Jennifer Toland | Telegram & Gazette | Dec. 6, 2022
Worcester State graduate student Clare Conway grew up emulating U.S. women’s hockey Olympians Hilary Knight, Kendall Coyne Schofield and Meghan Duggan, and imagining what it would be like to represent Team USA.
Conway, a WSU captain and the Lancers’ leading scorer, will have that opportunity next month when she plays for Team USA at the World University Games in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Conway is one of just four Division 3 players on the 23-woman roster.
“I’m really excited and I was kind of shocked when I found out I made the team,” Conway said. “Getting the chance to represent Team USA is really a dream come true.”
Team USA opens play in the event January 12 against Japan.
Conway’s favorite player is actually Canadian Marie Philip-Poulin, and, like her, Conway wears uniform No. 29.
“She is pretty awesome,” Conway said, “but whenever Team Canada plays Team USA, I cheer for Team USA.”
Conway, one of 11 former Becker players on Worcester State’s roster, helped the Lancers to the ECHA championship last season and earned ECHA Player of the Year honors after totaling 19 goals and 15 assists.
Conway was Becker’s all-time leading scorer.
“This (Team USA) honor is so well deserved,” said Worcester State coach Eliza Kelley, who also coached Conway at Becker. “She has turned some heads in NCAA hockey, for sure. It’s exciting for her and for our program that she’s earning opportunities like this. She’s coming off a productive year last year and is having another great start to this one. Obviously, she’s a great player and a big energy producer for us. I know she will take that passion and drive with her to Lake Placid.”
Conway, who has helped Worcester State to a 5-4 start, will miss five games while she’s with Team USA.
“I was torn (about missing games) and it will be tough leaving my teammates,” Conway said, “but they’ll be fine.”
The World University Games is held every two years, and brings together thousands of student-athletes for one of the largest winter multi-sports events.
Among the other nations scheduled to compete in women’s ice hockey are Canada, Great Britain, Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Conway said she has received a tremendous outpouring of support from the Worcester State community.
“I appreciate that a lot,” she said. “In the end, I think this will help Worcester State as a program. I’m looking forward to representing Worcester State and Team USA, and I hope I make everybody proud.”