Crimson in the Olympics: Five Alumnae to Skate in Vancouver

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Five former Harvard women’s hockey players will skate for their respective countries at the upcoming 2010 Vancouver Olympics, set to begin Saturday, Feb. 13. Caitlin Cahow ’07-08, Julie Chu ’06-07 and Angela Ruggiero ’02-04 will play for the Team USA, while Jennifer Botterill ’02-03 and Sarah Vaillancourt ’08-09 will skate for Team Canada.

The women’s ice hockey competition at the Olympics will begin Feb. 13, as Canada will play Slovakia at 8 p.m. EST, while Team USA will first hit the ice against China Sunday, Feb. 14 at 3 p.m. EST. After the preliminary round, the semifinals will be held Monday, Feb. 22. The bronze-medal game will be held at the UBC Thunderbird Arena Thursday, Feb. 25 at 2 p.m. EST, followed by the gold-medal game at 6:30 p.m. EST.

Ruggiero, making her fourth Olympic team, and Chu, a three-time Olympian, will serve as co-captains for Team USA. Ruggiero helped the U.S. squad win the gold medal in 1998 at Nagano, the silver in 2002 at Salt Lake City and the bronze in 2006 at the Torino Games. A defender and four-time All-America honoree with the Crimson, Ruggiero was the winner of the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, presented annually to the nation’s top Division I women’s college hockey player, in 2004.

Chu was on Team USA in 2002, winning the silver medal, and also grabbed a bronze in 2006. A forward, Chu is the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer with 284 points, having scored 88 goals and handed out 196 assists during her career in Cambridge. Chu was honored as the recipient of the Patty Kazmaier Award in 2007 and was a three-time All-America selection with Harvard.

Cahow, a standout defender, played for the bronze-medal winning U.S. team in 2006 and was an All-America choice during the Crimson’s 2007-08 season. Cahow will be making her second appearance in the Olympics. Cahow appears 15th in the Harvard annals with 113 points, having handed out 82 assists in four years with the Crimson.

Botterill will also be making her fourth trip to the Olympics, having won the bronze in 1998 and the gold in 2002 and 2006. Botterill, a forward, is the only player to have won the Patty Kazmaier Award twice (2001 and 2003) and was a four-time All-America selection at Harvard. She ranks first in Crimson history with 340 points and 157 goals and stands second with 183 assists.

Vaillancourt was Harvard’s most recent recipient of the Patty Kazmaier Trophy, having earned the honor in 2008. She joined Botterill on Team Canada’s gold-medal run in 2006 and will be making her second trip to the Olympics. A three-time All-America, Vaillancourt, a forward, scored 106 goals and added 131 assists for 237 points in her collegiate career, ranking her fifth in NCAA history.