As Eminem says, “if you had one shot, one opportunity, to seize everything you wanted… would you capture it or just let it slip?”
After winning the NEWHA Conference Championships, first-year head coach Kelly Nash and LIU’s Women’s Hockey team are heading to the NCAA Tournament, as they get the party started against Wisconsin on Thursday night.
— LIU Women's Hockey (@LIUWHockey) March 8, 2023
From the moment Nash became a Shark, the goal was this tournament.
“It [the NCAA tournament] was in the back of my head for sure.,” Nash said. “I don’t know if it was a first-season thing or something maybe more down the road.”
The story gets even sweeter for LIU’s bench boss, as Nash played for Wisoncin from 2007-2011. Now she goes face to face with her alma mater on college hockey’s biggest stage.
Nash even thinks some of her coaching swag comes from her Wisconsin days.
“I think my coaching style has come from my days at Wisconsin,” Nash said. “They have the same staff now as when I was there. The whole coaching staff at Wisconsin has been such great role models and mentors for me as I started my coaching career.”
It will be no easy feat against Wisconsin, but LIU certainly has the tools to succeed, starting with sophomore goaltender Tindra Holm.
The 21-year-old has been sensational for the Sharks this season with a 15-10-0 record in net, a 1.78 GAA, and .a 938 SV%. Holm was named NEWHA Goaltender of the Year and NEWHA tournament MVP and all-tournament team after shutting out Saint Anselm in the finals last weekend.
“Tindra has played such an important role on our team this season. She’s just one of those players that just has an elite athlete mentality on and off the ice. She is a great leader, and she really sets the expectations when she is out there,” Nash said.
Another tool Nash has at her disposal is Kings Park, NY native Jeannie Wallner, who is LIU ‘s leading goal-scorer this season with 15 goals in 36 games.
Nash’s former teammate and 2018 Team USA Women’s Hockey Olympic gold medalist superstar Meghan Duggan, gave her and LIU a shoutout.
— Meghan Duggan (@mduggan10) March 8, 2023
LIU is no stranger to big programs this season squaring off against Minnesota Duluth, Northeastern, Maine, and Penn State.
“Our schedule has really prepared us for this game,” Nash said. “They [Wisconsin] are a fast and skilled team, but I would also say we are a pretty fast team as well.”
All the prep, practices, and film sessions come down to sixty minutes in Hamilton, NY Thursday night. Puck drop is set for 6 ET on ESPN+.