The Colonels are coached by Kelly Rider who is entering her second year with the team. Rider is active in USA Hockey as a coach, evaluator, and as an instructor in the coach education program. She has served as an evaluator for the Central District and coach at the Central District Development Camp. Additionally, she has been an evaluator for New York State. She also served as an intern coach for the USA Hockey U18 Developmental camps in Lake Placid and St. Cloud. She continues to speak at coaching clinics throughout the country.
Megan wanted to select a college that not only suited her athletically and academically, but also fit her lifestyle. Curry College sits within 131 acres of beautiful, wooded hills and is a caring close-knit community of its own. “The location was really nice because the campus itself is on the smaller side, but Boston is only 7 miles away so you get a nice balance. It’s similar to home where you can stay in a smaller area while also having the option to easily go explore the city. The culture of the team overall was something else that was really appealing to me because after getting to know some of the girls and talk to Coach Rider to see the culture they’re building, as well as the direction they want to go both on and off the ice helped me see it was a great fit,” Meg commented.
Megan plans on studying either computer science or sports management.
She has a long list of people to thank. “First, my family for always being there for me, and dedicating countless hours at the rink or travelling throughout the country. My friends, teammates and coaches over the years have pushed me to be better and helped me build my character in times of adversity. I’ve met some of my best friends through hockey, because even if we only played together for one season, we created such a strong bond and I know we can always count on each other. I also want to thank Team Illinois for being such a great home for these past 5 years. Specifically, I want to thank my coaches (Coach Ponce, Coach Pat, Coach Rob and Coach Ben) for helping me take numerous steps on the ice to better my abilities and grow my confidence as well trusting me in a role to grow as a leader. My team this year was such an amazing group that had such a contagious, fun energy that was so refreshing, and made it easy to look forward to coming to the rink. Finally, I’d like to thank Matt Noga for all the time spent improving my stickhandling and shot, and Yevgeny for all of the years developing my skating and agility.”
Megan has been with Team Illinois since her first 14U year. Her dedication to her team, her teammates, the Club and self-improvement has been what defines her. Megan is the type of player every coach wishes he had an entire team of. Megan always brings a smile to the rink, gives her best effort on the ice and in the weight room and provides the leadership every team needs. She represents exactly what Team Illinois is looking for in the players and families it recruits. Megan will be missed but her impact and imprint on our Club will remain for a very long time.
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