After more than 20 years, SUNY Oswego women's ice hockey
players, past and present, have a reason to celebrate.
The women’s varsity ice hockey program is back,
this time hitting the ice in the recently completed
Campus Center with new equipment and an experienced
The Oswego State varsity women’s ice hockey team takes to the ice for the first time in over 20 years.
After receiving support and encouragement from SUNY
Oswego’s President Deborah F. Stanley and Oswego
students for the redevelopment of the program, new Head
Coach Diane Dillon could not be more excited.
“It’s fantastic,” Dillon said. “It’s
a tribute to early pioneers of women’s hockey.”
On Nov. 11, SUNY Oswego will host the official re-launch
of the women's ice hockey program with a game against
Philadelphia's Neumann College in the new Campus Center
arena at 3 p.m., followed by a reception for alumni
As the new head coach, Dillon brings much experience
after serving as assistant coach of Cornell University's
women's ice hockey team. Excited about the program’s
implementation, Dillon said that women who wanted to
play years ago faced many challenges, including discrimination.
Women athletes today are very fortunate, she said, thanks
to opportunities afforded by Title IX.
Former women’s ice hockey player and coach at
SUNY Oswego Pat Russo '72
remembers a time when the women's team had no choice
but to skate at Romney Field House after the men's team
was finished, when the ice was all cut up and warmer
than it should have been.
Russo, now a professor at SUNY Oswego, said she has
already been to a few practices at the new Campus Center
arena and is impressed with many things about it.
"It's a much more positive, nice, functional facility,"
Russo also had positive comments about Dillon, saying
that she was "right on top" of putting together
a solid team. As for the new players, Russo has enjoyed
watching the action so far and predicts a bright future
for ice hockey at SUNY Oswego, thanks to the new facility
that was built with the game in mind.
The 2006-07 Lakers women’s
ice hockey team
"The rink will really be a drawing point, I think,"
As for Dillon's future goals, it's not yet in the agenda
for the newly reformed team to garner a plethora of
victories but rather to set a standard, which will include
improvement that will remain with the team as they grow.
"It's not about wins and losses," Dillon said.
"It's about laying a foundation and establishing
what [women's] Laker hockey is going to mean."
On Nov. 10, the day before the re-launch game, there
will be a panel discussion titled "Reaffirming
Title IX: A Record of Success." The panel will
be held in the Campus Center from 12:40 to 2:15 p.m.,
followed by a reception immediately after until 3:00
p.m. Both events are open to the public.
The moderator of the event will be SUNY Oswego History
Professor Gwen Kay and panelists will be Senior Commissioner
of the Horizon League intercollegiate conference Alfreeda
Goff, WNBA Vice President Kristin Bernert, Siegler Center
for Integrated Medicine Registered Sports Statistician
Kelly Iorillo, and Cornell University Women's Lacrosse
Coach Jenny Graap.
Oswego State Professor Lorrie Clemo, president of the
Faculty Athletics Representatives Association and chair
of the steering committee for Celebrating Women in Sports,
said that the panel is being held not only to highlight
the return of varsity women's ice hockey to the SUNY
Oswego campus, but also to celebrate the 25th anniversary
of NCAA women's championships. The event will also promote
opportunities for women in sports, as well as professional
and personal benefits.
Clemo has also served as chairman of the Intercollegiate
Athletics Board at SUNY Oswego for 15 years and said
that Oswego has a "long tradition in history of
trying to meet the interests of students."
Women on campus and prospective students were expressing
interest in playing ice hockey again, Clemo said. In
fact, women’s ice hockey made a comeback as a
club sport its first time around, Clemo said. She added
that SUNY Oswego has done its best to facilitate that
interest by bringing it back on the varsity level in
a facility that can accommodate the game.
Tickets for the women’s games are available at
the Campus Center box office on the day of the game.
To November 2006 E-Newsletter