Sep 4, 2013
STORRS, Conn -- With less than a month until the puck drops on the 2013-14 season, UConn women's ice hockey head coach Chris MacKenzie has announced his seven-member incoming freshman class for the upcoming season. Susan Cavanagh, Kelly Harris, Carly Haskins, Alexandra Lersch, Kaitlin Storo, Jessica Stott and Viivi Vaattovaara will suit up for the Blue and White this year, joining UConn's 17 returning letter winners to round out the roster to 24 skaters.
"We are excited to add these student-athletes to our program. This is a diverse group that spans three countries, several states and a provinces and a mix of different talents. They will complement a good returning core and add depth to our team," MacKenzie said.
The seven new Huskies come to Storrs from four states and three countries, and features four forwards and three defensemen. The incoming crop is experienced in play on the high school, prep school club and International levels.
Cavanagh is the lone New England native in the class, hailing from Warwick, R.I. The 5'7 forward spent 2013 at the Cushing Academy, where she captained her squad. Prior that, she played four years at Pilgrim High School, earning Unsung Hero award as a senior. Cavanaugh also played field hockey and golf in high school, earning All-City and All-State honors in both.
Harris joins the Huskies by way of Canton, Mich., where she was a member of the Little Caesars Hockey Club under coach Dave Erwin. While playing at Canton High, the 5'7 forward earned HPHL Academic honors and also played lacrosse, garnering an All-State honorable mention nod.
Haskins is one of two new Huskies to come from Minnesota. The Andover native played four years at Andover Senior High, starting all four and tallying 160 points in her career. The 5'9 defenseman was All-Conference three times, and served as the team captain during her 66-point senior season. Haskins also starred in lacrosse at Andover, leading her team in scoring for three years and snagging a pair of All-Conference accolades.
Lersch comes cross country to join the Huskies, originally from Manhattan Beach, Calif. No stranger to the Nutmeg state however, Lersch spent three years at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Conn. At Choate she was an assistant captain during her senior campaign, helping to lead the team to the semifinals of the New England championships. The 5'7 defenseman also played club hockey for the Lady Ducks and Connecticut Polar Bears, earning five medals in seven years.
Storo joins Haskins as Minnesotans joining UConn for '13-14, hailing from Chanhassen. She played four years at Chanhassen High, captaining the team her final two seasons. As a senior, she earned All-Conference laurels and was named Team MVP, also being named Chanhassen's Athlete of the Year. One of three incoming Huskies with a level of International experience, the 5'8 forward represented USA Hockey in the Russia Hockey Exchange Program in the fall of 2012. Storo was also captain of Chanhassen's tennis team.
Stott is one of two non-Americans in the class, joining UConn from Niverville, Manitoba. The 5'6 defenseman played varsity hockey at Shaftesbury High School, serving as an assistant captain. She was also a member of the Team Manitoba U18 squad that earned a silver medal at the Women's National Hockey Championships. Stott also played field hockey for the Team Manitoba U16 and U18.
The seventh newcomer for Connecticut comes from the furthest distance, as Viivi Vaatovaara joins the program from Veikkola, Finland. The 5'5 forward/defenseman participated in U18 development camps with Finland, and with Hameenlinnan Lyseon Lukio earned bronze and gold medals at the Finland Women's National Championship. She also medaled at the European Women's Champions Cup in 2011.
UConn begins its first year with MacKenzie at the helm on Sept. 28 when it welcomes Union to Freitas Family Ice Forum. The Huskies return five of their top six scorers from last year's squad, as well as both top goaltenders.