Arcadia women’s ice hockey coach, a Hatboro-Horsham grad, receives national attention

Kelsey Koelzer, 27, is a decorated player in both the Ivy League and professional ranks. As the first coach and founder of the Arcadia University women’s ice hockey coach team, her story has been featured across national outlets, including Sports Illustrated, the NCAA, and the NHL

Koelzer is a 2013 graduate of Hatboro-Horsham High School, and couldn’t be happier about returning to the area and the community.

“It’s been amazing having the opportunity to come back home and coach at the collegiate level. It’s not something I ever thought I would have the chance to do and I think that’s a testament to the growth that women’s hockey has seen over the last 10 years,” Koelzer said. “I get to coach at the same rink that I played at hundreds of times growing up and that is an experience that I cherish.”

“Now it’s my chance to give back to the community that gave so much to me growing up by leading an incredible team that will be great role models for all those in the area that have an interest in the game of hockey,” Koelzer said.

As an undergraduate at Princeton University, Koelzer received three first-team All-Ivy League honors, was named Ivy League Player of the Year in 2016, and was the first in team history to be named a first-team All-American. Her senior season culminated in an Ivy League Championship and a trip to the NCAA national quarterfinals in Minneapolis, Minn.

Following the 2016 season, Koelzer was selected for the United States National Women’s Ice Hockey Under-22 team and was a United States Olympic tryout participant a year later. She went on to become the first overall pick by the Metropolitan Riveters in the 2016 National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) draft. During the 2018 season, Koelzer led the Riveters to the NWHL Isobel Cup Championship and was named Co-MVP of the 2018 NWHL All-Star game. 

“I’m so excited to be a part of this program and have the chance to represent this community in a positive way. We work hard each and every day to develop strong minded young women that are going to change the world both on and off the ice and we love the opportunities we have to get involved with the local community both near campus and the arena,” Koelzer said. “We’d love any and all support from our community as it gives us the edge in those close games and the confidence to perform in the classroom as well so any opportunity you have to engage with our program we appreciate.” 

Koelzer spent three years with the Princeton Hockey Youth Camps and a summer with the National Collegiate Development Camp in 2017. She also serves on the NHL/NHLPA Female Hockey Advisory Committee, a group formed to accelerate the growth of female hockey in North America and ensure that girls experience all the opportunities and benefits that the sport provides.

Under Koelzer’s leadership, the Knights’ inaugural season included 10 wins, including nine in conference, and a quarterfinal playoff appearance. Four players earned UCHC All-Rookie honors, and five players were named All-MAC, including Co-Rookie of the Year Karahkwenhawe White.

“This season we’re looking to build on the successes we had last season,” she said. “We had a great first year but certainly left some things on the table and know we can improve overall as a group. We have a great new class of first years and a lot of grit and skill in our roster. We want to remain the team that other teams are nervous to come in and play against and hopefully have the chance to host the programs first ever playoff game and even win a MAC Championship.”