It felt like “home” is a pretty common refrain for student athletes signing to play a sport in college. Something about the school or the team or the dorms feels like home and that comfort level becomes a reason to choose that program or that school.
But that refrain might be particularly true for Covenant field hockey’s Ivy Allen, Megan McGlothlin and Melissa McGlothlin.
The trio made their college destinations official yesterday with Allen signing with Miami of Ohio while the McGlothlins signed with Towson University. The signings rounded out a run of Division I hockey players who’ve suited up for Covenant over the last few years while leading the team to four state final four appearances and a title in 2016.
As for that true touch of home? Allen will play for former UVa assistant and current Redhawks head coach Inako Puzo, who’s wife Keli Puzo first taught Allen to play field hockey in sixth grade while she was a club coach here in Charlottesville. The McGlothlins will play for former Albemarle coach and current Towson head coach E.A. Jackson after playing for Jackson in club hockey early in their career. They also played with Jackson’s daughter Maddie Fagan, a former Covenant player now at Penn.
For Allen, Monday was the culmination of a four-year commitment to Miami she made as a freshman and she’ll now get a chance to suit up for a squad that won the MAC this fall and nearly knocked off Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, falling 1-0 to the Blue Devils. The All-State standout who has played a variety of roles for the Eagles in the midfield will continue what’s already been an impressive hockey career.
“I really decided when I made my first visit to Miami,” Allen said. “I was with my mom and we were touring a few different colleges up in Pennsylvania and Miami was our first stop and we got back in the car and I told her I don’t want to go anywhere else and she was like you need to be open-minded.”
The McGlothlin twins were set on trying to go to school together and play hockey together. They both found the right fit in Towson.
“We pretty much do everything together so if we would’ve split off it would’ve been a weird kind of situation for us,” said Megan McGlothlin. “We didn’t want to split up.”
Melissa, who’s been a key defender during the Eagles’ run over the last few years pointed out that the environment and culture that Jackson has created at Towson creates a clear comfort level from the start.
“They have great values for their team, and they’re all close, it’s not like a competition like I’m better than you,” Melissa McGlothlin said. “It’s like they’re family and that’s why we decided to go there.”
The McGlothlins are both also familiar with what it takes to turn around a program and the Tigers are are in the middle of that process with a new hockey complex scheduled to come online in fall of 2019 after construction started last summer.
“It is just like the Covenant program where we came in and the program wasn’t great and coach (Annie) Gumbs built it up and Meg and I got to be a part of that,” Melissa McGlothlin said. “It’s a chance for us to build a program again at a higher level.”