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Torrance native, longtime California girls hockey standout Quan ‘could not be more excited’ with NCAA D-I Union commitment

 

quan1

For Amanda Quan, the East Coast is quickly turning into a second home.

A Torrance native, Quan has spent the last three seasons at the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Conn., after growing up and playing hockey in Southern California.

Next season, Quan will head off to college after recently committing to NCAA Division I Union College, an ECAC Hockey school located in Schenectady, N.Y.

“As a student-athlete, there were many things that attracted me to Union,” said Quan. “One of the most important things I was looking for in my college process was an institution that had a high level of academics. Union checked off that box. They have an excellent STEM program, which also piqued my interest since I intend to major in Biology. I also really liked the small, tight-knit campus, as it is much like my current school, Loomis Chaffee. On the ice, I was particularly drawn to the league that Union plays in and their coaching staff. Union plays in the ECAC, one of the most competitive leagues in all of Division I hockey. Additionally, the coaching staff and the team values aligned very well with my own, making it a perfect fit for me.

quan2“I could not be more excited.”

During her youth hockey days, Quan played boys hockey with the Los Angeles Jr. Kings and California Golden Bears until she switched to the Anaheim Lady Ducks when she was 12 and played there until her final season of 14U.

“I will always remember going to my first USA Hockey National Tournament with the Lady Ducks, my minor year of 14U AAA,” said Quan. “We had a talented team and defeated No. 5-ranked Chicago Mission in a thrilling shootout. I vividly remember the rink being absolutely packed, since nobody thought that we would even compete with them. It was probably one of the most fun games I’ve ever played in.

“As for influential coaches, there are two that stand out to me. My first year of 14s at the Lady Ducks, I was fortunate enough to be coached by Laura Veharanta and Jen Friedman, both of which played college hockey at Providence. Coach Laura and Coach Jen challenged me to become a better player, day in and day out. Their hard-nosed coaching style made me realize what it takes to get to the next level. I’ll also always be appreciative of Nick Vachon of the Jr. Kings for taking a chance on me and picking me for his boys team during my first year of travel hockey. All in all, I wouldn’t change playing youth hockey in California for anything.”

This season with Loomis has been a total 180 from the 2020-21 season when the pandemic forced the team to cancel its season.

“We have returned to a full schedule this year,” Quan said. “We’ve got a good balance of new and returning players, nine of which are committed to NCAA programs. I’m super excited to get rolling with this team and am extremely optimistic about our season.”

Quan added that she is also playing this season for the Mid-Fairfield CT Stars, which is who she was suiting up for when the Union opportunity arose.

“Union initially approached me after I had played in a highly-recruited Labor Day tournament last year with the Mid-Fairfield CT Stars,” said Quan. “Union had already reached out to my prep and club coaches when they approached me for the first time. After being in contact with the school for a few months, they eventually offered me a spot on their team.

quan3“I transferred to Loomis my sophomore year after playing hockey in California all the way up until then. I was recruited by coach Liz Leyden, and once I toured the campus and got to know the girls on the team, I knew that this was the perfect place for me. During the prep school process, I was very adamant about not repeating and was fortunate enough that Coach Leyden supported that request. Loomis has prepared me for college in so many ways. Since the hockey schedule is closely modeled after the NCAA schedule, it has taught me how to balance my studies, hockey, and social life all in one.

“Additionally, being on the ice each day with a hard-working and talented team pushes me to get better each day. It has also taught me how to be independent and adapt to living away from home.”

Still, even with all the past accolades and a college career on the horizon, Quan has kept a humble mindset through it all.

“I don’t think it was my talent that made me realize that I could go places, instead it was my work ethic,” Quan said. “I’ve always been a hard worker, on and off the ice, as it is a quality that I really value. When I realized I had the work ethic to continue improving my game, I realized that it could take me anywhere. The Lady Ducks program and Kathy McGarrigle also opened my eyes to the opportunities in girls hockey, which pushed me to work harder.”

Moving forward, Quan noted that she has set several challenging yet reachable goals in the immediate and long-term future.

“One of my short-term goals this season is to win a New England Prep School championship with Loomis,” Quan said. “Additionally, I’d like to continue to get good grades in the classroom so that I can finish out my senior year on a high note. It’s four years away, but I would like to graduate with a degree in Biology from Union and then go on to graduate school. Eventually, I’d like to settle in Massachusetts while still splitting time in California.”

Adding to her mature demeanor, Quan recognizes that her success isn’t a one-person show.

“I’d like to thank all my teammates, coaches, friends, and family for supporting me along this journey,” said Quan. “Whether in California and Connecticut, my dream could not have been possible without their help. Huge shoutout to my parents, who would drive and fly anywhere to get me to hockey, in addition to all the other sacrifices they’ve made.”

— Matt Mackinder

(December 16, 2021)


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