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UGA women’s hockey to host South Carolina for first time in program history

RJ Craig | November 27, 2023

The Georgia-South Carolina matchup is an iconic SEC football rivalry, and perhaps that same rivalry will be established on the ice when both women’s hockey teams face off this Friday.

Friday’s matchup between Georgia and South Carolina will be a game of firsts.

It will be both team’s first time playing each other after finally getting both women’s hockey programs off the ground at their respective schools, and while the two teams will be enemies on the ice, they are allies off of it.

While both these hockey programs are in their infancy, together, they look to lay the groundwork for women’s hockey and show the world that hockey can work in the South, a region where involvement in hockey, much more women’s hockey, is limited.

So, the founders of the women’s hockey programs at UGA and South Carolina established these programs with one goal: to grow women’s hockey.

This sentiment is prevalent across both programs and for the Dawgs, the hashtag “growthegame” can be found on every post on their Instagram account. Growing the game is at the heart of every girl on the ice.

Assistant captain of the team Hailey Hultberg said, “It's all about word of mouth. And if you want [women’s hockey to grow], go out there and create it and you'll be able to find somebody who's interested in it. And the more that we can get our name out there and the more girls that we can have join…[will] help grow [the] program.”

For the Dawgs, it will be their first game in the Classic City this season with all their previous games having been played anywhere but Athens and at rinks at least an hour's drive away.

And given that the game is in Athens, many friends and family of the girls on both teams, but especially on the Dawgs, will be in attendance to support and cheer them on.

For some of the girls on Georgia’s team, it will be their first time playing in Athens since last year when they played the Lady Thunderbirds 19U as part of Georgia’s developmental team.

Regarding the upcoming game, freshman forward Dana Stott said, “I've played outside before, and it's really fun…I think it's gonna be really cool to play South Carolina because we've mostly played Auburn.”

Win or lose, it will be a memorable game for both teams knowing that they are pursuing the same mission of growing the game and inspiring little girls to play hockey.

“Our team and other teams in the South are doing a great job of just promoting everything and encouraging people to join, especially at such a young age,” junior forward Claire DeVito said. “If I was a little girl and a college athlete in the South, [and someone] was encouraging me to play ice hockey, I would want to play for the rest of my life.”  

The Dawgs look to secure their fourth victory this season when they take on South Carolina at the Classic Center Foundry Pavilion at 5 pm.

Be a part of the movement for women’s hockey in the South by coming out and watching the game. You can purchase tickets to the game here.


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