Girls' Hockey Director
Phone: (847) 826-4115
|TEAM - GIRLS||COACH||COACH PHONE|
| Stefan Gratzi
|Girls Director||John Cimba||John Cimba
|Girls Program Goalie Coach||Sanya Sandahl||Sanya Sandahl
CYA U16: Tatum Blacker
The Chicago Young Americans are proud to announce their 8th NCAA commit of the season. Tatum Blacker has committed to play Division 1 hockey at Quinnipiac University for the 2022/23 season. Quinnipiac plays in the highly competitive ECAC with all their home games on campus in the beautiful Peoples United Center, in Hamden, CT.
“Nothing makes me prouder then to see a player who starts their CYA carrier at U12, rise to the level of Division 1 hockey,” commented Cimba. “We all knew Tatum was something special, even way back then.” Tatum represents CYA’s 7th Division 1 goalie placement in the past six seasons. “Tatum’s feistiness and never get beat attitude has been at the core of who she is since U12,” Said CYA head goalie coach, Sanya Sandahl. “It’s that attitude that’s going to help her to do great things both on and off the ice at Quinnipiac.”
“It’s been a crazy ride and if I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t change a thing,” said Blacker. “Taking time to visit the campus and getting to know coach Turner and coach Alessi only helped in knowing Quinnipiac is where I want to be. I want to thank my entire CYA family for giving so much support, this club is not like any other a place. It’s a community and one where personality and heart are as important as hockey ability. I also want to give a special thank you to Coach Sanya. There’s a piece of you in every save I make. Finally, I want to thank my family. You have been my rock, through every up and down on this crazy ride and I know I couldn’t have done this without you.”
CYA 16’s will be leaning heavily on Tatum over the next month as they just finished winning state. They are now preparing for the district championships and their run at the National title.
The Chicago Young Americans are proud to announce their seventh NCAA commit of the season. Defenseman Melina Maggio has committed to play next season at UMass Boston. UMass plays in the high powered NEHC hockey conference and play their home games on campus at the Clark Athletic Center. “We’re all so excited for Magg,” commented Cimba. “She had a couple of options but wanted her hockey goals to align with her academic goals. Magg was also excepted into UMass’s nursing program, the top program on her list. There’s nothing better than seeing both these worlds come together so perfectly. I’m so proud of her.” Melina will be joining CYA Alum Addie Budington next season on the blueline. “I can’t tell you how excited/relieved/pumped I am with how it all came together,” said Melina. “It’s hard enough working to catch the eye of coaches, but to wait on your application to be accepted into nursing only added to the stress/excitement/celebration. I can’t thank everyone at CYA enough for the time you put into the entire process and the time you put into helping me stay calm throughout this crazy ride. I also want to thank my family. You always believed in me and were my rock when I needed it.”
It’s been a crazy year, but one that Melina and the entire CYA 19’s will never forget. They are looking forward to a strong finish on their season.
So Proud Magg!!!
CYA U19: Kate Carfagnini
The Chicago Young Americans are proud to announce that Kate Carfagnini has committed to play NCAA hockey at St. Olaf for the 2021/22 season. “Nothing puts a bigger smile on my face then to see hard work truly pay off,” commented Cimba. “Carf has always had speed, but she realized it wasn’t enough. I watched her add the weight room to her training regiment and the results have been huge. Carf is now a player with both strength and speed, a combination that will be highly effective at the next level, which I can’t wait to see. A big congrats to the entire Carfagnini family.”
The speedy forward will be joining fellow teammate Hannah Metric, as the Ollie’s look to top the highly competitive MIAC league. “It’s hard for me to put into words what I’m feeling,” said Kate. “It’s such a long journey, one filled with ups and downs, but to find a school that you immediately feel at home when you walk on the campus and then to get that call from a coach saying they want you, I’m still numb with excitement. I want to thank CYA for all you’ve done through this crazy journey. I also want to give a big hug to my team. You all make me want to come to the rink everyday. Most importantly, I want to thank my family. You can’t play this game without a crazy hockey family in your corner. Your support has given me the strength and courage to work as hard as I can. I truly believe this never would have happened without you.”
Kate represents CYA’s 6th NCAA commit this season. Not an easy feat considering all that this strange year has brought. CYA’s U19’s have a busy January planned as they continue to navigate all COVID restrictions.
CYA U19: Lilly Casher
CYA is proud to announce that Lilly Casher has committed to play NCAA Hockey at Concordia University Wisconsin. “Lilly is welcomed addition to our U19’s this season,” commented Cimba. “A shifty forward with great hands who has worked very hard on the ice, off the ice and in the classroom. It’s truly the coming together of all three parts that we celebrate and that ultimately opened the doors of opportunity for her. Concordia is not only getting a good hockey player, they are also getting an unbelievable person. I could not be happier for Lilly and her family.” Casher took her time learning everything she could about Concordia both in terms of hockey and their academics. “I am so excited with my decision to attend Concordia next season,” said Casher. “First I want to thank CYA for working with me through the process. Second, endless thanks have to go out to my family, it’s been a crazy ride but you’ve supported me every step of the way and I can’t thank you enough. Finally I want to thank coach Fabiilli for this incredible opportunity. I am so excited to become a Falcon next season.”
Casher is CYA’s 4th NCAA Commit this season and we couldn’t be prouder. Even during these crazy times, we will continue to work with our players to help them reach their goal to play College Hockey. More to come!!
Way to go Lilly!!!
CYA U19: Karly Kolssak
The Chicago Young Americans are proud to announce that veteran defenseman, Karly Kolssak has committed to play Division 1 hockey at RIT for the 22/23 season. Kolssak started her career at CYA as a U12 with her sights set on the NCAA from the very beginning. “We are all so excited for Karly and her entire family,” commented Cimba. “For me personally, it’s very special to see a player start at CYA as a U12, work though the ups and downs this game brings, not lose focus and ultimately reach their goal. I know Coach Brown has had her eye on Karly since her time at Penn State. Some things are just meant to be.”
Kolssak has been a major presence on CYA’s back end for years, most recently on display in last seasons historic best of 3, 17 period state final. “I can’t tell you how excited I am to be playing for Coach Brown at the next level,” said Kolssak. “Everything I have been looking for came together in one place; The right academics, hockey program and a coaching staff that represent everything I have dreamed about. I want to thank CYA for helping me not “freak out” during this process. It’s so easy to lose yourself in the worry, but CYA kept my head on straight. I also want to thank my teammates, it’s hard to believe how long we’ve all been together, especially Addie Carr, who I started playing with in Glenview at Tier 2 and now we’re going to RIT together. Most importantly I want to thank my family. You have all been there for me, you have all supported me and most importantly, you let me work through this crazy journey. It wasn’t easy, but I always knew you were there for me.”
CYA will continue to lean heavily on Kolssak this season, as the game counts may be low, making every game count even more.
CYA U19: Sabrina Shvartsman
CYA is proud to announce that Sabrina Shvartsman has committed to play NCAA hockey for Elmira College. Elmira, located in upper state NY, is a yearly contender for the Frozen Four.
“We are so pumped for Sabrina,” said Cimba. “A chance to play for a program that is vying for a spot at the top every year is unreal. I know coach Crowley is excited to bring her skill set and scoring touch into his lineup. It’s been amazing to watch her grow both on and off the ice over the years. I sure will miss that devilish smile she gives right before she does something that’s fun to watch on the ice.”
Sabrina had a number of options in front of her, but in the end both academics and hockey came together at Elmira. “I am so excited about the opportunity Elmira is giving me,” commented Shvartsman. “Getting the opportunity to be a part of a program with a history of playing in the national championship is unreal. First off I want to thank CYA for pushing me when I needed the push. To my teammates, I can’t imagine going to the rink and not seeing you all, we are family. And to my parents, who always believed in me. You were there through all the ups and downs, thank you for everything you’ve done to help make this sport part of my life. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ll miss seeing you Dad… at everything (haha)”
CYA will continue their season during these crazy, unsure times and most importantly, we will continue working hard for all our players.
Way to go “Stewie”
CYA U19: Addie Carr
CYA is excited to announce that U19 Defenseman Addie Carr has committed to play NCAA D1 Hockey at RIT for the 2021-22 Season. The RIT Tigers are located in Rochester, NY and play in the competitive CHA with home games in the beautiful Gene Polisseni Center. “I can’t tell you how excited we all are for Addie,” commented Cimba. “Especially during these crazy times. Addie is proof how hard work and not losing sight of your goals can pay off. Everyone’s journey is different, they all have their ups and downs and Addie’s was no different. I am so proud of how she just owned it. Coach Brown got a good one in Addie.”
