NEW YORK — The best player in women’s college hockey calls the tri-state area home.
Aerin Frankel, a Briarcliff Manor native and Northeastern University goaltender, won the 2021 Patty Kazmaier Award, given to best player in the sport each season. She also, naturally won the award for top goalie.
She’s more pleased with her team’s success than her individual accomplishments.
“I definitely wouldn’t say the Kazmaier Award is a goal of mine,” Frankel told PIX11 News. “I think it’s something that comes a lot with our team success. I was able to be honored with the award following a lot of team success this year.”
The Huskies accomplishments as a team were quite good this year as well, as the team’s loss in the national title game was just its second of the season.
It’s all been happening very quickly for Frankel.
“I’m still taking it all in,” she said. “It’s been a pretty crazy past few weeks with the NCAA Tournament, then going to camp with the national team to try out for the World Championship team. I think I really haven’t had that much time to soak it all in yet.”
Frankel is still writing her story, potentially at Northeastern. She has one year of eligibility left, one she says she’ll use should she not make the U.S. Olympic team for the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.
“I think this year we proved to everyone in the hockey world that Northeastern is a powerhouse and we can play with the top teams in the nation,” she said.
It helps having the nation’s best goaltender.
Aerin’s story isn’t quite an overnight success. She left New York in high school to play at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, the hockey powerhouse in Minnesota that’s produced the likes of Sidney Crosby, Zach Parise and the Gold Medal-winning Lamoreaux twins.
She was still considered an underdog when she first enrolled at Northeastern.
But Frankel is a big believer in the team motto: There’s no traffic after the extra mile.
“I think I like that quote because it has a hard working aspect,” she said. “When no one is looking, who is putting in the extra work and that is something that has resonated with me.”