By Jesse Vineyard/GCU Staff
Much like the weather outside, the preparation for next season is heating up for Grand Canyon University Women’s Ice Hockey.
Hot on the offseason recruiting trail, Lopes’ Head Coach Natalie Rossi has brought in 14 new faces that will suit up in GCU purple for the upcoming season. The entire class comes from eight different states, including two from here in Arizona. This first group of six players is comprised of four forwards and two defenseman.
“We’re bringing in a lot of skill, and some who are really good at scoring goals,” Rossi said. “A few of the players we are bringing in were captains in their previous teams, so there is that leadership aspect as well that we really like.”
The two players from Arizona include defenseman Megan Brodfuehrer from Peoria and defenseman Julia Digrazia from Scottsdale. Brodfuehrer played last season for the Arizona Lady Coyotes U19 team where she was the team captain. Brodfuehrer was second on the team with six goals in the regular season and added two more in the team’s run through the Arizona Amateur Hockey Association Playoffs. Digrazia has played the last two seasons with the Arizona She Wolves, a girls youth hockey program based at the Ice Den in Scottsdale.
Four other players arrive from California, and all are forwards. San Jose native Terynn McNairnie, Pleasanton’s own Kaitlyn Zaballos and San Leandro’s Natalie Martino were all teammates on the San Jose Jr. Sharks in the Sharks High School Hockey League. Marina Tonna comes from the Redwood City Black Stars High School Varsity team in San Francisco.
“Brodfuehrer is hard-working and talented, and Terynn, Kaitlyn and Natalie and all these players bring intensity, and are all really passionate about GCU,” Rossi said. “We really like that about all of them.”