National Letter of Intent (NLI) Day is an eagerly awaited milestone in the lives of many student-athletes. It marks the moment they officially commit to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I (DI), Division II (DII) or Division III (DIII) institutions. DI, DII and DIII universities have the best and most competitive athletic programs (university student competitive sport) in the United States, offering places only to the most talented student athletes from the US and globally. These athletic programs are often pathways to professional and Olympic careers for talented athletes. These universities, which include Dartmouth College and Penn State University, are also academically rigorous, expecting and supporting their student athletes to compete at a high level and maintain strong academic progress. For North American Hockey Academy (NAHA) and CATS Boston Ice Hockey athletes, this day symbolizes the culmination of years of hard work and dedication, both on the ice and in the classroom.   

On Wednesday 8th November, student-athletes who possess remarkable hockey abilities and demonstrate exceptional academic performance formally signed their ‘Letter of Intent’, committing to their chosen NCAA school.  In Fall 2024, NAHA/CATS Boston students will be joining six Division 1 schools, including Ivy League Dartmouth College and Boston College, which are ranked 8 and 9 in the 2024 Division 1 rankings. Kassidy and Mallory have also verbally committed to Ohio State University, the current number 5 Division 1 school, and Dartmouth College, for Fall 2025.   

Annie will be attending the prestigious Williams College, which is the number one Liberal Arts College in the US. With an acceptance rate of just 8%, Williams is arguably more competitive than Harvard for liberal arts degree programs.    

Alanna described the experience as “Such an honour. It was a cool experience to have all my teammates watching and signing with some of my best friends.”.  She also explained that she chose Boston College “because I think it will push me academically and athletically”. Alanna has also been selected for the 2024 Under 18 USA National Team and will be representing the USA in their international matches.   

During their time at CATS, these students receive education from a dedicated team of teachers, which includes both CATS Boston and NAHA instructors, resulting in a well-rounded education. Grace highlighted the supportive teaching teams and class sizes as a key benefit to attending classes at CATS Boston.  She shared that “My teachers have been very supportive. They are very understanding and very willing to help us … Class sizes are small, so it is really easy to talk to the teachers and get help if you need to.” She joins Penn State in Fall 2024.   

NAHA Director Toni Ann Miano, who played professional in the US National Women’s Hockey League, oversees the training and mentorship programme offered at NAHA. Players are prepared to equip them to continue their hockey career at the collegiate level. NAHA has a stellar reputation, boasting a remarkable 100% college placement rate over the last five years. Additionally, the program has two members on the U18 USA National Team, who will represent their country in the upcoming World Championships. This includes NAHA/CATS Boston students, Alanna, who will be joining Boston College in Fall 2024 and Kassidy, who will be joining Ohio State University in the Fall of 2025. With an impressive record as eight-time world champions, the U18 team is a potential pathway to inclusion in the US Winter Olympic team for talented players.   

Name College Destination NCCA Division and Rank
Kassidy Carmichael Ohio State University Division 1
Ranking: 5
Mallory Farrell Dartmouth College Division 1
Ranking: 8
Alanna Devlin Boston College Division 1
Ranking: 9
Kiera Dempsey Boston College Division 1
Ranking: 9
Skylar Sharfman Boston College Division 1
Ranking: 9
Grace Tullock Penn State University Division 1
Ranking: 15
Lianna Seeley Colgate University Division 1
Ranking: 16
Maisey Bojarski University of Vermont Division 1
Ranking: 20
Brianna Morden Sacred Heart University Division 1
Ranking: 28
Lilah Bauer Franklin Pierce University Division 2
Annie Gallagher Williams College Division 3
Ranking: 2
Ally Cohen Colby College Division 3
Ranking: 7
Mikah Keller Penn State University Division 1
Ranking: 15
Ireland Fredrickson University of New Hampshire Division 1
Ranking: 19

This National Letter of Intent Day (Wednesday 8th November), these committed student-athletes proudly signed their intention to play Division I (DI), Division II (DII)or Division III (DIII) hockey at NCAA schools, proving their elite status in the world of women’s hockey.   

We are extremely proud of this student cohort who have worked tirelessly for this achievement!  

Find out more about athletics at CATS Boston