“There’s no doubt this has been a long road, but looking back I learned so much,” said Carr. “Not just about the game, but about myself and what it truly takes to get what you want. It’s so much more then just wanting it, it’s about surrounding yourself with others who not only want it equally, but who also support you at every turn. I can’t thank CYA enough. I also want to thank my teammates – lifelong friends. Most importantly I want to thank my parents who never doubted me. Who picked me up when I was down, who kicked me in the butt when I needed it and most importantly, who made sure I never lost sight of the fact that this game is fun and when you’re having fun great things can happen.”
CYA will be leaning heavily on Addie this coming season. We have started the season off late, like so many others, but have hit the ground running, having joined the MN Elite League. We will continue to use video and focus as hard as ever on helping our players reach their dreams to play NCAA Hockey.
CYA U19: Kylie Makuh
The Chicago Young Americans are proud to announce that Kylie Makuh has committed to Colby College for the fall of 2020. The Sr. forward started her career at CYA as a U12 and this season, in 57 games has scored 21 goals and dished out 14 assists.
“Every player has their own unique journey and Makuh’s was no different,” said Cimba “It was like a light bulb went off in her head and suddenly the understanding of what it takes, combined with a new found level of work, all came together. It was so amazing to watch. Then she discovered Colby and everything went up another level. The work she put in both in the classroom and on the ice was surreal to watch. We are so proud of you “Kyle”. You are NCAA ready and I know you’re going to tear it up in the NECAC’s.”
“I think I’m still in shock,” commented Kylie. “Colby is everything I could wish for in a college. The extra work I had to put in to make this all happen, as hard as it was, was worth every ounce of both sweat and tears. This entire process has helped me believe that hard work combined with a passion for what you do, can be an unstoppable combination. I never could have done any of this without the unwavering support from my parents. You were my kick in the butt and my shoulder to cry on throughout this journey. I also want to thank everyone on this years CYA U19 team. You are the greatest group of people I could ever have imagined spending my Sr year with. Teammates this season but friends for life.”
Kylie and the CYA U19’s are starting their push for a trip to Nationals, with State gearing up. Kylie will be leaned on heavily down the stretch.
We are all so proud of you Kylie!!!
CYA U19: Casey Godfrey
The Chicago Young Americans are excited to announce another commitment this season. Casey Godfrey will be heading New London, Connecticut to play NCAA Hockey for Connecticut College. Connecticut College plays in the highly competitive NESCAC, a league made up of schools that are also referred to as “The Small Ivy’s”. The Camels play their games on campus at the Dayton Arena.
“We are all so excited for Casey,” commented Cimba. “She had her sites set on Connecticut and did everything she needed to do both on the ice and in the classroom to make it happen. It’s that focus and drive that Casey has that will make her a success at the next level.”
“I really took my time with the whole process,” said Godfrey. “I visited schools all over the northeast and the midwest. I learned about what they had to offer both academically and athletically. Ultimately, after visiting the campus and spending time with coach Steele, I knew that Connecticut was where I wanted to be. I want to thank my family for all their support. I know the process took a while, but your unwavering support was with me every step of the way. I also want to thank all of my teammates. This year, above all others, has shown me how a team can really be a family, and how that family support can get you through anything.”
We are all so proud of you Casey!!
CYA U19: Jenna Rekoske
The Chicago Young Americans are pleased to announce that forward Jenna Rekoske has committed to play NCAA hockey for Wesleyan University. Wesleyan is located in Middletown, Connecticut and plays in the NESCAC, a highly sought after league to play in by many.
“We are all so excited for Jenna and this commitment,” commented Cimba. “Seeing her grow from a quiet U12 into a leader at U19’s, both on and off the ice, has been an amazing transformation. She’s never had a shortage of drive or work ethic, which is going to serve her well both on the ice and in the classroom. It’s going to be fun to watch her at the next level and to watch her continue to grow. Great things are coming for her.”
Jenna will be joining CYA alum, Audrey McMahon as she continues to add to CYA’s tradition of placing players in some of the top schools in the country.
“It’s a place where I can see myself thriving both academically and athletically,” said Rekoske. “It has always been at the top of my list, and to see all my hard work pay off is simply surreal. Juggling the commitment that CYA brings, along with my academics and busy running schedule I know that I could never have done it without the support of my parents. You have both been there for me every step of the way and I thank you for everything. You have kept me focused, positive, and determined. I also want to thank my teammates for their support and friendship and for making the experience even more enjoyable. The season is long and grueling, and having a true hockey family is the key to everything.”
CYA U19’s are entering a very competitive part of their schedule and Jenna will be leaned upon heavily to help make it a success. Jenna your entire hockey family couldn't be happier for you.
CYA U19 Kennedy Stein
The Chicago Young Americans are proud to announce that U19 Forward Kennedy Stein has committed to play NCAA Hockey at Augsburg University. Augsburg is in the highly competitive MIAC and plays their home games in the Augsburg Ice Arena, located on campus in downtown Minneapolis.
"From the moment Stein stepped foot in our house, we knew we had a very special player,” commented Cimba. “There are certain players that just get it; Get that it's hard work. Get that sometimes you have to work your way up the roster. Get that the attitude you bring on the bench also translates onto the ice. Gets that respect is earned and not just given.Stein understands all of this and so much more. We couldn’t be more excited proud of her.”
Kennedy will be joining teammate Alex Collins and CYA Alum McKenna Ellena at Auggie next season.
“I couldn’t be more excited about my decision to be a student athlete at Augsburg” said Kennedy. “For the longest time, I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, but the combination of the school, its location and the feeling I got spending time with Coach Mac, Coach Holmes and the entire hockey team is what put Auggie at the top of my list. First and foremost, I want to thank my parents. I know I didn’t make the process easy, but you never wavered in your support and you let me make a decision that was right for me. I also want thank my CYA teammates. You make it exciting to come to the rink every day. You will always be family to me.”
The U19’s are heading into a nice home town stretch in their schedule, and Kennedy will be called upon to log some big minutes for the team as they look to do some damage.
Way to go Stein!!
The Chicago Young Americans are proud to announce that defenseman Alex Collins has committed to play NCAA Hockey at Augsburg University. Augsburg is located in Minneapolis, MN and plays in the highly competitive MIAC. “Over the years I’ve watched players make decisions about where they want to play their college hockey,” commented Cimba. “Finding that perfect fit isn’t always easy. But let me tell you, Collins and Augsburg, the fit couldn’t be any more perfect.” Cimba went on to say, "I can’t tell you how excited we all are for her. We’ve had a chance to watch her grow as a player both on and off the ice these last couple of years. Seeing how quickly she transitioned up to 19’s only supports our belief in how much upside there is to her game.”
“After meeting Coach Mac and Holmes, seeing the campus and meeting the team, I knew that Augsburg was where I wanted to be,” commented Alex. “The similarities to Auggies overall approach to the game is so much like CYA that it just felt like home. I want to thank my team mates, you all keep me laughing and motivated at the same time. Most importantly I want to thank my parents. Dad, it was your guidance that led me to CYA and helped me understand how important being in the right place is. Mom, you have never wavered in your support for me. Thank you both for believing in me.”
There’s still a lot of hockey to be played this season and the CYA U19’s will be leaning heavily on Alex down the stretch.
CYA U19: Isabella Moskonas
The Chicago Young Americans are proud to announce that Isabella Moskonas has committed to play NCAA Hockey for Morrisville State. Morrisville is located in upper state New York and will be joining the highly competitive NEWHL next season. “We are all so excited for Bella and her decision to join the Mustangs next season,” commented Cimba. “Coach Lomanto got a very special player in Bella. In all the years I’ve been coaching this game, Bella is the first player I can honestly call the ideal team-mate. Her desire for success beyond that of her own, combined with an unparalleled level of pride towards this program and her team. It's like nothing I’ve ever seen. There’s no questioning a coaches decision or any form of self doubt, she just wants to play hockey and win.” Cimba went on to say, “ Bella’s perseverance, dedication and determination paid off with high dividends as she reached her lifelong goal to play NCAA Hockey."
“First off I want to thank Coach Bud Simon for introducing me to CYA,” said Moskonas. “The moment I put that red helmet on last year was the moment I knew I found the place I wanted to be. It was the exact same feeling when I spoke to Coach Lomanto the first time, I just knew. Then after visiting the campus and seeing that Morrisville had what I wanted academically, I was 110% in. I want to thank my family as I know this has been a crazy journey with a crazy level of commitment, but your belief in me never wavered. You backed me every step of the way and I can’t thank you enough.”
