The New York Riveters re-signed three restricted free agents for the 2017-2018 National Women’s Hockey League season on Wednesday, as forwards Lauren Wash and Julia “Cheeky” Herr as well as backup netminder, Sarah Bryant were inked to one-year deals.
Wash, the Belle Mead, New Jersey native, put up one goal and two assists in eight games after joining the Riveters in the middle of the 2016-2017 NWHL season. She got her start and developed her hockey career in the New Jersey Rockets program, where she played on the boys’ teams until the age of 15, when she joined the girls’ program.
The Communications major from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York put up 24 goals and 23 assists in 130 games, between 2012 and 2016. During her senior season, she led the RPI Engineers with 12 goals and five assists in 33 games.
Wash said, “After playing just the second half of the season last year, I loved it, but it felt like unfinished business. I believe we have something special at the Riveters. I am really excited to be returning to the NWHL and what will be a great team next season.”
She credits her parents as to the inspiration of her hockey career. Her father, was a player and referee in the New Jersey area, while her mother took up the game while Lauren was in high school. She stills plays the game today.
Herr was kept off the scoresheet in her two appearances during the 2016-2017 season, but could see an increased role during the upcoming campaign. In addition to her playing career, she works in Equity Institutional Sales within the banking industry.
A cum laude, with honors, History and Classic graduate, from Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut scored 38 goals and 44 assists in 90 games during her collegiate career, from 2012 to 2016.
She said, “I am incredibly excited, privileged and honored to have an opportunity to join such a great organization and exceptional group of women for another season. I love hockey. It has been a part of my life for 21 years. This league provided me with the opportunity to keep playing the sport that has brought so much joy to my life, but most importantly, it provides every little girl out there playing the hope and dream [one that did not exist when we were playing], that one day, if they work really hard, they can play professionally too.”
Bryant saw limited action in two games during the 2016-2017 campaign, while giving starting goaltender, Katie Fitzgerald a rest. In four seasons at Providence College, in Providence, Rhode Island, the netminder was ranked fourth in all-time saves, with 1,564.
She said, “I am looking forward to being with the Riveters for another season. Although we are still awaiting the announcement of others, I am thrilled to have Fitzy, Tatiana, Russo, Lauren and Cheeky as teammates.”
Prior to playing for the Providence Friars, the Biology major skated in the New Jersey Colonials, Lawrenceville School Girls’ program, New Jersey Penguins (girls), Bethlehem Blast (girls & boys), Parkland School District (coed) and the Lehigh Valley Comets (boys).
Bryant is transitioning from her career in the field of biomedical research into a teaching fellowship. She is in the process of earning a Masters from the University of Pennsylvania so that she can teach high school Biology at her alma mater, the Lawrenceville School.
She added, “I am excited to have the opportunity to help form a new generation of passionate scientists and critical thinkers through my teachings at Lawrenceville. I believe that every person, whether they pursue science as a career or not, will benefit from the ability to look at everyday household problems or societal problems through the lens of science. It is indescribably important to me that the next generation of leaders in all fields be scientifically literate.”
The Riveters will begin their third season in the NWHL in October as they will battle the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts and Connecticut Whale. All four of the franchises will play the full slate of their home games, in addition to a few neutral site matchups, as the league looks to grow the game in other markets.