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Aurora native commits to Franklin Pierce University for final year of NCAA eligibility

June 17, 2021   ·   0 Comments

Aurora native Katerina Dajia will attend Franklin Pierce University for her final year of NCAA hockey eligibility.

The 22-year-old, who spent the past four years at Dartmouth College in the Ivy League, was granted either one more year in the NCAA or two years in Canada’s CIS program due to the cancellation of the hockey season this past year.

“I entered the transfer portal and I talked to a few coaches over the winter and nothing really lined up with what I wanted to do academically,” Dajia said. “About a month ago, I got an email from Franklin Pierce. [The coach] just said they had an opening and they are trying to fill it. We spoke about the school and the hockey program and it seemed like the right fit.”

Dajia ironically scored her first goal of the season in 2019 against Franklin Pierce on December 13, rifling home a shot from the point in the second period to give the Big Green a 2-0 lead against the Ravens.

In her three years at the school, the defenceman recorded seven points in 85 games in the program.

“As a player, I’ve definitely improved in every aspect. When you’re playing against good players you have to adapt to the conference. My older teammates and teammates now have been really good. As a teammate you’re with those people every day and you learn how to be a good friend, a good teammate and a good roommate,” Dajia said.

“As a student, I struggled a little bit with the transition because you’re in a high, academic achieving environment. I found the courses I really like to take. The last two years I’ve been doing a lot better academically and learning how to learn.”

Dajia played with the Aurora Panthers in the PWHL before joining the Durham West Jr. Lightning for two seasons.

Her coach at the time, Chris Cobb, recruited to Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Now heading to Franklin Pierce, she says she is excited for a new opportunity.

“I’m really excited to meet new teammates. I’m looking forward to being in a different environment in general. I really enjoyed the conversation with the coach. I think towards the end of my playing career at Dartmouth I started to fill into those leadership roles. If I can continue to do that, it would be great. But I will fill in any role they need me to fill in.”

Dajia said that hockey was her stepping stone into education. If a professional opportunity were to ever present itself in Europe, she would take it.

Three of her former teammates play in Hungary, Sweden and Finland respectively.

Aside from that, her goal is to enter grad school at some point to become a Physician Assistant or a Physiotherapist. She would also welcome the opportunity to coach a team one day or be a team doctor.

Dajia just celebrated her 22nd birthday this past Tuesday and celebrated her graduation on Sunday. She will be returning home to Aurora this summer before heading out to Rindge, New Hampshire in August.

By Robert Belardi



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