Skarupa skates her way toward gold

Class of 2012 alum Haley Skarupa celebrated the New Year on Jan. 1 when she was announced as the newest member of the USA women’s hockey team, set to compete in Pyeong Chang, South Korea.

Skarupa announced the exciting news via Twitter on Jan. 1. “Truly honored to represent and be a part of @TeamUSA for the upcoming Winter Olympic Games with this amazing group of teammates! What a year. #PyeongChang2018,” she tweeted off her account @skrooops28.

At 24 years old, Skarupa is only one of 12 skaters who has made all three world championship teams in this Olympic cycle that did not make the original cut for the National team in May, according to NBC Sports. Forty-two players tried out for only 23 spots.
Skarupa, who started playing hockey at five years old, played for the boys’ varsity hockey team during her time in high school. Playing alongside her brother Dylan, Skarupa was part of the team that won the State Championship in 2009. “My career started playing roller hockey on the driveway with my brother and his friends. I then followed them out onto the ice and found myself playing with them for the school varsity boys’ hockey team my freshman year,” Skarupa said. Her brother was a senior that season.

Additionally, in high school she played for the U19 Washington Pride women’s team in the Junior Women’s Hockey League. The same year the varsity hockey team won states, Skarupa and Pride went on to compete in the National Championship in Rochester, NY. “It was very busy playing for both teams and traveling across North America while balancing academics, but it was worth it,” she said.

Prior to being named a member of the Olympic team, Skarupa played as a forward at Boston College. According to Boston College’s website, Skarupa ended her career ranked second in career points (244), points per game (1.69), assists (129), assists per game (0.90), game-winning goals (23) and power-play goals (25). She graduated as Hockey East third-leading career scorer in conference games (142 points), third in career goals (73) and fourth in career assists (69). “Those years playing allowed me to realize my dream of one day playing in the Olympics for Team USA,” Skarupa said.

At Boston College, Skarupa played for the US U18 National Team for three years, winning two gold medals and one silver medal. While there, Skarupa also made the senior US National Team and won three gold medals in the World Championships, three years in a row. “I could not have done any of this without my teammates. I also could not have done it without my family and friends who have been there with me and for me every step of the way since the beginning,” she said about her career.

More recently, Skarupa has played in the National Women’s Hockey League. In 2015, she was to the New York Riveters, according to NWHL. On April 26, 2016, her draft rights were traded to the Connecticut Whale, where she continued to play until signing with the Boston Pride in Oct. 2017. Skarupa stayed with the Pride until November when she left to train with the U.S. women’s national team, according to USA Hockey. “She’s probably one of the most hard-working and committed people I’ve ever met,” her mother Penny Skarupa told Bethesda Magazine on Jan. 2.

The U.S. women’s team’s first game in South Korea is Feb. 11 against Finland. Following that, the team will play two preliminary-round games against Russia on Feb. 13 and against Canada on Feb. 15. The team has won one gold medal in 1998 and not repeated since, despite winning three silver and one bronze. Skarupa looks forward to representing her country and competing. “Every time you put on the USA jersey you appreciate the opportunity to represent your country on such a great scale. The moments with my teammates and the memories made traveling, practicing, and training are what you remember about the journey,” she said. “This has been a dream come true.”

 

Katie Schreck

Managing Editor

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