Mercyhurst might be a small Catholic liberal arts college of 3,157 students in women’s hockey’s smallest conference, but the school is now a big-time NCAA contender behind the efforts of Mike Sisti, who was named the AHCA Women’s D-I Coach of the Year on Monday.
Despite playing in the CHA without the benefit of an automatic bid, Sisti led the Lakers to their first NCAA tournament berth and fell 5-4 in triple overtime to the eventual national runner-up Harvard. The Lakers went 28-6-2 this season and improved to 140-50-11 in Sisti’s six-year tenure.
Harvard coach Katey Stone and Minnesota coach Laura Halldorson, who each advanced their teams to the NCAA final game for the second straight year, were the runners-up.
The Coach of the Year caps off the AHCA women’s awards. The CCM All-American honors were handed out on March 25. NCAA champion Minnesota led the way with three First Team selections, and the Gophers’ Natalie Darwitz and Krissy Wendell each earned First Team honors for the second time. Minnesota-Duluth forward Caroline Ouellette also earned her second First Team selection, and Harvard forward Nicole Corriero earned her third Second Team selection. Goalie Desi Clark became the first All-American honoree for Mercyhurst.
A complete list of the AHCA’s awards is below.
Coach of the Year
Mike Sisti, Mercyhurst
Coach of the Year Runners-Up
Laura Halldorson, Minnesota
Katey Stone, Harvard
First Team All-Americans
G: Desi Clark, Sr., Mercyhurst
D: Molly Engstrom, Sr., Wisconsin
D: Lyndsay Wall, Sr., Minnesota
F: Natalie Darwitz, Jr., Minnesota
F: Caroline Ouellette, Sr., UMD
F: Krissy Wendell, Jr., Minnesota
Second Team All-Americans
G: Jody Horak, Sr., Minnesota
D: Carla MacLeod, Sr., Wisconsin
D: Julianne Vasichek, Sr., UMD
F: Julie Chu, Jr., Harvard
F: Nicole Corriero, Sr., Harvard
F: Katie Weatherston, Jr., Dartmouth