UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State women’s hockey head coach Josh Brandwene formally announced next year’s incoming freshman signings on Wednesday (Nov. 14). Minnesota natives Laura Bowman (Minnetonka, Minn.), Sarah Nielsen (Edina, Minn.), Amy Petersen (Minnetonka, Minn.) and New York product Kelly Seward (Williamsville, N.Y.).
"We are excited to welcome our 2013 class to the Penn State family," Brandwene said. "These four young women bring everything we seek in a Penn State student-athlete: character, academics, and phenomenal athletic talent. They will all make immediate and long-term impacts on our program. We look forward to their contributions to the Penn State community and to our program’s positive culture."
Forward // 5-7 // Right // Minnetonka, Minn. // Minnetonka HS
Before Penn State: Member of two-time defending Minnesota High School AA champion Minnetonka High School (2011-12) with fellow incoming freshman Amy Petersen…Through three years, has tallied 134 points courtesy of 71 goals and 63 assists…Led the team as captain from 2010-12 and earned two All-Lake Conference honors, while leading the team in scoring both seasons…Named All-State and Minnesota AA All-Tournament as a junior…As a junior, scored 31 goals, 21 assists in 52 points as Minnetonka went 25-5-1…Tallied 23 goals, 30 assists and 53 points as a sophomore when Minnetonka went 29-1-1 and earned All-State Honorable Mention…Second on the team in scoring freshman year, scoring 17 times with 12 assists for 29 points as Minnetonka won the Lake Conference and finished Section 6 AA Runner-up…Currently the Minnetonka High School single-season scoring record holder…Participated in the 2009 and 2011 USA Hockey Player Development Camps…Earned letters playing soccer and golf…Leads Minnetonka as the 2012-13 golf captain and earned All-Lake Conference Honorable Mention in 2011.
Personal: Laura Marie Bowman was born November 8, 1994 in Minneapolis, Minn. to Scott and Dawna Bowman…Has a younger brother named Jack…An excellent student, earned the Minnetonka Student Recognition Award for Outstanding Academic Performance… Intends to major in immunology or microbiology.
Quoting Bowman on Penn State: "I chose Penn State because I was impressed with the school of science and research opportunities. I love the atmosphere that I feel there and the campus is exactly what I imagined my college would look like. I can’t wait to become part of the Penn State family and I’m looking forward to making history in the new Pegula Ice Arena."
Quoting Coach Brandwene on Bowman: "Laura is the total package of skill, speed, height and tenacity. She is equal parts scorer, play-maker and outstanding penalty killer. Laura plays terrific hockey at both ends of the ice and she will have immediate impact."
Forward // 5-6 // Left // Edina, Minn. // Edina HS
Before Penn State: Member of two-time Minnesota High School AA runner-up Edina High School (2010-11), while leading the team to the AA semifinals junior year…Has tallied career totals of 126 points from 44 goals and 82 points in three years of high school hockey…Helped lead Edina to three section titles in 2010-12…Named All-Lake Conference three times and to the State All-Tournament team in 2011…In 2011-12, scored 14 goals, 30 assist and 44 points to lead Edina to a 20-5-6 overall record…Sophomore season, led Edina to the AA Final and a 26-4-1 record behind 17 goals, 33 assists and career-high 50 pints…During the freshman year, scored 13 goals, 19 assist and 32 points en route to a 24-6-1 record…Participated in the USA Hockey Developmental Camp in 2011…Participated in the Minnesota Elite League in 2011 and 2012…Played club hockey for the Minnesota Ice Cats since 2009.
Personal: Sarah Frances Nielsen was born December 2, 1994 in Des Moines, Iowa to Chris and Kathy Nielsen, who played volleyball at Iowa State…Has an older brother, Zach, an older sister, Emily, and a younger sister, Kate…Grandfather, Dave Nielsen, graduated from Penn State in 1974…Intends to major in nutritional sciences…Hopes to pursue sports nutrition and personal training upon graduation.
Quoting Nielsen on Penn State: "I fell in love with Penn State because of the coaching staff, their team-first philosophy and type of hockey tradition they’re trying to build. I also loved the beautiful campus and college town feel."
Quoting Coach Brandwene on Nielsen: "Sarah is a fantastic two-way forward with an outstanding hockey IQ, and impressive maturity and poise. She has skill, strength, a positive attitude, and tremendous work ethic. Sarah will be a difference-maker for us at both ends of the ice."
Forward // 5-4 // Right // Minnetonka, Minn. // Minnetonka HS
Before Penn State: Member of two-time defending Minnesota High School AA champion Minnetonka High School (2011-12) with fellow incoming freshman Laura Bowman…Earned three-straight Lake Conference titles…Has scored 123 points with 41 goals and 82 assists, earning two AA All-Tournament Team mentions in 2010-11 and 2011-12…Served as team captain in 2011-12 with a 12-goal, 37-assist effort (49 points) and being named to the All-Lake Conference team and honorable-mention All-State…Earned honorable-mention All-Lake Conference in 2010-11 with 21 goals, 24 assists and 45 points…As a freshman, tallied eight goals, 21 assists for 29 points when Minnetonka won the Lake Conference and finished as Section 6 AA Runner-up…Has played for the Minnesota Junior Whitecaps since 2009 and in the Minnesota Elite League since 2010.
Personal: Amy Claire Petersen was born October 2, 1994 in St. Louis Park, Minn. to Eric and Mary Petersen…Has an older brother named Blake.
Quoting Petersen on Penn State: "I chose Penn State for both the athletic and academic options that it has to offer."
Quoting Coach Brandwene on Petersen: "Amy defines what it means to be a clutch scorer. Her consistent play, her intensity, and her knack for big game performances are what caught our eye. She’s fun to watch and will be an immediate presence in our lineup next year."
Defense // 5-9 // Left // Williamsville, N.Y. // Nichols School/Buffalo Bisons
Before Penn State: Has played for the Nichols School since 2009 and the Buffalo Bisons club team since 2010…With Nichols, helped lead the team to the 2009-10 and 2011-12 North American Prep Hockey Association league titles, while also leading the 2011-12 squad to the Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association title…Served as team captain in 2011-12 and 2012-13…Invited to two USA Hockey Developmental camps in 2009 and 2011…Guided the Bisons to the New York state championships in 2010 as 14U, 2011 as 19U and 2012 as 16U…The 2011-12 16U squad earned runner-up honors at the national tournament.
Personal: Kelly Cecelia Seward was born June 7, 1995 in Buffalo, N.Y. to Mark and Jacqueline Seward…Has two older siblings, Meghan and David, who plays for the Buffalo Junior Sabres of the Ontario Junior Hockey League.
Quoting Seward on Penn State: "After visiting many college campuses, I feel that Penn State is a great school to attend. Even though it is a huge campus, it has a small-school feel. It is the perfect fit for me."
Quoting Coach Brandwene on Seward: "I am very impressed with Kelly’s consistency and well-rounded game. She possesses great height, strength, foot speed, on-ice vision and puck distribution skills, complemented by a terrific point shot. She’ll be a defensive force for us."