Penn State women’s hockey looking to reach new heights in 2022-23

Story posted 6 days ago in CommRadio, Sports by Chris Machado

Penn State returns to ice starting on Sept. 22 against the Wisconsin Badgers on it has heightened expectations entering the 2022-23 campaign.

Being rated in the preseason as the No. 14 team coming into this year by the USCHO, and the top team in the CHA, the Nittany Lions are looking to start the season off right with a win at Pegula Ice Arena.

Last year Penn State finished second in the CHA at 18-10-5, and a big part of that accomplishment was due to forward Kiara Zanon, who is returning as a junior this year and coming off a 39-point sophomore season last year. This year she has been elected as one of the captains for the Nittany Lions and will be looking to start where she left off last season.

Another key component for the Nittany Lions is this strong defensive core. Mallory Uihlein returns for her senior season and was named to the ALL-CHA First Team.

Uihlein is coming off of an extremely successful junior season where she tallied 19 points and set a new program record for defenders.

Karley Garcia, returning for her sophomore year in Happy Valley, was named to the ALL-CHA Rookie Team as a freshman. She is coming off a season where she was ranked 11th for points as a CHA freshman and third among CHA freshman defenders.

Rene Gangarosa returning for her fifth year received ALL-CHA Second Team honors last season and is third in program history for points amongst defenders at 43. She is going to be looking to raise that total as the season progresses.

Lyndie Lobdell, returning as a junior, appeared in every single game last season, amassing a +11 rating, with a big component of that being her 35 blocked shots!

Between the posts for the Nittany Lions is junior Josie Bothun Bothun is the primary starter for the Nittany Lions, and it does not look like that is changing anytime soon. Bothun recorded a .921 save percentage and a 1.69 goals-against average last season. She holds Penn State’s record for 34 wins and 13 shutouts by a goaltender and is only looking to raise those numbers.

With the Nittany Lions losing Natalie Heising, this team as a whole is going to have to have their foot on the gas all season long to have a successful season and a deep playoff push with hopes of a championship year.

Jeff Kampersal is now entering his seventh season as the head coach for Penn State and coming off of a program-best 18-win season last year.

He'll be looking to bring back another championship to Happy Valley when that goal was accomplished in 2021. The 2021 CHA coach of the year is going to be looking to ignite his offense and set a standard with a tough defense that is looking to be impenetrable for opposing teams.

Christopher Machado is a junior studying broadcast journalism. To contact him, email cvm6238@psu.edu.