But the story gets even more interesting since Ms. Ciarletta is also associated (although not tonight) with the CU team as a goalie coach! How do you play as a member of one team while being associated as a coach with the other? Ms. Ciarletta -- a former starting goalie at Providence College -- explains all of this below as well as describes her career in hockey:
The game will be played at 7.30 at the CU Recreation Center. All of us at DU wish Danielle good luck playing Friday night (but not necessarily coaching)!
"Within women’s hockey at the collegiate level there are the NCAA and the ACHA. The NCAA comprises the Division I programs, of which I was a part the prior four years before I came to DU, and the Division III programs. Below the NCAA is the ACHA which is made up of collegiate teams that are considered at the 'club' level. Many schools have both NCAA and ACHA programs such as DU with the DU men’s NCAA and ACHA.
"The DU women’s club team is not an ACHA team. In Colorado there are only two ACHA women’s programs -- CU and CSU. CSU is a first year program. DU plays in the Women’s Association of Colorado Hockey (WACH), which is a senior women’s league consisting of teams from all over Colorado. CU also plays in the WACH league so that they can play more games without having to travel out of state. They are only required to play 12 ACHA games in a season.
"Tonight's game is a WACH game between DU and CU. However, there is interest in DU becoming an ACHA team and competing nationally on the collegiate stage. This would help develop women’s hockey in the state of Colorado. This weekend’s game is a step toward showing the school -- and the other ACHA teams -- that DU has potential to be a competitor in the ACHA, which will help in getting league approval to join."When I first moved to Denver I was not planning to play for the DU club team after spending four years at the NCAA Division I level. I was, however, associated with the coaching staff at CU for the ACHA team. My good friend from high school is the head coach at CU and brought me on as a goalie coach. I have been traveling and coaching the CU team for the 09-10 season.
"In late October I was approached by one of the coaches at DU because the DU goalie had quit the team and they were in need of a goalie. So to help the team I agreed to finish the season for them in net. Prior to my arrival on the team they had not won a game. Since October we have won five games and have one tie.
"I started playing hockey when I was five in the Philadelphia area. I played on all boys AA and AAA teams until I was 14. Before I started high school I moved to Minnesota with my mom. There I made the change to women’s hockey. I played on my hometown varsity team and A traveling team until I went to Shattuck St. Mary’s (SSM) for my junior and senior year of high school. SSM is a boarding school in Faribault, MN, which is known for its hockey.
"My senior year (2005) our the girls prep team won the school’s first Girls U-19 National Championship in Centennial CO. I spent my freshman year of college playing for the University of Minnesota – Duluth before transferring and finishing my college career at Providence College."