In the short term, Moskonas has her sites set on a State championship as the seasons home stretch is upon us.
Way to go Bella!!
CYA U19: Anna Van Hercke
The Chicago Young Americans are proud to announce that Anna Van Hercke has committed to play NCAA Hockey at Concordia University Wisconsin. The Colorado native made the decision to join CYA this season. She was looking for a program with a reputation for both goalie training and advancement. After working with Coach Sandahl over the summer and seeing the long list of goalie Alum, she knew CYA was where she wanted to be. “Anna’s game has grown in so many areas this season,” said Sandahl. “Her work ethic and desire to master her craft will be a big part of her success at the next level. It’s been an absolute joy working with her this season.
“There’s always a little uncertainty when you take a Sr or PG billet player,” commented Cimba, “are they going to be happy living with a new family? Are they going fit the personality of the team? But after the first 10 minutes of getting to know Anna, there was no doubt she was a perfect fit to our CYA family. Anna was presented with multiple offers this season but really took her time in deciding what school and program was the best fit. I am so excited for her and her decision. On a personal note, having Anna live with my family this season only added to our excitement of seeing her go through the process, not to mention having our a “new family member” so close to us next year is an added bonus.”
"I am very excited to have made my choice to become a Falcon next season! I took my time finding the perfect school and after visiting CUW campus I knew that it was the perfect place for me.”,” Van Hercke commented. "I would like to thank my family for always supporting me and allowing me to chase my dream of playing hockey at the NCAA level. I don’t know a lot of parents who would agree to send their daughter away across the country at 15 years old and I’m very grateful that you did. I would also like to thank every single coach and teammate I have played with over the years. Playing for five different associations over the past 10 years allowed me to meet some amazing people who helped me get to where I am today."
Along with playing NCAA Hockey, Van Hercke also represents USA in Floorball, playing for both the U18 and Woman’s team. It’s a game that is looking to become an Olympic Sport in the future. No surprise, she’s a goalie in that game too.
CYA U16: Deanna Buenzow
The Chicago Young Americans are proud to announce that U16 defenseman Deanna Buenzow has committed to play her NCAA hockey at Dartmouth for the 2022/23 season. “There’s nothing more exciting than seeing a player who started their career as a first year U12 grow into a highly sought after NCAA prospect,” commented Cimba. “Deanna is a special kid whose work ethic both on the ice and in the class room is what opened the Ivy doors. She has earned the incredible honor of playing for coach Schuler, Team Canada’s head coach, at the Big Green. I am so excited for her and the entire Buenzow family.” Buenzow came off a banner year last season where she was part of CYA’s Bronze medal winning U14 team. She’s brought that will to win to this years U16’s. “I am so excited with my decision to play for coach Schuler,” said Buenzow. “I fell in love with Dartmouth the moment I visited. The school embraces everything I could ask for in a college. A hockey program with a great history, academics that are amongst the top in the nation and school who embraces my love for the outdoors. I can’t thank my family enough for all you do. You’ve all supported me every step of the way and I know I couldn’t have done any of this without you. I also want to thank my teammates. When people ask me what makes CYA so special, one word comes to mind – family. My team, the program it’s all a family who is there for you through it all.”
Buenzow is gearing up for a big finish this season as CYA’s U16’s look to make their mark down the stretch.
CYA U19: Kaylee Liberty
CYA is proud to announce that Kaylee Liberty has committed to play NCAA Hockey at Endicott College. Endicott plays in the Colonial Hockey conference, is located 20 miles north of Boston in Beverly, MA and is known for having one of the most beautiful college campuses.
“I couldn’t be more excited for Libs than I am right now,” commented Cimba. “Libs was always a multi-sport athlete but this year she made the decision to give Hockey 100% of her focus, and wow, has it shown with multiple NCAA opportunities being presented." Kaylee has been part of our CYA family since U12. Cimba went on to say, “The growth in her understanding of the game, the roles each player is called upon to play for a team to be successful and her overall growth in compete level is truly second to none. Her journey is one that I hope she will share with other up and coming players in the program. There is so much she can teach others about understanding the journey and the commitment that’s required.”
“I am so excited and honored to know I will be a Gull next season,” Kaylee said. “I really took my time learning about each school that showed interest in me. I wanted the right fit and after seeing Endicott I knew I found the place I wanted to call home. I want to thank my teammates for all your support over the years. I have truly made lifelong friends at CYA. I especially want to thank my family for being there every step of the way. The journey in this game isn’t always easy but you helped me find my voice and learn how important it is to advocate for yourself. A skill I will use the rest of my life.
Kaylee is going to enjoy a short break over the holidays as the U19’s will be leaning heavily on their power forward down the stretch.
We are all so proud of you Libs!
CYA U16: Grace Kedziora
The Chicago Young Americans are excited to announce their 4th NCAA college commit of the season. Goaltender Grace Kedziora has committed to play NCAA Hockey at Brown University for the 2021-22 season. Kedziora will be joining 2 CYA Alums, Hayley Kliczko and Shay Maloney, both who will be in their senior year when she arrives. “Grace is the perfect example of not letting all the noise around you get in the way of reaching your goal,” Cimba commented. “Grace spent this past summer determined to elevate her game. Her increased focus on off ice conditioning combined with targeted goalie training to better her craft has directly resulted in Graces’ game rising to a new level. We couldn’t be more excited for her.”
Kedziora is yet another development success story for CYA goalies. “It has been so much fun watching her develop into the player she is today,” said CYA’s head goalie coach Sanya Sandahl. “I have watched Grace grow into an athlete who takes nothing for granted and she is aware that the hard work is just beginning.”
“Brown has been my dream school for years,” said Kedziora. “I am so excited to have the opportunity to be a student athletes at one of the best colleges in the nation. I want to thank my parents. I think being the parent of a goalie has to be one of the most stressful things, but you always appear to be so cool and just let me figure things out. I never could have reached my dream without your support. I also want to thank my teammates for giving me yet another reason to want to come to the rink everyday. Your support and friendship is what’s always kept me smiling and motivated to bring my best. Lastly, I want to thank coach Sanya. You always believed in me and helped me keep everything in perspective. To look at the game one period at a time and not get too far ahead of myself.”
The CYA U16 team schedule is just starting to ramp up. Grace is expected to play a key part in it’s success this season.
CYA U19: Addie Budington
The Chicago Young American are proud to announce their 3rd NCAA College Commitment of the 2018/19 season. Veteran defenseman Addie Budington chooses UMass Boston. UMass plays in the high powered NEHC hockey conference and play their home games on campus at the Clark Athletic Center. “It’s been amazing to watch Buds grow both on and off the ice over the past several years,” commented Cimba. “It’s one thing to talk about a players growth on the ice, but its even more amazing to watch that player learn to believe in what they are capable of doing with that talent. Buds had a huge breakthrough midway through last season that was so amazing to watch. I knew this was going to be her year. She’s caught the eye of so many schools, but true to herself, she has picked a school and program that truly fits who she is both on and off the ice. Buds I am so proud of you and know you are going to kill it at the next level.” Addie started her career at CYA as a U12 and will be joining CYA Alum Jenessa Hernandez next season. “I can’t tell you how excited I am with my choice to become a Beacon and to have the opportunity to play for Coach Lozzi. I had the chance to visit so many different schools but knew as soon as I saw UMass that it was where I wanted to be,” said Addie. “First I want to thank my family. Hockey is a total family commitment and I know I couldn’t have reached my dream of playing in the NCAA without you. I also want to thank my teammates for being there when I needed you the most. The friendships I have made through this crazy sport are lifelong, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for all of us.” There’s still a lot of hockey to be played this season and the U19’s are planning on a big run. One that Addie will play a big part in.
We are all so proud and excited for you Buds!!
