Bulldogs Expand World-Wide Reach with Class of 2010

May 25, 2006

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - There was a time when Yale found most of its women's hockey players in the surrounding area - 13 of the 17 players on the roster in 1985-86 came from Connecticut (nine), Massachusetts (two) or New Jersey (two). That is no longer the case, as the Bulldogs have expanded their recruiting presence throughout the U.S. and Canada recently. The Class of 2010 extends Yale's reach again, including an Olympian from Germany along with Yale's first recruits from Georgia, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan. Traditional Yale stomping grounds Connecticut and Minnesota are represented as well in the six-member class, which was announced today.

Here is a look at Yale's incoming freshmen:

Defenseman Alyssa Clarke (Donkin, N.S.) played for Team Nova Scotia at Nationals and also took part in the 2006 ESSO Senior National Championships. She played on the U18 Team Atlantic team last February and November in the National tournament in Salmon Arm, winning the bronze medal in November. She also played on the U18 Team Nova Scotia team from 2003-2005 and was an assistant captain in 2005.

Clarke attended Ridley College and was team captain as the Tigers won the CISAA Championship. She is one of five players on Yale's blueline corps that are 5'9" or taller.

"When I visited Yale it had a close and friendly atmosphere," Clarke said. "I also like knowing I will get a top-notch education while continuing to improve as a hockey player. It just seemed like perfect fit for me."

Defenseman Berit Johnson (Wayzata, Minn.) joins her sister Kelsey, a forward who will be a senior next season, on the Yale roster. Berit lettered for five years at the Blake School and was captain as a senior. She was All-State and All-Conference for four years and part of a Class A State Championship in 2003; she was picked as one of the stars of the game in the championship. She has been selected to attend the U.S. Junior National Development Camp four times.

A National Merit Finalist, Johnson is a member of the Cum Laude Society. Her and Kelsey's father Rob is a 1968 Yale graduate.

"At first I thought I would never choose the same school as both my dad and my sister, simply because I wanted to do something different," Berit said. "After visiting the school, meeting the team, and meeting the coaches, however, I knew it was the best choice for me. I also came to realize that there are so many amazing opportunities at Yale that I will be able to have a unique experience while also taking advantage of the opportunity to play hockey with my sister for another year."

The Johnsons will be one of two sister combinations on the Bulldog roster. Defensemen Carry and Nina Resor (Westwood, Mass.) have Yale alumni connections as well, including an uncle (Stanley) who is a 1967 Yale graduate. Stanley's daughter - Carry and Nina's cousin - is defenseman Helen Resor (Greenwich, Conn.), who will be back on Yale's roster in 2006-07 after spending last year with the U.S. Olympic team.

Goaltender Ansley LaHue (Kennesaw, Ga.) played three years of boys' hockey for North Cobb/Kennesaw Mountain. Most recently she played for Phillips Andover and Chelmsford, the same team that produced current freshman forward Danielle Kozlowski (Melrose, Mass.). She led Chelmsford to the semi-finals in the Connecticut Polar Bears tournament this year. At 5'11", she figures to provide an imposing presence in net for the Bulldogs.

"I chose Yale because of the school's outstanding record of accomplished alumni and its commitment to a superior undergraduate education," LaHue said. "Its international relations department is unrivaled in its course offerings and its instructors."

Forward Caroline Murphy (Pomfret, Conn.) was assistant captain of the Connecticut Polar Bears team that took bronze at the 2006 National Championship. Her team at Pomfret was New England finalists this past season. Murphy won Pomfret's Mimi Ashemead award, given to the player who contributes the most to the program, by vote of the captains and coaches.

Murphy, whose numerous academic achievements include being a member of the Cum Laude society, will attend the 17/18 USA National Camp in Lake Placid for the second time this coming summer.

"I chose Yale because it contained everything I am looking for to begin the next stage of my life," Murphy said. "When I visited I was embraced by a community of people I hardly knew. The hospitality they showed me and the generosity, drive and ambition they exuded was tangible. I want to be the best I can in all facets of my life, so it seemed natural to pick a place where people so openly and genuinely sought to aid me in that very pursuit."

Forward Mandi Schwartz (Wilcox, Sask.) won a bronze medal as part of Team Saskatchewan at the 2003 Canada Games. She also participated in Nationals with Team Saskatchewan in February and November of 2005, and has been invited to the Team Canada U-22 conditioning camp in June.

Schwartz attended Athol Murray College of Notre Dame, where she was a four-year letterwinner and captain of the team. The Hounds won the Macs tournament twice while she was there, and were two-time Western Canadian and Provincial Champions.

"I chose Yale because of the top-of-the-line hockey program, the beautiful campus, and because of the friendly, hard-working and dedicated atmosphere presented by the students and the hockey teams," Schwartz said.

Forward Denise Soesilo (Hamburg, Germany) helped Germany to a fifth-place finish in the 2006 Olympics, the team's highest finish ever. The Germans were 1-2 after pool play but defeated Italy 5-2 in the classification round to earn a spot in the fifth-place game, where they beat Russia 1-0 in a shootout. Soesilo had an assist on the game-winning goal in the win over Italy.

Soesilo, who also played for the renowned Oval X-Treme in Calgary for two years, played violin with the Mendelssohn Youth Symphony Orchestra Hamburg and also plays chamber music. She graduated from Queen Elizabeth High School in Calgary a year ago and spent the past year training for the Olympics. "I chose Yale for its diverse student body, the great music scene and beautiful campus," Soesilo said. "And, of course, the hockey team's amazing potential and coaching. Yale was the one place where I could actually see myself spending four years of my life."

In addition to Germany a total of eight U.S. states and five Canadian provinces are now represented on Yale's 2006-07 roster. The team is tentatively scheduled to open its regular season on Oct. 21 at BC.

report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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