Hart makes 14ers history with first-ever college hockey commitment, off to Lawrence Tech in fall
The Colorado 14ers women’s hockey program has seen its share of success during its inaugural season in 2021-22, and recently reached another milestone with its first college commitment.
Rachel Hart, a goalie on the 14ers’ 19U team, has decided to start the next chapter of her career next fall at Lawrence Tech University, an ACHA school located in suburban Detroit.
Needless to say, Hart is humbled to be a part of 14ers history.
“I may be the first, but the fact that girls this year and in coming years will be committing means more to me,” Hart said. “Knowing that others will get to follow their dreams in the future means a lot.
“Academically, it’s an amazing school. It is highly ranked with great hands-on classes. This school has a very large presence of automotive design and manufacturing. The hockey is getting a great start by heading into its first season with ACHA hockey. The coach (Greg Moore), with 10 years of coaching women’s college hockey, is putting together a strong, competitive team to run with the other schools in the area.”
Hart will be a freshman this coming fall with an eye on majoring in Mechanical Engineering.
“I first heard of Lawrence Tech from a college showcase in Chicago where the coach introduced himself,” said Hart, a native of Albuquerque, N.M. “While staying in contact with him, going over how his team was going to run, I began the application process. Later, my application was accepted. We had a campus tour where we were able to speak with the coach, some professors, and see the programs the school had to offer. I was able to see the different clubs they had with the special labs used by students. I notified the coach I was going to commit that night.
“When I got home, I registered and signed the letter of intent.”
This season has been a fantastic one, according to Hart, who credits the 14ers coaches for having the right mindset to develop the players to their full potential.
“It has been a great season,” Hart said. “I have been able to work on the fine details of the game. As a team, we have had some ups and downs that are expected for a new team, but we are working together to build a structure for the future.
“The experience playing for the 14ers has been very different from any team I have ever played for. The girls are so energetic and work hard to achieve their goals. The coaches are able to recognize what works and what doesn’t and change systems and lines to get the best results.”
Hart said she ended up playing for the 14ers like many of her teammates.
“I played for Colorado Select in previous years and when the 14ers took over, it was easy to say we could make it work,” said Hart. “The schedules are very similar.”
Back home in New Mexico, Hart started playing roller hockey when she was five years old.
“Very early in the season, I knew I wanted to be the goaltender, asking my parents to get to the rink early, just so I could ask the coach if I could put on the pads that day,” Hart remembered.
Prior to her time in Colorado, Hart played roller hockey for the Aztecs and ice hockey for NMICE, New Mexico Mustangs and high school boys hockey for the Albuquerque Bears (JV and varsity).
Going forward, Hart knows the possibilities are endless.
“My short-term goals are to play competitive hockey and graduate college with a Mechanical Engineering degree,” said Hart. “Long term, I want to work for NASA designing machines to be sent in space for research and development of space travel. I want to continue hockey for as long as I can, along with coaching.”
— Matt Mackinder
(February 11, 2022)