plans to study biochemistry as a precursor to medical school while suiting up for the Crusaders.
“It was the best fit for me, both academically and for hockey,” Matthias said of Holy Cross, which competes in ECAC East. “The campus is pretty and small, which gives you a chance to know everybody.”
Mueller, playing in her 11th season at CSGHA, will be off to New Hampshire’s Saint Anselm College where she’ll study in the field of science while skating for the Hawks, who also compete in ECAC East.
“The coach (Kerstin Matthews) got me excited about being a part of her organization,” said Mueller. “After two visits, I decided it was the place I wanted to continue my hockey career and education.”
Meroz will head off Hamilton College to stop pucks for the Continentals (NESCAC) in the fall. Only in her first year with the CSGHA, the Illinois native plans to study psychology at the school.
“The campus is beautiful,” she said of Hamilton, which is also located in Upstate New York. “It feels like home.”
Hanley couldn’t be happier for the college-bound quintet, and credits the entire Select organization for helping them reach the next level.
“We’re lucky to have so many dedicated coaches who push our girls to be the best they can be, both on the ice and in the classroom, and colleges continue to take notice,” she said. “They bring so much knowledge and experience to our club, and also work hard to promote our players.”
And Handley is looking forward to following the progress of the CSGHA’s latest college commits as they ready for the NCAA.
“All of these young ladies are fine examples of what makes our association the premier all-girls hockey club in the Rocky Mountain region,” she said.
– Andy Atencio