On Saturday, January 14, 2017, women's hockey player Allie Girard was named the recipient of the Ry McCarthy Award during an on-ice presentation between the first and second periods of a game against the College of St. Scholastica.
The award is named in honor of Ry McCarthy, a goalie who played for the Foresters from 2006-08 and became the program's career leader in save percentage and goals against average. She recorded two of the highest single-game save totals in team history late in the 2006-07 season and ranked seventh in the nation in save percentage that year.
In the fall of 2008, McCarthy was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, an extremely aggressive form of cancer. McCarthy lost her battle with cancer on July 28, 2009. Following her passing, an award in her name was established and is given annually to one player, selected by her teammates, who best displays spirit, determination, dedication, and love for the game of hockey – the special qualities of the player for whom the award was named - "Ry" McCarthy.
Girard, a senior forward, feels honored to receive the award. She noted “this award means a great deal to me. We honor Ry every game by wearing 33 on our helmet, which shows she had a huge impact on this team and was respected by all her teammates.”
Girard attributes the honor to former teammate, current assistant coach, and two-time Ry McCarthy Award winner, Melissa Paluch. “Since I had the opportunity to play with Melissa, I was able to learn what traits a Ry McCarthy Award recipient holds – one of which is passion on the ice.”
Girard feels fortunate to have support from coach Paluch and two parents who try to make as many home games as possible. “My parents are the most influential people in my life” commented Girard. “They instilled a strong work ethic in me. Whenever they come to a game, seeing them in the stands is a nice encouragement. I’m lucky to have a strong support system.”
Head women’s hockey coach Carisa Wahlig described Girard as “someone of great character – she’s a hard worker, always takes accountability, and has a terrific presence on and off the ice. I couldn’t be happier that she received this award.”
Girard’s contributions on the ice are exemplified not only by her character, but also in talent. She currently ranks fifth on the team with 17 points on eight goals and nine assists. With just six regular season games and what the team hopes is a long postseason run remaining, Girard’s goal is to enjoy the end of her career by playing hard and leaving it all on the ice.
As one of the Foresters’ two seniors, Girard mentioned that the message she tries to send to her teammates is “to come to practice and games ready to work hard. Before you know it, your final season will be here. Just enjoy the ride!”
The women’s hockey team currently ranks sixth in the nation. View the complete team schedule by clicking here.