URI junior named women’s national player of the year in club ice hockey

Posted on
North Kingstown resident 1st URI player to receive honor

KINGSTON, R.I. – August 20, 2013 – From a young age, Cassie Catlow knew that she belonged on the ice.

“I started skating when I was 9 years old,” she said. “I basically grew up at (URI’s) Boss Arena.”

From there, she began playing on boy’s ice hockey teams. “That was intense,” Catlow said. “It’s a really physical sport.”

But she kept playing – all through high school, and right into college. So it’s no surprise that the University of Rhode Island junior and assistant captain of the women’s ice hockey team has been named the 2013 American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Zoe Harris Player of the Year. It is the top individual award in an association of 48 women’s teams.

“This is definitely the most prestigious award that I’ve received,” Catlow said. “Without a doubt.”

The URI women’s ice hockey team was founded in 1999 and today competes as a Division 1 club team in the ACHA. During the 2012-2013 season, the team was ranked first in the country among Division 1 club teams. URI’s women’s ice hockey has also won eight titles in its 10 years of participation in its regional league, the Eastern Collegiate Women’s Hockey League (ECWHL). Catlow is the first URI player to receive the ACHA Zoe Harris Player of the Year award.

To be considered for the award, the player must meet certain criteria for the award, including outstanding individual and team skills, sportsmanship, on-ice performance, personal character, competitiveness and a love of hockey (consideration is also given to academic achievement). Each team nominates a player if they have one that demonstrates these qualities. The ACHA Women’s Competition Committee then reviews the nominations and one player is selected. The decision takes place in March before the National Tournament and is announced at the tournament.

“That’s where I found out. We were in Washington, D.C., and had just played in nationals,” Catlow said. “My coach announced it in front of the whole team. I was a little shocked, to say the least.”

“Cassie’s being selected as the player of the year is a tremendous milestone for her and our program,” said URI women’s ice hockey coach Beth McCann. “Academically and athletically, Cassie does a great job balancing. As far as her role with the team goes, she has great talent and really sets a high bar for us.

“She was named an assistant captain in her sophomore year, and she’ll probably be selected captain this year,” said McCann of her star, who was the fifth-ranked scorer in the ACHA last year.

McCann said Catlow had opportunities to play varsity hockey at other schools, but she obviously liked what URI offers.

“We provide a terrific opportunity for great student-athletes,” McCann said. “Being able to provide a platform for our students to showcase their talents is a tribute to URI Recreational Services and the Student Senate and all of the support they provide.”

Catlow, a North Kingstown resident, already has an extensive list of awards to her name. Along with her 2013 ACHA Zoe Harris Player of the Year award, she is also a 2013 All-American player, URI most valuable player, URI leading scorer, and a member of the 2013 ECWHL All League Team. In 2012, she was an ECWHL Playoff MVP and earned the URI Seventh Player Award. Catlow also earned the URI Academic Achievement Award in 2012 and 2013.

While Catlow’s main sport is ice hockey, she at one time donned many different uniforms in the sports world. During her high school years at Pomfret School in Promfret, Conn., Catlow played on the school’s varsity hockey team (for which she served as captain), varsity softball team, lacrosse team, and soccer team, as well as in the Massachusetts Spitfire Hockey Club.

“I was good at soccer when I was little,” Catlow said. “I also started playing softball in high school. I tried lacrosse, too, but it wasn’t for me.”

Catlow is a kinesiology major, and plans to attend graduate school for physical therapy after graduating in May 2015. She solidified her choice of a major after tearing her meniscus and anterior cruciate ligemant (knee) playing hockey during her sophomore year at URI. “I had to go through physical therapy as part of my recovery. After that experience, I knew that it was a profession I wanted to get into,” she said. As part of the clinical observation hours that she is required to finish for the kinesiology major, Catlow has spent the last month completing an internship at South County Orthopedics in South Kingstown. The experience has helped shape her future career plans. “Ultimately I’d like to work as a travelling physical therapist with a pro-team,” Catlow said.

When she’s not on the ice, in class, or at her internship, Catlow enjoys many of the summer pastimes that Rhode Island has to offer. “I love going to the beach,” she said. “Jet-skiing is fun, too.”

Of course, school and hockey are paramount in Catlow’s life. Along with her commitment to the team, Catlow has maintained a grade point average of 3.85 during her time at URI – not an easy feat. But attending URI as both a student and an athlete has “been great,” according to Catlow. “Both my parents are alumni, and the team has been awesome,” she said. “URI is like home to me.”

This news release was written by Rachel Donilon, a writer in URI’s department of Marketing and Communications.


HOCKEY STAR: Cassie Catlow, a University of Rhode Island junior and North Kingstown, R.I., native poses with her game jersey after winning the 2013 American Collegiate Hockey Association Zoe Harris Player of the Year Award.

Photo by Michael Salerno Photography.

ON THE ICE: Cassie Catlow, a University of Rhode Island junior and North Kingstown, R.I., native during some recent on-ice time. Catlow is the winner of the 2013 American Collegiate Hockey Association Zoe Harris Player of the Year Award.

Photo courtesy of Beth McCann, URI Women’s Ice Hockey.