When forward Jess Desorcie took the ice for her first Penn State and Division I game against Vermont this weekend, she found herself in a familiar spot.
Desorcie, who spent the first part of her freshman year at Connecticut College, grew up in Westford, Vt., just under half an hour away from where Vermont plays in Gutterson Fieldhouse.
She grew up going to few Catamounts’ games and said her experience this weekend was “great.”
“It was definitely kind of a surreal moment when I could play at UVM in college in front of my family,” Desorcie said.
Desorcie said she thought she would attend Vermont to play for the Catamounts, but some things changed. Desorcie said she has some friends on the opposing bench, calling a game a little “friendly rivalry.”
She tallied three assists across the two games in Burlington this weekend.
Penn State head coach Josh Brandwene said Desorcie’s hard work paid off in front of her friends and family.
“Support matters,” Brandwene said. “Certainly, she was thrilled to be able to play near home, but Jess competes every day. She plays at a high level.”
Desorcie said it was her father’s dream to see his daughters play collegiate hockey. While her sister Felicia already played at Norwich University, Jess is the first sibling to play D-I.
After the games, Desorcie said her father, George, told her he was proud to say he had a daughter that played at Penn State.
“I’ve coached her for years and now to see her finally hit this level and be so excited about playing for a school like Penn State and to be there and to be a contributor is a big deal,” George said.
Her father said it was interesting to root for Penn State since the family had friends that were Catamounts’ fans, but described it as a “thrill” to witness her open up the season in Vermont.
“For years, you would go to cheer on Vermont,” George said. “To be there cheering on Penn State versus Vermont was a little different. It was a little challenging but it’s not uncommon…sometimes you’re on both sides.”