Looking Back 3/8
Growing up figure skating on her family farm’s pond, Amy Kelsey, nee Andersen (pictured at right), a native of Long Eddy, NY, would go on to become the goalie on the first varsity women’s ice hockey team at Cornell University.
Cornell created its first women’s ice hockey team in 1971, prior to the Title IX law declaring equal opportunity for men and women in sports. At first a club sport, the team became a varsity sport in 1973-1974 when Andersen joined the team.
The team’s beginnings were not shrouded with success. Reggie Baker (left front) recalls that their first game ended in a 14-0 loss. Andersen remembers the hand-medown equipment from the men’s team, and the repurposed baseball-catcher’s gear that she used as goalie. Then Cornell began winning games, and won the first Ivy League tournament due in large part to the play of Andersen. In her senior year, Andersen was the MVP of the Ivy League and MVP of the team at graduation, finishing her career allowing just under one goal per game.
In 1976, Andersen and the Cornell team participated in a tournament in Montreal, where, for the first time, the Olympic Committee came to observe the sport for consideration to be added to the Olympics. Twenty-two years later, women’s hockey became an Olympic sport.
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