Trinity's Di Dia Found A Women's Ice Hockey Home On The East Coast
Hartford, Conn. - When Dominique Di Dia started playing ice hockey at the age of five, there were no girls’ teams for her to join in her native city of Los Angeles, California. As a result, she played on a boys' team until middle school, and even in high school competition was hard to come by. “There are a lot of boys' hockey teams in California, but for girls there were only three teams in the entire state, so even though we traveled to play girls for tournaments, we played boys teams every weekend,” said Di Dia.
Despite the dearth of high school girls’ hockey teams in California, Di Dia always knew she wanted to play in college, and she knew she would need to get to the East Coast in order to do so. Though she had never before heard of the NESCAC, another college coach mentioned Trinity and Di Dia got in touch with former Head Coach Andrew McPhee. She made her first visit to campus in December of her junior year of high school, and everything just seemed to fall into place after that. “I chose Trinity because I loved that it was a small liberal arts school, and I liked that it was in a city,” says Di Dia. “I also liked the NESCAC, because of the great schools in the league and because, though it is Division III, it is played at a very high level in terms of the skill and competitiveness of the athletes.”
One of three captains this winter, Di Dia is particularly excited for this year’s NESCAC tournament. The Bantams will head to Middlebury this weekend for the semifinal game against Middlebury, after handily defeating Hamilton in the quarterfinals on Saturday. At the start of the season the team had a record of 1-6 and this ending didn’t seem possible, but DiDia credits the team’s reliance and trust in one another for their incredible turnaround (14-4 since then). “I think our team was able to be resilient and come back from a bad record because we kept having faith in each other," added Di Dia. "Once everyone on the team started believing in each other, we were able to play together and all contribute our best.”
Head Coach Carson Duggan, recently named the 2011-12 NESCAC Coach of the Year, reports that the three captains have been invaluable this season. "Domi, Brigitte [Cellino], and Lindsey [Weiner] are obviously close friends away from the rink which gives them a special bond. I lean on the captains for their input when it comes to different things and I am grateful for their different insights and opinions.” About DiDia specifically, Duggan sees a skillful defender who can seize a scoring opportunity when the time is right. “She really wants what is best for the team,” says Duggan of DiDia’s leadership skills, “I think her dedication and passion for the game rubs off on the rest of the players both on-ice and off-ice.”
Off the ice, Di Dia is majoring in psychology and hopes to return home to Los Angeles after graduation. She completed an internship for at Creative Artists Agency, and hopes to work for them representing people in music, sports, film, and entertainment. However, before she can realize those dreams, Di Dia and her teammates have some unfinished business to take care of this weekend in Vermont. “I think it would mean the world to Domi, as well as the rest of the seniors to bring a NESCAC championship to Trinity College,” says Coach Duggan. “They have contributed so much to the growth of this program that achieving something like that as a group would really define their time here.”
written by Kayla Chadwick'12