CYA U19:: Katie Devine
CYA is proud to announce their 2nd NCAA commitment of the 2018-19 season. Forward Katie Devine has decided to continue her academic and athletic career at St. Mary’s University, who is a part of the high powered MIAC hockey conference. The Cardinals play their games on campus at the SMU Ice Arena and they are coached by Greg Moore who is in his 2nd season behind the bench for SMU. “There’s nothing more exciting then to see a player who began their Tier 1 career at CYA as a U12, getting a chance to live their dream in the NCAA,” commented Cimba. “Devine has a lot of offensive talent, her hard nosed approach to the game combined with the tempo she likes to play at, are going to translate beautifully at the next level. She is also hungry to learn more which will result in even greater development to her game. Devine, I’m so proud of what you’ve acomplished.” Katie is very excited to not only play for SMU but to also be attending such an outstanding academic school as well. “I would like to thank my entire family for all their support over the years, giving me the opportunity to play hockey and being there for me through the ups and downs as I worked to reach my dream of playing in the NCAA,” said Katie. “A special thanks to my teammates for believing in me and pushing me everyday to improve. I am so excited to continue my academic and athletic career at such an amazing school and I can’t wait to be part of their student community and one of Coach Moores student athletes,” With almost a full season still to go, Coach Cimba will be looking to lean heavily on Devine the rest of the way as the U19’s have their sights set on returning to the National Championship.
Way to go Devine!!!
CYA U19: Kate Pohl
The Chicago Young Americans are proud to announce Kate Pohl’s commitment to play NCAA Hockey at Amherst College. Amherst is located in Amherst, MA and plays in the highly competitive and prestigious NESCAC. “We are so excited for KP and knew since U12 that she was destined for great things,” commented Cimba. “Her speed, IQ and extremely high compete level will transition beautifully to the college game. We’re leaning on her big time this season and know she is up for the challenge.” Pohl was very selective about the type of school she wanted. Amherst is perennially ranked 1st or 2nd among National Liberal Arts Colleges in the US by the various collegiate ranking publications, in addition to having great hockey.
“I am so excited to be able to attend such an extraordinary school as Amherst. From the first time I visited, I loved everything about the school, the campus, and the team. Coach Matthews has built one of the top programs in the country, with a great culture, and I can’t wait to play there. I am so thankful to my family, who encouraged me every day and supported my dream to play high level hockey in college, as well as challenge myself to the fullest academically,” said Pohl. “I also want to thank my teammates, and Coaches Cimba and Sanya. I will always cherish the friendships I have made over my many years at CYA, and am looking forward to continuing to work and compete hard this year.” The U19’s are just getting started and Pohl’s high tempo game will play a huge factor in this season's success.
We are so excited and proud of you KP!!!
CYA U19: Jojo Chobak
The Chicago Young Americans are proud to announce that Goalie Viola “Jojo” Chobak has committed to play Division 1 hockey at the University of Minnesota – Duluth.
“We are so proud of Jojo,” commented Cimba. “Not only is it an incredible opportunity to play in the WCHA, but to be part of a program that’s produced this years Olympic tender is unreal.”
Chobak came to CYA as a U14 eligible player who played U16 out of the gate. Jojo has had a number of great opportunities, but her stellar performance at this years National Championship solidified her place as one of the top goalies in the country. This season as well, she was selected to the USA Hockey goalie development camp, for the top 18 goalies in the country. Jojo also represents CYA’s fifth Division 1 goalie placement over the last 4 years. “Jojo’s work ethic and unwavering focus on her goals has elevated her game to a new level this season,” commented CYA goalie coach Sanya Sandahl. “It’s been a lot of fun watching her grow.”
“I want to thank the entire coaching staff at CYA for your commitment to helping me reach my dream of playing college hockey,” said Chobak. “Getting the opportunity to play for Coach Crowell is so amazing. That combined with the goalie training Coach Bellamy brings to the program only makes it even more unbelievable for me. I would also like to thank my family for their unwavering support. You have given up a lot for me and I can never thank you enough. I also want to thank my teammates for being the most positive and motivating group anyone could ask for. You are more than my team, you really are my family.”
Way to go Jojo!
CYA U19: Amanda Zenstein
The Chicago Young Americans are proud to announce that Amanda Zenstein has committed to Elmira College for the fall of 2018. Elmira currently sits in first place in the UCHC along with being the number 2 nationally ranked team in the country.
Amanda joined CYA’s U19 team this season as a PG, but looked like she’s been part of the team for years. “It’s always a bit of a crap shoot when you bring an outside player into a team that’s this close, but Z has been a fantastic addition, both on and off the ice,” commented Cimba. “From day one she wanted to prove she belonged and that she did, as she worked herself into a very important piece of our defensive core. Her goal to play at a high level in the NCAA was always in her sites. Coach Crowley landed a good one in Z and I can’t wait to see what she accomplishes at the next level.”
“Hockey has always been the love of my life, and to get a chance like this is unreal,” said Zenstein. “To be able to play for a top program in the country, one who has been a National contender for many years, is a dream come true. I want to thank CYA for welcoming me into their family, it’s been such an amazing year. I also want to say thank you to my team, I wish I had been with you all for the last 3 years, you are my friends for life. But most importantly, I want to thank my parents, who have never wavered in their support of me and this crazy ride. It’s been a wild journey and I can’t wait to wear the Soaring Eagles purple and gold next year.”
Amanda will be leaned on heavily down the stretch as CYA looks to make their mark at both the State and National levels this season.
We are all so proud of you Amanda.
CYA U19: Claire Coffman
The Chicago Young Americans are proud to announce Claire Coffman’s commitment to The University of Maine for the 2019-2020 season. Maine is in the highly competitive Hockey East and plays their home games at the Alfond Arena.
“This is CJ’s first season with CYA and she hit the ground running,” commented Cimba. “She brought a level of skill, work ethic, and grit that this years team leans on. It’s also going to play a big part in her future success as a Black Bear. CJ comes from a family of athletes, who understand that patience along with hard work are whats important through the process. We’re so happy for the entire Coffman family.”
“First off I’d like to thank CYA for giving me an opportunity with such an amazing group of players,” replied Coffman. “This team and these girls are a one of a kind group, both on and off the ice. The never ending mutual support through the rigors of the season will be my biggest take away from this year and something that I believe will be the key to our success down the stretch. I also want to thank Cimba, Sanya and the entire team for pushing me to be the best I can.” Coffman went on to say, “But most importantly, I want to thank my family, who have been by my side through this entire journey. This sport is like nothing else, and I know I couldn’t have done it without you.”
With only 2 more games left on the calendar year, the U19’s are looking forward to the break. Time to physically recover and mentally prepare for a big finish. A finish that Coffman will be called upon to play a big role.
Congrats CJ, we’re all so proud of you!!!
CYA U19: Audrey McMahon
CYA is proud to announce that Audrey McMahon has committed to play NCAA hockey at Wesleyan University. Located in Middletown, CT. Wesleyan is considered one of the top academic schools in the country and plays in the highly competitive NESCAC. “Nothing makes me prouder then to see a player who started their CYA career as a U12 land in the NCAA,” commented Cimba. “And to end up in the NESCAC’s is an unbelievable accomplishment. Aud is not only the heart and soul of this team, but she has been that for this club since the day she arrived. Coach McKenna is not only getting a top PK player with a great IQ for the game, she’s also getting a player who is a natural leader both on and off the ice.” The Cardinals play their home games on campus at the Spurrier-Snyder Arena. “I am incredibly excited to continue my academic and athletic career at an amazing school like Wesleyan,” commented McMahon. "I look forward to playing against some of my old teammates in the NESCAC, as well as being apart of a hockey program that is a perfect fit for me. I would like to thank my teammates for putting a smile on my face every time I come to the rink, and for making me a better person on and off the ice. Thank you to my coaches Cimba and Sanya for pushing me to reach my full potential and for their tireless commitment to our team. CYA has been an integral part of my life, and I am extremely grateful to have played for this program for seven years. Lastly, I would like to thank my family, especially my parents, for all that they do for me- I don't know where I would be without your constant love and support."
Aud’s work at CYA isn’t finished as she helps the team prepare for a year on top of the JWHL standings and into the National Championship.
We are all so proud of you Aud!
CYA U19: Taylor Munson
The Chicago Young Americans are proud to announce that defenseman Tay Munson has chosen Colby College to continue her hockey and academic career. Colby is one of the highly sought after NESCAC schools, many also refer to them as the small Ivy’s. Coached by Holly Tyng, who is in her first year behind the bench, the Mules play their home games on campus at the Alfond Arena. “Tay has really stepped up this season,” commented Cimba. “She has worked her way into a very important part of our power play and has really learned how adjust her game on the fly based on the competition we are seeing. I think she is going to bring hard work, grit and a play-making touch to the Mules next season. I wish her the best of luck in the future. I am very proud of how hard she worked and she is by far one of our most improved players.” Munson has 16 points this season and is looking forward to joining CYA alum Carly Thomas next season. "I am so excited to play college hockey and continue my education at Colby,” said Tay. "I knew that I wanted to land at a school that gave me both the highest academic opportunity along with a hockey program I could be proud of. After my visit to Colby, I knew it was the perfect fit for me. I wanted to thank CYA for giving me an opportunity to play with great players over the years and against some amazing competition. Thank you to all my teammates who have helped me on and off the ice with anything and everything. Lastly, thank you to my family for supporting me and doing everything they could to support my dream. My dream of playing college hockey has finally come true.”
