June 26, 2014

Women’s Ice Hockey Welcomes Maddie Santosuosso to Program

Women's Ice Hockey Welcomes Maddie Santosuosso to Program

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College women's ice hockey team still has a full academic year before it officially takes the ice, but that hasn't prevented the team from continuing an already rich department-wide tradition of welcoming a very special member to its ranks.

Earlier this week, head coach Erin Hamlen, alongside future Warriors Chaislyn Burgio and Jackie Pieper, welcomed Maddie Santosuosso, in conjunction with Team IMPACT, to the program. The group officially met for the first time on Tuesday, as Maddie and her family had the chance to meet and greet Hamlen and her Warrior teammates and enjoyed a special tour of the facility.  

Maddie becomes the latest relationship forged through Merrimack Athletics and Team IMPACT, which enriches the lives of young children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team. Maddie, 9, is a Topsfield, Massachusetts, native, and was diagnosed with Stage IV Sarcoma in November of 2013. Since then, Maddie has been undergoing intensive treatment to battle the disease and recently completed a round of treatment and is back in school.

A hockey fanatic, Maddie is a natural goaltender and even enjoyed an opportunity recently to spend the day with Boston Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask shopping for gear and skating with the rest of the Bruins. Maddie loves Mexican food, her favorite number is 4, and her favorite color is Medium Blue. She loves all types of music, reads notes, plays guitar, and wants to take up drums next year.

She also enjoys reading, swimming, horseback riding, scavenger hunts, and riddles. In addition to all of that, Maddie helps her family run a small farm out of their home called Moo Moo Meadows. They grow organic fruits and vegetables, breed and milk their Nigerian Dairy Goats, and gather eggs from their 20 chickens. They also have two dogs, a boxer named Peppers and a bull dog puppy named Brutus.

Through her camaraderie with the women's ice hockey team and Team IMPACT, Maddie and the Warriors are sure to be an ideal match for one another. Maddie also will share the unique distinction of being one of the first members of the team, which will begin play in 2015-16 after another full year's worth of preparations and recruiting. The team now has an incredible role model on their side, as Hamlen and assistant coach Brent Hill continue to build toward the program's inaugural season.

About Team IMPACT
Team IMPACT aims to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team. They do this by matching these courageous kids with local college athletic teams. Team IMPACT children are drafted onto the team and become an official member of the team from Draft Day through to Graduation. The child joins the athletic team and the student athletes join the child's support team. The child gains great strength, camaraderie and support and the student athletes are taught lessons about courage, resiliency and life perspective that they can't learn in a classroom. Through a structured relationship management methodology, we establish and cultivate these relationships to ensure a successful experience for the families and teams involved.

For more information on Team IMPACT, please click here.

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