BROOKLYN, NY, September 12, 2017 – The Declaration of Principles unveiled by the NHL and signed by the NWHL and 16 other members of the global hockey community included this statement: “There are significant benefits of youth participation in multiple sports.”
Sophia Agostinelli, the newest member of the NWHL, is the embodiment of this principle. The 5-10 center, who has signed to play the upcoming season with the Connecticut Whale, has a background unlike any in the NWHL. Although she is an accomplished player – having played the 2015-16 season with the Hannover Lady Scorpions of Germany’s Frauen-Bundesliga – the 24-year-old Agostinelli did not play college hockey. She played Division I lacrosse from 2011-2015 at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester.
“I’m proud to have this opportunity with the Connecticut Whale,” said Agostinelli. “Two years ago I watched the inaugural NWHL season at odd hours of the night in Germany on my iPhone. Last year I had the chance to watch my friends play on the ice and root them on from the stands. This year I’m lucky enough to have the chance to play with them on the ice, and I am beyond excited.”
Agostinelli will continue to balance multiple sports. She is a graduate assistant for the lacrosse team at the University of Bridgeport, where she is pursuing a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering.
She developed on-ice playing in boys’ programs from Mites to Bantams before joining the Lady Flames of Marlborough. Agostinelli also played in high school for FHS Flyers and was captain.
While playing hockey in Hannover, Agostinelli coached the Germany’s Women’s National Lacrosse team. She played on the club hockey team at Holy Cross while playing lacrosse (for which she received her scholarship). During her senior year of college, she was also a member of Italy's Women's National Lacrosse Team.
“Although my primary focus in college was lacrosse, I never gave up playing hockey. I can't – I love the sport,” said Agostinelli. “I believe that playing lacrosse in college was beneficial to playing hockey at a high level. Lacrosse translates well into hockey skills. To prepare for this season I played on a summer league team with my new Whale teammates Anya Battaglino, Elena Orlando and Kelly Babstock, and I have trained at CrossFit to get strong, fit and fast. I’m ready for this challenge.”
About the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL)
?The NWHL is the first professional women’s hockey league in North America to pay its players and share in revenue from select apparel sales. The inaugural season began October 11, 2015 with the Founding Four: Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale and New York Riveters. The first two winners of the Isobel Cup were the Pride (2016) and the Beauts (2017).