CYA Proud Munson!!!
CYA U19: Jenessa Hernandez
The Chicago Young Americans are proud to announce that veteran forward, Jenessa Hernandez has chosen to continue her academic and hockey career at UMass-Boston The Beacons play in the talented NEHC hockey conference and call the Clark Athletic Center their home. The team is coached by Northeastern grad, Lindsay Berman, who is in her second season as head coach. “Every player has their own unique path and Nessa’s was Unique on steroids,” said Cimba. “Obviously my job is to move players on, but when Nessa made the decision to PG this season, it took a lot of strength not to look as excited on the outside as I was on the inside. Nessa represents everything I could ask for in a CYA player. Hard working, strong willed, big hearted and the ability to not sweat the small stuff. It’s no secret that it was a tough year for the entire Hernandez family after her Mom’s accident, but the effect on Nessa and the level of strength and focus it brought out in her is amazing. I am so proud and excited for her. She’s ready for this next step and I know she’s going to turn a lot of heads at the next level.” The feisty winger is excited about the remainder of the season, but is excited to start her next chapter in life. "I'm really excited to start my college hockey and academic career at UMass. I've always loved Boston so going to school there for the next four years is going to be amazing,” commented Hernandez. "I'd like to thank my teammates and friends for always supporting me. A special thank you to Coach Cimba and Sanya for always believing in me and pushing me to be the best I can be. A big thank you to my family for supporting me through it all and understanding the process. Lastly, thank you beyond words to my mom for molding me into the person I am today. She always supports me without question and is my biggest fan. I couldn't be happier.”
U19: McKenna Ellena
CYA is proud to announce another college commitment, as forward McKenna Ellena has chosen Augsburg College to continue her hockey and academic career. Augsburg is currently in first place with a playoff bid in the highly competitive MIAC league coached by Michelle McAteer. They play their home games at the Augsburg Ice Arena with 2 sheets of ice located right on campus. “I can’t tell you how excited I am for Mack,” commented Cimba. “She made the decision to come to CYA this year from Wisconsin not only for the hockey, but also for the exposure. It’s not easy to walk into a group that has been together for years, but Mack is a plug and play player, both on and off the ice. Her tenacity on the ice and positive outlook off ice were both welcomed additions to the team. Mack embraced this season as a senior and made her mark. I know she is going to bring hard work, grit and a scoring touch to Augsburg next season.” Ellena will be a dual athlete at Augsburg, playing both Hockey and Lacrosse- an amazing accomplishment. "I am very excited to play college hockey and continue my education at Augsburg,” said Ellena. My visits and overnight stay were amazing, and I was ultimatly blown away; I knew it was a great fit for me. Besides the accomplished Team and Coaching staff, there is a state-of-the-art Science building opening soon to enhance my Biology major. I want to thank CYA for giving me the best scenario to play my Senior year of hockey. Thank you to all my teammates who have helped me on and off the ice with anything and everything. Lastly, thank you to my family for allowing me (youngest of 5 siblings who all played college hockey!) to follow my dream! In tournaments from Vancouver to DC, my parents were always there to support me."
Way to go #5 Mack!!
CYA U19: Emma Katzman
CYA is proud to announce that U19 Sophomore forward Emma Katzman has committed to play Division 1 hockey at Dartmouth for the 2019-20 season. The Big Green play their games in the highly competitive ECAC hockey conference, known to be one of the strongest leagues in the country. They are coached by Laura Schuler who is in her first year at the helm. Katzman is the first CYA player to be selected by the Big Green, signs that Schuler and her staff are are focused on bringing great things their way. “We are so excited for Kat, Dartmouth is a first for us,” commented Cimba. “Just in speaking with their coaches I know Kat will fit right in with their philosophy of speed and hard work. She brings intensity every day to games and practices and she’s going to have a great career on and off the ice. On a personal note I am very excited for the entire Katzman family,” The first year U19 gritty forward has been a spark plug for CYA this season and has earned everything she has received along the way. "I am so excited about the opportunity I have at Dartmouth both on the ice and in the classroom. It has always been a dream to play college hockey now I get to do it at a place with a great tradition, great facilities and an unreal coaching staff,” said Emma. “I knew in my gut after seeing the school and spending time with Coaches Schuler and Cobb that this was the place for me. I would like to thank CYA for getting me to the next level and working hard for me to find the right fit. I also know couldn’t have found my way on this crazy ride, if I didn’t have the support of my team and to all of you thanks for being there for me. Finally and most important, I would like to give a very s special thank you to my family who has supported me through this journey every step of the way. From the craziness of our season travel, the opportunity to play in Europe and to multiple college visits you came to, without that support it would have been hard to make my dream come true. I am so excited and ready to spend the next two and a half seasons focusing on getting ready for that jump, both on the ice and in the classroom.” Emma is CYA’s seventh college commitment of the season.
Way to got Kat!!!
CYA U19: Gabi Montembeault
CYA is proud to announce that Assistant Captain, Gabriella Montembeault has committed to the prestigious Williams College for 2017 where she will continue her hockey and academic career. The Ephs play in the tough NESCAC hockey conference and play their home games at the Lancing Chapman Ice Arena. The skilled and speedy forward is currently playing her seventh season with CYA.”I am so proud and excited for Mobo,” commented Cimba. “She's going to an unbelievable school, the number one academic institution in the county. She’s really stepped up as a leader of this team and is playing great hockey. I know she is going to be an even better college hockey player." Gabi is CYA’s first commitment to the NESCAC’s this season and only the second Williams commit of all time.
"I am very excited to be joining the Ephs family for next season and to start the next chapter of my life,” commented Gabi. “I’ve had an awesome time playing at CYA, they are my family and will be forever, but I am also eager to go to College. When I visited Williams I fell in love with both the campus and facilities and think it is the perfect fit for me to not only continue my hockey career, but also get an amazing education. I would like to thank coach Gillis for giving me this opportunity. I would also like to thank my team for their never ending support and lifelong friendship, it’s been an amazing journey. I would also like to thank all of my coaches at CYA. My coaches have helped me tremendously throughout my CYA career. A special thank you to Coach Frank, Coach Sayna, and Coach Cimba. Coach Frank has always been here for me and i am so grateful for him. Coach Sayna always pushes me to get better and has always believed in my success. Coach Cimba has helped me through everything and I don't know where I would be without his constant support. On and off the ice, he is one of my biggest supporters and I know I can always count on him for anything. Last but not least I would like to thank my family. My mom, dad and sisters have been there supporting me since I was a little kid starting to play. Through the ups and downs they always had my back and helped me keep my head up high. I love them more than anything and wouldn't be where I am, or the person I am today without them. I will continue to work this year and in the off season and do everything I can do to be able to make the transition to that next level," It's a great day to be part of CYA!
CYA U16: MJ Alexander
The Chicago Young Americans are proud to announce that U16 sophomore and defenseman MaryJane Alexander has committed to RPI to continue her hockey career in 2019. Alexander joined CYA in 2011 as a first year U12 player, supporting CYA’s emphasis on development of the complete player and that playing girls hockey is a strong development path to college opportunities. This season Alexander will be an anchor to the defensive unit on the U16’s, while also leading off the ice.
“MJ’s sharp skills, defensive composure, hockey IQ, and compete level generated interest from several college programs in the NCAA,” commented Cimba. "She has ultimately made the decision to join Coach Burke and the Engineers in the ECAC. With the focus and work ethic MJ has, there is no doubt she will be ready to make an impact at RPI in 2019.” Coming into her sixth season with CYA, Alexander reflected on her experience, stating "Hockey has been a huge part of my life ever since I was 4 years old, but it was when I came to CYA and started playing with some of my best friends that I realized I wanted to persue the game for as long as I could and to my best ability.” Alexander went on to say, "I have worked so hard to get to this point and my individual effort is only part of it. My teammates and my coaches at CYA have sincerely made a big impact on my game and have had a large influence in my life off the ice as well as on. I can't thank my parents and my coaches enough for motivating and pushing me to my limits and showing me that hard work can really take you far. I am more than excited to continue my path in the sport by putting in the hard work each day to improve myself and others, and to further my education and hockey at this excellent university."
