PSU Women’s Ice Hockey: Making History

IMG_8721

Jill Holdcroft, at Pegula Ice Arena

Starting out as a club sport and now a Division 1 sport here at Penn State, the PSU Women’s Ice Hockey team is in the midst of making history. From their days in the old rink at the Greenburg Ice Pavilion, to their big move to the Pegula Ice Area, the women’s hockey team is ready to go down this new and exciting path.

During their first season at Pegula, the women’s team had made the decision to join College Hockey America (CHA) with five other teams: RIT, Lindonwood, Robert Morris, Mercyhurst and Syracuse. They joined the CHA as opposed to being an independent team due to the BIG 10 not having enough women’s hockey teams to form their own conference; both Michigan and Michigan State are lacking women’s ice hockey teams.

Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down and interview Jill Holdcroft (#19), a winger for the PSU Women’s Ice Hockey team.

Valley: As of the 2012-2013 season, the program has moved from a club sport to a Division 1 sport… how does it feel to make history? 

Holdcroft: You realize that you’re going to be the one to start a new program and you have that experience of making history, which is exciting! Since I’ve gone through the first year, as a team building a new program, you do have to face challenges such as coming into a team where no one knows each other, as opposed to an already developed team which has their traditions and are more established.

V: As a State College native and alumni of State College Area High School, what does the opportunity mean to you to play for the PSU Women’s Ice Hockey team?

H: Wearing a PSU jersey is exactly what I wanted to do. As soon as I heard PSU was going to be D1, PSU was my first choice and that’s where I wanted to be. Growing up here I was a PSU fan my entire life. I’ve been wearing PSU shirts and I’ve been a part of this community from the beginning, so being a part of this program and this school ended up being the perfect opportunity for me.

V: Pegula Ice Arena is now one of the nicest hockey arenas in the country for college hockey, how does it feel to be able to play there?

H: The Pegula Ice Arena is one of the best facilities in the country and the build up since we started in the old rink, to move over here- the anticipation was very high to make the switch over. They’ve put everything we need in there: training room, locker room, lounge, rapid shot to work on shooting and a weight room. It’s all in one place and it’s the best quality that you can have, all brand new.

V: And when I asked if she had any parting words, Jill humbly stated her appreciation and support the team has received:

H: It’s been great to see hockey grow in this community and be a big part of PSU. I’d love to see students come out and support women’s hockey.

Photo taken by Katie Wall