The success of senior goaltender Kayla DiLorenzo has paid dividends for her teammates, coaches and fans at the University of Rhode Island.
DiLorenzo and the Rams opened their season last weekend with a 7-0 shutout of Division II University of Delaware. She said she knows that at the end of the day, teamwork is one of the most important keys to success as an athlete.
“What attributed most to the team’s success last year was everyone coming together, we had a lot of talent and everyone was on the same page,” DiLorenzo said.
The Rhode Island women’s ice hockey team was ranked no. 3 in the final regular season poll in the national rankings. Despite being integral to their success, DiLorenzo tried to avoid taking all of the credit for the team’s record.
“It was huge for us to go to the finals last year and it was important to make a change because that is the furthest we’ve gone as a team in my four years here,” DiLorenzo said.
The team had an American Collegiate Hockey Association record of 22-7-1 last season and made a Final Four appearance at the ACHA National Tournament. DiLorenzo and the Rams look to build off their success with new head coach Ashley Pagliarini.
DiLorenzo was recognized as the ACHA First-Team All American and Second-Team All-American last season for her contributions on the team. DiLorenzo posted a .950 save percentage, a 1.27 goals-against average, played more than 2,100 minutes and recorded 12 shutouts.
“She is the anchor of our back end, so far she’s doing a good job this season,” women’s ice hockey head coach Ashley Pagliarini said. “Her role is to lead by example and we rely on her to make those big saves in big games.”
DiLorenzo began playing as a goalie when she was 11 years old, although she began as a forward when she was younger. Her experience as a goaltender has been key, especially since she is the only one on the team.
“Typically if the goalie is not performing well you can give them a few goals and put someone else in there for you, but I don’t have that relief behind me,” DiLorenzo said. “I have to pull it together and it makes me better in the long run.”
DiLorenzo said the chances to match the team’s success from last season are “pretty high” because of the talent around them. DiLorenzo will use last season as motivation.
The Rams lost to the University of Massachusetts in their ACHA Final Four matchup, 2-1. Rhode Island dropped the third-place game, too, by the same score to Liberty University in overtime.
“Towards the end we were close, but we lost to UMass. We’re going to use that as motivation this year, and we want to win a national championship,” she said.
Rhode Island will oppose Eastern Collegiate Women’s Hockey League rival Northeastern University this Thursday in Boston.