Alexander is pumped that the season is underway and is ready to help lead the U16’s to a State title and a trip to the National Championship. We are all so proud of you.
Way to go MJ!
CYA U16: Kate Thurman
The Chicago Young Americans are proud to announce that veteran forward, Kate Thurman has committed to The University of Connecticut for the 2019/20 year. “Nothing makes me more excited then seeing a player whose been with us since she was a first year U12 getting a college committment,” said Cimba. “Thurm has been one of those players who has helped to build the CYA legacy while contributing to the success of the program both on and off the ice. Watching her skill, character and overall work ethic develop over the years has been a lot of fun. She represents the complete CYA package and I know that’s a big part of what Coach Mack at UConn loves about her.” Kate had a few offers and made her decision based on what she knows fit her both on the ice and in the classroom.
In reflecting on her experience with CYA, Kate has said, “CYA has helped me to grow not only as a hockey player but as a person. Through the program I was able to learn more about myself and my ability to play college hockey, I owe so much to my coaches and teammates that I've had over the years. But even more important, I need to give a big thank you to my parents. The decision to play at CYA was a family commitment. Driving 2 1/2 hours each way was a big sacrifice and I can't thank them enough for supporting and believing in me through it all.”
Kate is being called on this year to help lead CYA’s U16 team to a State Championship and a trip to Nationals. While she has 3 years left at CYA, she plans to spend every minute focusing on giving her all to her team and the club, while getting herself ready to step in at UConn in 2019. We are all so excited for you Kate.
Way to go Thurm!!
CYA U16: Avery Henry
CYA is proud to announce their third college commit of the season. Avery Henry has committed to play college hockey at the University of Toronto for the 2018/19 season. U of T plays in the highly skilled CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) and is academically the 16th ranked school in the world. “Having been raised in Toronto, this commitment has a very special meaning for me,” said Cimba. “There are very few places that you can bring both world class sports and academics together. Avery has found one of those places. She has challenged herself last year and this off season to be the best she could be, and it really showed. She has the ability to be a top end play maker and the Varsity Blues have picked up on that, Coach Sunohara grabbed a good one.” Henry will be called upon to help lead this years CYA U16 team both on and off the ice this season. “Having roots back in Canada only makes this that much more exciting for me and I know my parents are thrilled too,” commented Henry "I want to thank all the coaches at CYA who have helped me develop and grow as a player and as a person this past year. I would like to thank all of my teammates for pushing me to improve my game and for also being some of the best friends I have ever had. I am so grateful for all the love and support I have received at CYA. Most importantly, I would like to thank my parents for all the support and dedication they have shown me. They have sacrificed so much time and energy so that I could play hockey, and I know that I would not have been able to do this without them."
We are all very proud of you.
CYA U19: Delaney Weiss
The Chicago Young Americans are proud to announce that Delaney Weiss has committed to play Division 1 Hockey at RPI for 2018/19 season. RPI is located in Troy New York and is coached by John Burke, who is in his 14th season at the helm. “I knew the day we landed Delaney as a second year U14 player, we had someone special in our program,” said Cimba. "She walked into a Captains position that season, stepped up as a role model to our younger players and never looked back. Watching Delaney grow as a player has been a real thrill. She represents a lot of what CYA is about. Burkie is getting a fantastic student/athlete at RPI.” Weiss will be joining team mate Morgan Ondrick who is set to begin her college career next season. “There is no doubt that hard work on your own is a big part in getting to where you need to be, but it also takes the support of others to help you through it all, especially your team to drive you and be with you,” commented Weiss. “I couldn’t have done this without my parents drive and support . I can’t thank you both enough. I also have to thank CYA for pushing me in the right direction as well as helping me through what could have been a very stressful process. Finally, I want to thank my teammates for not only being a motivation, but for also making me love coming to the rink every day, you supported me through everything, thank you so much.
Weiss is the second college commitment for the JWHL’s Chicago Young Americans this season, with more to come.
Way to go Weiss!!!
CYA U19: Abby Brush
CYA is proud to announce their first college commit of the season. Alternate Captain, Abby Brush has committed to play NCAA hockey for the 2015/16 National Champs – Plattsburgh. Plattsburgh plays their games out of the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena and is coached by AHCA Coach of the year, Kevin Haule. “I am so excited for Abby, she’s put a lot of work into her game both on and off the ice,” commented Cimba. "Platty is not only getting a great hockey player, but they are also getting someone who leads by example. She is also a player who works at being a student of the game, something you don’t come across very often.” Brush will also be pursuing a degree in Nursing at Plattsburgh, a program that is nationally recognized. “I am so excited about this opportunity” said Brush. “ To have the chance to play for one of the top programs and coaches in the country is unreal. Not to mention attending a school that has everything I’m looking for. I want to thank CYA and my teammates for pushing me to be the best I can be. I also want to thank my parents. I don’t think this would have come together without you helping me to recognize what I am capable of achieving and believing in me.”
Abby will be called upon to be a big part of this season both on the ice and in the locker room. We are all so excited for you.
CYA U19: Amelia Murray
Shay Maloney: CYA U16
The Chicago Young Americans are excited to announce that Shay Maloney has committed to play Division 1 hockey at Brown University for the 2018 season. Brown is located in Providence, RI and is ranked number 14 according to US News & World Report of National Universities . The Brown Bears are coached by Brown Alumni Bob Kenneally and play their games in the Meehan Auditorium.
“Shay is an elite level player and a huge addition to CYA this season,” commented John Cimba “She is a dedicated and hard working power forward whose attitude, grit, will to compete, battle and never give up play, is infectious and something that is really hard to teach. It’s these ingredients in her game that will make Shay a big success at the next level,” added Cimba. “I couldn’t be prouder."
"I look forward to four years at Brown with Coach Kenneally, it’s the perfect fit for me, ‘ commented Shay. “When I went to visit the school a few times with my brother who will also be playing hockey there, I knew that this was my dream school. When Coach Kennealy called, it was a dream come true."
“I would like to thank my teammates for helping to push me and for being such a big part of my life. I would also like to thank my CYA coaches for their belief in me. In particular Coach Shines who has been instrumental in my development as a person and a player. Finally, and most importantly, I would like to thank my parents and my brothers for their support and for all of the sacrifices made for me to play at this level. I never could have done this without you.”
We are very excited to see Shay continue to grow at the U19 level over the next two seasons. She has become not only a big part of her team, but also a big part of our CYA family.
So proud of you Shay!!
CYA U19: Margaret Cusick
The Chicago Young Americans are proud to announce that forward Margaret Cusick has chosen Trinity College as the next chapter in her hockey and academic career for the fall of 2016. Trinity is located in Hartford, CT and the Bantams play in the NESCAC, playing their home games at the Keppel Community Sports Center. The team is coached by Head Coach Keith Maurice who just finished his first season behind the bench. Cusick is very excited about the upcoming opportunity both on the ice and in the classroom over the next four years. "I would like to thank my teammates for being there for me over the past two season. We have built a friendship that goes well beyond hockey, and will be life long,” commentated Cusick “I also want to thank my family for the support and help they gave me throughout the process. It has been a long journey, full of many ups and downs, and you have always been there for me.” Trinity is not only in what is arguably the highest Academic League in the country, but it is also known for sending teams to the Frozen Four each year, and expectations are high at Trinity. “Maggie has really come a long way this season. Her growth as a player and understanding of the game has evolved so much,” commented Cimba. “I know that its not always been easy, but the growth in the strength of her game and her character ’s is why she’s ready for the NCAA. She really is a special person who can lift a bench when things get tough. I am looking forward to watching her compete at that next level and we wish her the best of luck," We wish the entire Cusick family nothing but the best of luck in Margaret’s next chapter on and off the ice.
CYA U19: Sarah Fisher
CYA U19: Tala Glass
CYA is proud to announce that Tala Glass has committed to Bowdoin where she will continue her academic and hockey career. Bowdoin is located in Brunswick, Maine and plays in the highly competitive NESCAC, a league that’s made up of schools many refer to as “The Small Ivy’s”. The Polar Bears play their games on campus at the Sid J. Watson Arena, arguably one of the most impressive rinks in NCAA Div III hockey. The Polar Bears are coached by Bowdoin Alum Coach Marissa O’Neil, who is in her 7th season behind the bench. Tala is in her 7th season with CYA is one of the few players who can say they won a Gold, Silver and Bronze medal at the National Championship. "Bowdoin is lucky to be getting a smart and diverse two way player able to play both forward and defense,” Commented Cimba. "She has great hockey IQ and a keen sense for the net in either position."
