San Diego Lady Oilers made up of big smiles, pony tails
You have to begin somewhere.
The San Diego Ice Arena has begun a grassroots program of forming all-girl hockey teams – the Lady Oilers.
We have always encouraged girls to play hockey, but the numbers of girl players have started to rise. Historically, SDIA has had a sprinkle of one or two girls on a given team per season, but lately something special has been happening.
More and more girls who are new to the sport of hockey are starting to show up and are looking to join both house and travel teams. We even have a few figure skaters that are making the transition, too. This past spring/summer season, we had both a Pee Wee (12U) and a Bantam (14U) house team that was mainly made up of girls.
This current uptick in girl participants could be due to the trickle-down theory of hockey economics created by the U.S. Women’s Olympic hockey team capturing the gold medal in Korea.
Or it could be due to SDIA providing girls and boys an opportunity to try hockey for six weeks for free, along with a weekly all-girls workout and tech-ice skills session that has helped spawn this most recent growth.
SDIA is proud to have been the initial home to a few female NCAA college hockey players, including Keely Moy (Harvard), Tanner Gates (Colgate) and Kristina Kleshko (Rochester Institute of Technology).
Currently, player Isabelle DiLiberti is trying out for the 18U French national team and Sydney Costello is now a member of the 16U USA Hockey National Development Team.
Erin and Michael Castelloe are part of the SDIA girls family, as they have twin daughters Jessie and Olivia on a 14U (mostly girls) summer league team, and have this to say about their experience at SDIA and the girls program: “What a great group of girls, parents, and coaches we have. Our girls love the practices, games, off-ice, and social gatherings. The hockey is always positive, inclusive, and fun, and it’s helped them stay active, healthy, and happy for all the years we’ve been involved.”
Jon Berglin, lifelong player, coach and father to 12U player Marlie, is just as excited.
“We are very proud to be part of this hockey family that encourages teamwork and leadership in such a fun atmosphere,” said Berglin. “This is truly an all-inclusive system that allows players of all levels to develop quickly while keeping the sport fun.”
SDIA is also home to the only all-women’s league in San Diego.
— Valerie Andreassi
(Oct. 2, 2018)