By Charles Hamaker
Northgate, WA – On their second ever senior night, the University of Washington Women’s hockey team once again had a night to remember, just as they had on the same night in their inaugural season. Coming off an impressive road trip to Montana, the Huskies returned home to Kraken Community Iceplex set to duel the Seattle Women’s Hockey Club. Both teams have grown accustomed to each other, as SWHC has been a huge help in getting the Huskies competition to sharpen their skills. Those very skills were on display as the Huskies defeated Seattle by a score of 8-6, sending the Washington seniors out with a resounding bang.
Senior forward and one of the team’s founders, Mia Filardi has been a trail blazer not only for this team, but for women’s hockey in the city of Seattle. The Massachusetts native helped to guide this program in its infant phases through the horrid events of the prime COVID years all while juggling her own classes and life responsibilities. A love for the game of hockey and the want to see this program grow stuck with Mia, and her senior night performance perhaps was indicative of that passion for the game.
Filardi had video game like numbers to end the regular season schedule in her home building, potting two goals while recording two assists for a whopping four points on the night. Against an experienced group such as Seattle Women’s hockey club, it’s impressive not only to note Filardi’s goal scoring ability but also her willingness to distribute the puck to her teammates.
Finishing out strong
Following the teams four game trip in Montana that saw highlights such as an 8-6 victory, Mia Filardi recording a four-goal game, the goaltender duo both recording 30 saves, playing outdoor hockey, amongst other things, the Huskies returned home. Wrapping up their 2022-2023 season after an incredible bonding experience such as that may be somewhat bittersweet, but something to note with a program like this is that it’s going to grow and grow. For the Huskies to end their home schedule of their second season in this fashion, after the milestones that they hit along the way, it only makes sense that ACHA certification is the next step that they will take.
Where this program goes from here
The University of Washington Women’s hockey team has seen lots of changes and new sights this year, all for the greater good of the program and its future. From getting new jerseys, traveling to Montana, officially applying for ACHA certification, it is apparent this group has set the foundation for a strong future. Whether it be the founding leadership group that includes Mia Filardi, or the coaching staff that includes Mel Harrow. The group shows up early (think 5AM), stays late (think midnight), and gives whatever time they have from their busy college schedules to create a program that women at the University of Washington can play for.
This team and group deserve more respect than a simple op-ed in a paper and then zero coverage or care after that. They are not an afterthought; they are the future. As the Kraken have taken this city by the tentacle, the game of hockey has a grip on this region resembling that of a goaltender facing the shot of a mighty Husky skater. With a population of 55% female, the UW needed this team to open that door for women to be able to play this sport and represent the purple and gold. To you, Huskies, I say this: Mighty are the Women who wear the purple and gold. Tighten your skates and continue to slam down barriers just like you’re slamming an opponent into the boards. All of us at Circling Seattle Sports are so beyond proud of your journey, and yet it’s just getting started.
Finally, I’d like to give special props to all four graduating seniors that have been such a huge part of this team and setting its foundation. The four seniors that were sent off this year were Mia Filardi, Meera Hoar, Kelly Qian, and Anja. I want to thank you all for your contributions to this team, whether it be the countless practice hours, setting events up, bonding with your teammates, and so much more that goes outside of the view of the public eye. You have set the wheels of opportunity in motion for the future of this team, and I am so excited to see the ultimate impact that you all leave. Go Huskies, forever!
Featured image by Melissa Levin Photography (@melissalevinphotography – instagram)