“Thank you to my parents, the Dyneks and Coach Frank for all the support, and always knowing how to find the balance between hard work, integrity and fun. I am grateful for the support of my amazing teammates throughout the years, I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for you. It has been an amazing ride, and you girls are not just my teammate friends, but family.”
Fantastic Job Tala!!
CYA U19: Natalie Ryan
CYA U16: Anne Bloomer
CYA is proud to announce that U16 forward Anne Bloomer has set her sights to play hockey at Harvard University for the 2018-2019 season. A strong offensive forward, Bloomer helps lead a very young and talented U16 team this season. Harvard currently ranks among the top college teams in the National polls and is led by former Olympic Head Coach Katey Stone.
“From the time I coached and got to know ‘Bloom’ at U14, I knew she was a dedicated player,” commented Cimba. “But the hard work she put in since then, both on and off the ice, has taken her game to the next level this season and she was noticed by many NCAA programs. Athletically and academically, her no-nonsense, all business work ethic will serve her well at the next level. I look forward to watching her develop and grow as a player over the next couple of seasons.”
“The decision process took some time but I enjoyed meeting so many great coaches at so many amazing programs, and I am very grateful to them. I learned through the process that Harvard is the right place for me. Although this is a great opportunity, it is just the first step,” said Anne. “I am fortunate to have a family who supports me and my goals. I am also very lucky to have the support of CYA and all of my teammates and coaches. I love my team and I want to work as hard as I can for it.”
Bloom’s immediate focus is on continuing a strong finish with her teammates as they set their sights on a National Championship.
CYA U19: Katelynn Russ
CYA is proud to announce that U19 Assistant Captain, Katelynn Russ has committed to play Division 1 Hockey at Union College. Union is located in Schenectady, NY and plays in the ECAC Hockey Conference. The Dutchwoman, who play their games on campus at the Achilles Center, are coached by Head Coach Claudia Asano Barcomb who is in her 9th season behind the bench.
“Russ is the perfect example of what a Student Athlete truly means,” commented Cimba. “It’s hard enough trying to crack a D1 program, but knowing exactly what you want to study and finding out that there are only a handful of D1 schools who offer that program and never bending on the importance school means to you, is the ultimate definition of a student athlete,” Katelynn’s career with CYA has been filled with Medals. Winning the Gold Medal at the National Championship at U14 and then the Silver at U16. “Russ brings a level of smarts to the game that you really can’t teach. Her understanding of the game, the way she sees the ice and her work ethic both on and off the ice is what makes her so Special,” Cimba went on to say. “I can’t wait to see her compete at the next level”.
“It definitely was a long road, but the end prize was so worth the wait,” said Katelynn. “I want to thank CYA for helping me to understand what it takes, not just in the game of Hockey, but also what it’s going to take to be a success at whatever I choose to do. I also want to say thank you to all my teammates for their support during this journey and pushing me to be my best every day at the rink. When things got hard they always had my back and never let me give up on my dream.” Katelynn commented. “Most importantly I want to thank my parents. You both made sure I kept my academic goals in first position at all times and I couldn’t have done this without your support and understanding.”
Katelynn wants to see one more Medal on her mantel before she leaves for College. CYA is gearing up for another run at the National Championship.
CYA U19: Hayley Kliczko
CYA is excited to announce another college commitment. Junior goaltender, Hayley Kliczko, will be heading to Providence, RI to play Division 1 hockey at Brown University in the 2017/18 Season. Kliczko has been a big part of the CYA family, having started with the program as a first year U12 goalie. Her career so far includes 2 Bronze, 1 Silver and 1 Gold Medal at the USA Hockey National Championships and now an Ivy League commitment to play College Hockey. “Hayley is truly a special person, both on and off the ice,” commented Cimba. “Not only has she made the cut every year for USA Hockey’s National Development Camp, but she’s also one of the most sincere individuals I’ve had the opportunity to coach. Brown is getting not only a great Tender in Hayley but also an unreal teammate.”
“I’m so proud of Hayley and the effort she’s put forward all season to reach this goal,” commented CYA Head Goalie Coach Sanya Sandahl. “Hayley has improved tremendously over the course of the season and I know there’s still great upside to her game. Hayley’s work ethic is what will get her there.”
“I knew I wanted to go to Brown the moment I stepped on to the campus and met Coach Kenneally. I really connected with him and fell in love with the school,” said Kliczko. “The combination of being an Ivy, offering Engineering and a chance to play Division 1 hockey is a dream come true. I want to thank CYA for being a big part of my life these past 5 years and most importantly, I want to thank my family. None of this could have ever been made possible without their support. It’s hard enough being the parent of a hockey player, but being the parent of a goalie brings a whole other level of dedication.” Kliczko’s job at CYA is not done yet, as she prepares for another run at the National Championship this coming season.
We are all so proud of you Hayley – Congrats!
CYA U19: Sydney Sorkin
CYA U16: Morgan Ondrick
CYA U19: Julia Tylke
CYA U19: Kristin Chivers
CYA is proud to announce their fifth college commitment of the 2014-2015 season. Kristin Chivers has committed to Elmira College for the fall of 2015, currently sitting at #2 in the national rankings. The 1997-born forward is in her fourth season with CYA and has had an impact since she arrived. “Chiv is a great pick up for Elmira,” said Cimba. “She is a player with the ability to play both forward and defense, I know that this was a real attraction for Coach Jackson. That and her ability to rack up special team minutes on both the PP and PK only makes her that much more of a threat.” Kristin will be joining CYA Alum Arianna Smith and Meagan Ondrick next season.
CYA U19: Carly Thomas
CYA U19: Maggie Conroy
CYA U19: Ivy Dynek
Congrats Ivy, we are all so proud!!!!
CYA U16: Caitlin Schneider
CYA U19: Makenna Thomas
CYA U19: Rachael Cholak
CYA is proud to announce that forward Rachael Cholak has committed to play D1 hockey next season in the Ivy League for Brown University, a member of the ECAC. Rachael finished her season with 17 Goals, 26 Assists for a total of 42 pts.
CYA U19: Allie Bruns
CYA is proud to announce that veteran defenseman Allison Bruns has committed to play college hockey for Stevenson (NCAA D3) next fall. Bruns has been a very important part of CYA both on and off the ice these past 4 years. "I would like to thank my parents for supporting me through out my hockey career. I also owe a huge thank you to CYA who pushed me to compete every day and helped prepare me for College Hockey. I am very excited to attend Stevenson next season and play hockey with very competitive group of players. I can't wait to start competing at the next level and further my academics as well," said Bruns. The Prairie Grove, IL defenseman came to the CYA four years ago. "Allie has really improved over the last two seasons and became a warrior. She learned what it takes to play at the next level and competed every day, that is what caught Stevenson's eye as she got better and better through out the season. She has a tremendous hockey IQ and is going to do a great job at the next level. I am very happy for Allie and her family and I wish them the best of luck as she starts the next chapter in her life," said Cimba. "I can't say how much the Bruns clan has meant to CYA. You will be missed."
CYA U19: Ariana Depinto
CYA U19: Nikki Mueller
CYA is pleased to announce their tenth NCAA college commitment of the season. Goaltender Nicki Mueller has committed to play Division 1 Hockey for the University of Connecticut, part of the highly competitive Hockey East.
“I am so excited for Nicki. She’s worked very hard both on and of the ice these past few years and now that hard work has really paid off,” commented Cimba. Mueller came to CYA as a first year U16 in the 20011/12 season. “I’ll never forget it, it was a season where Nicki was learning what being the number two goalie was about. It wasn’t easy but she stayed focused on improving. Here we are at the National Championship and we make the decision to put her in vs. Shattuck St. Mary’s……….and that was all she wrote. Nicki had her break out game and never looked back. She found her new level of focus and desire. It was awesome to watch.”
“This is a dream come true for me,” commented Mueller. “UConn has been my number one choice for a long time. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to play for Coach MacKenzie and represent the Huskie’s. I really want to thank my parents for all they’ve done. These long drives from Rockford haven’t been easy but they were always there for me. I also want to give a special thanks to all the CYA goalie coaches – Coach’s Naumenko and Nelson. I especially want to thank Johnny Rutledge. All those painful hours with you Johnny have paid off. Thank you!”
Nicki is the third goalie CYA has moved on to NCAA Division 1 in two years, making CYA the place for top Tenders. Please keep your eyes open for more commits to come.
