skip navigation

8 CYA Alumni Take Leadership Roles in the NCAA

By CYA, 02/11/19, 2:15PM CST


As the season winds down, there is something very special The Chicago Young Americans girls program wants to make sure doesn’t go unrecognized. This 2018/19 season saw eight CYA alumni selected to be captains in the NCAA. “I don’t know of any other club in the US or Canada who can say as much in a single season,” commented John Cimba, CYA Girls hockey director. “To have eight is unbelievable in a single season and is really something we should all be proud of.  It’s a true testament to what we stand for and work towards – building strong, accomplished women.  We have spent years working to define this as a core value and big part of the culture of our club.  Programs love to share their incredible news about college advancement, which is always amazing, but we made the decision years ago to not just define who we are based on college advancement, or wins and losses but to define ourselves as a place that helps young female athletes grow into strong, confident young women and future leaders. The news of these eight players being selected only supports our efforts.”

This special group is made up of alum at six Division 1 and two Division 3 schools (listed alphabetically)

Maddie Hartman – Northeastern University

Becca Lindblad - UConn

Amelia Murray – Union

Andrea Renner – Northeastern University

Katlyn Russ – Union

Natalie Ryan – St. Mary’s University – Minnesota

Carly Thomas – Colby

Emma Vlasic – Yale

While many clubs around the country put time into developing a plan for hockey development, CYA has put an equal amount of time into a plan to help develop the complete person. “We want our players armed with the tools for success that will take them well past their hockey careers,” Cimba went on the say.  “We want our players leaving CYA with a level of self-confidence and an understanding that sometimes, just hard work on the ice isn’t enough. That ones ability to be a good team mate, be coachable, put team before self, lead by example, be part of the solution and not a part of the problem and to self-advocate are all equally as important as their skills on the ice.   Also, to make players understand that you can only control what’s in your control. That wasted time and energy on the things we have no control over is just that – wasted time.”

As CYA continues to work with these young athletes in developing the tools for success both on and off the ice, we look forward to seeing more exciting news about our alum in both the hockey world and beyond.