U19: Erin O'Connor
In an interesting turn of events, Erin O'Connor has made the decision to de-commit from Harvard and will now be heading to Cornell. "It's been a bit of a roller coaster," commented O'Connor. "Harvard wanted me to PG a year but I'm ready for college right now. Cornell has everything I'm looking for, an Ivy league school and a chance to play for a top 5 team in the country. I really want to thank my family for supporting me through this crazy turn of events. They helped me keep everything in perspective." Cornell plays in the ECAC Conference and stands at number 4 in the national polls. "Erin is a blue chip defenseman and deserves to play hockey next season." commented Cimba. "She will have the opportunity to immediately be an impact at Cornell while attending a top end academic institution. Erin is proof how different every players journey can be. I'm so proud of how she stayed focused and so positive through this experience and she has all of the characteristics that will make her an exceptional student athlete. Cornell is very lucky to have her".Congrats Erin!!!
CYA U19: Rebecca Lindblad
CYA U19: Jordan Stewart
“I’m very excited about playing for Union and Coach Barcomb,” Stewart said. "When she offered me the opportunity to play on her team, I didn’t hesitate. It's the perfect fit for me both academically and athletically. This never would have happened if I didn't get the support I get from my family. I can't thank my Mom and Dad enough for all they have sacrificed for me," commented Stewart. "When I committed to playing for Coach Cimba, I knew how hard the drive from Rockford would be, but I also knew that I wanted to play for a program whose number one focus is moving players on."
"From the moment Jordan put on the Red, White and Blue, she has made her presence known by providing a steady physical presence," said Cimba. “The contributions Jordan has made over the last two seasons do not necessarily show up in the boxscore,” Cimba reflected. “She has been a plus player over these two years and has a knack for really shutting down the attacking forwards from the opposing teams, not to mention a major factor on our PK. We are so excited that Jordan will be playing D1 hockey. I'm also real excited to see even more growth out of her game over both the remainder of this season and all of next."
CYA U19: Arianna Smith
The Defending National Champs have landed another CYA player. CYA is proud to announce that 1996 forward, Arianna Smith, has committed to play next season for the Elmira Soaring Eagles. Elmira, part of the ECAC West Div III conference, is located in Elmira, NY and has become a top team in their conference over the last two years, under coach Dean Jackson. Smith, a WI native, joined CYA this season to improve her skills by competing in a full season of Tier 1 practices and games. "This has been a good year with CYA. Despite the drive, I love the intensity of our practices and the opportunity to play 50+ games against other NCAA bound athletes. I would like to thank all of my current and previous coaches for helping me realize my goal to play NCAA hockey. I would also like to thank my family for all the support they have provided me. If it weren't for their never ending support and crazy dedication none of this would have happened. I am so excited to join the Soaring Eagles next season and to have a chance to play for Coach Jackson. He was, without question, the biggest inspiration in my decision to attend Elmira." CYA is very excited for Smith and her family "this is a nice achievement for Ari. Her commitment to reach her goal has been unwavering. Never mind the long drive from WI to play CYA, the commitment she has made to her game both on and off the ice have been the key factors in her success. Ari and her family have a lot to be proud of and we wish her the best of luck," said Cimba. Smith becomes the sixth CYA commitment of the season as the organization looks to be the top program for college placement in the country.
CYA U16: Caroline Knop
CYA U16: Jackie Mota
CYA U19: Meagan Ondrick
CYA U19: Alanna Serviss
CYA is proud to announce that Tender Alanna Serviss has committed to Providence College for the fall of 2014.
“I am beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to play Division I hockey for Providence. It has been a lifelong dream of mine to play amongst the best collegiate hockey players in the nation. It hasn't been an easy ride and I would not have this opportunity without the support I’ve received from my family and my coaches. I can't thank them enough," Said Serviss. "While there have been many ups and downs over the years, CYA stayed dedicated to me and my goal. I can't thank them enough for putting up with me for this long. 'cue everyone's sign of relief that I'm not PGing again,'"
"Alanna is one of those players who's goal to play D1 hockey has been in her sights from the early years she started with CYA. She made a decision to play a second PG year, a decision she did not enter into lightly, and her decision has paid off" said Cimba. "Alanna is proof that things happen to everyone in their own time. That not getting caught up in what’s happening to everyone else around you and focusing on what you can control - hard work and dedication, is what gets you there."
CYA U16: Andrea Renner
CYA is proud to announce their first Division I commitment from the 2013-14 season. Andrea Renner will be attending Northeastern in the fall of 2016. Renner was part of CYA's National Championship U14 team last year.
“This couldn't have happened to a better kid,” said Cimba. “Renner was a big part of our U14 team’s success last season. Her character is that of which every coach wants in their locker room. We are talking about a player here that gives you her best effort in everything she does. I am so proud of her."
“I didn't think anything could top last season's National Championship, but committing to Northeastern is the most exciting thing to happen to me," said Renner. "I am so excited about being a Huskie and joining the other recently committed to CYA players as teammates. I want to win a National Championship and I believe it's in the Huskie's future."
CYA U19: Veronika Metanova
CYA is happy to announce that Forward Veronika Metanova has committed to Concordia University Wisconsin in the NCHA Conference for 2013-14. Metanova will be playing hockey and lacrosse at Concordia.
She brings her quick feet and net sense to the Falcons as she led CYA's 19's in points this past season. She's also no stranger to the physical side of the game.
"Veronica is a great player and is going to help CUW with their climb in the NCHA,” Cimba added. “She's a tremendous student and a great all around athlete. Being able to bring her love of lacrosse and hockey together, along with being able to study criminal law, makes it such a great fit all around, on and off the ice.
“We wish Veronica and her family the best of luck.”
CYA U19: Alexis Molotky
The 1993-born Molotky came to CYA for a PG year. “Alexis has been a true competitor this season and has earned everything she has received, ” said Head Coach Anthony Booth. "Alexis is very excited to be joining the Lions program, which is led by head Coach O'Mara."
“I wanted to thank my parents and family for all their support over the years I have been playing hockey,” said Molotky. “I also wanted to thank the Devine family for making me feel like part of their family. I was very nervous about billeting this season but thanks to CYA I am leaving Chicago with a new extended family in the Devine's."
Molotky becomes the 7th CYA player on this year’s roster to hold a commitment to an NCAA program (with others on the way).
“I am very excited for Alexis. She has battled hard for us this season and Lindonwood is not only getting a great tender, but also a great person,” says girls director John Cimba. “ I wish the Molotky family the best of luck and I look forward to watching Alexis progress at the next level.”
CYA U19: Leslie Matera
CYA U19: Erika Truschke
CYA U16: Morgan Crane
The CYA U16's are proud to announce our 4th commitment. Morgan Crane will join team mate Maddie Hartman at Northeastern University for the 2015 season. Crane is going to bring strength and toughness to the Huskies. She has been one of the toughest Forwards to play against at the U16 level. Her size, strength and shot have been a lethal combination for both defenders and tenders all around the country. Crane currently sits 2nd on the team with 29pts in 29 games played.
“Morgan's commitment, dedication and work ethic has been tremendous and she is only going to get better at the next level" said John Cimba. "She isn't afraid to make the kinds of sacrifices a D1 power forward makes. I am very happy for Morgan and the entire Crane family and thank them for not only their dedication to CYA, but also for their dedication to the game".
Way to go Crane!!!!!
CYA U16: Maddie Hartman
The Chicago Young Americans are pleased to announce that Defenseman Maddie Hartman has verbally committed to Head Coach Dave Flint and The Northeastern University Huskies for the Class of 2015.
“Maddie's physical play along with her exceptional hockey IQ is what really catches your eye,” commented CYA Head Coach and Director of Player Advancement John Cimba. “Northeastern offers Maddie a fantastic education along with an outstanding hockey program. This is absolutely the right fit for her.”
The CYA Team is very proud of Maddie's accomplishment and look forward to closely working with her so she is ready for her 2015 NCAA experience!!
CYA U16: Emma Vlasic
CYA is very proud to announce that U16 forward Emma Vlasic, has received a verbal commit from Yale University. Emma is a 4 year CYA player who, finished the 2011-12 season with a 42-32-74 Line in 51 games. Emma is now the second player from the U16 team to receive a commitment.
Emma's commitment to the game along with her work ethic, character and respect for the her teammates and coaches will continue to bring her great success.
CYA U16: Erin O'Connor
Congratulation goes out to CYA U16 player Erin O’Connor, a 4 year CYA veteran, on her recent commitment to Harvard.
Everyone at CYA is very proud of her for her hard work and dedication to the program. Congrats!!!