Dakota McMahon ’18 skates to success at Salve Regina

Sports

Even without the guarantee of an upcoming winter season, center Dakota McMahon ’18 is making the most of her practices on the ice, continuously giving it her all no matter the situation. 

McMahon attended the KO Upper School for all four years of high school. She was a part of the varsity field hockey and varsity softball teams for all four years and played for the girls ice hockey team during her freshman and sophomore year. McMahon ended up tearing her ACL during her junior year and unfortunately had to sit the remainder of her junior field hockey and softball seasons. McMahon said her favorite memory of playing a Kingswood Oxford sport was Hockey Night. “I always loved to play in front of the school and having the crowd cheering us on,” she said.

In her senior year, McMahon committed to Sacred Heart University, a Division I school in Fairfield. “I started the recruiting process late due to my ACL,” McMahon said, “but Sacred Heart offered me a spot and I loved the school.” However, McMahon ultimately transferred to Salve Regina University, a Division III school, over concerns of playing time in later seasons. “Salve Regina was my second choice, so I wasn’t disappointed and I would be able to play more,” McMahon said. 

McMahon said the transition from high school to college wasn’t difficult. “Salve Regina is very similar to KO,” McMahon said. “It’s just in Rhode Island.” McMahon quickly realized how time-consuming college sports would be. Practices start in early October and the season doesn’t end until February if they make it to the playoffs. Practices are five to six times a week with multiple strength and conditioning sessions, as well as stick and fundamental work.  

In addition to all the effort McMahon has to put in, Salve Regina hired a new Head Coach for the upcoming season. “I’m so excited to work with the new coach,” McMahon said. “I can already tell he is a good coach.” 

Over the course of her two seasons playing college ice hockey, McMahon has had many memorable moments. The one that sticks out the most is the last league game against Beckert in her sophomore year playing for Salve. “It was double over-time,” McMahon said, “and I ended up assisting on the game-winning goal”. 

Sadly, COVID-19 has affected so many college sports seasons, including McMahon’s. The team recently started practicing at the end of October, and games won’t start until mid-January, so the number of games has been cut back. In addition, masks have to be worn at all times on the ice, there are no contact drills, and the team has to be split up into two sections to comply with COVID-19 protocols. Finally, the team has to practice at Portsmouth Abbey, a 30 minute trip from Salve Regina University. “It’s been a little hard to adjust,” McMahon said, “but it’s worth it to be able to play.” 

McMahon is currently majoring in Business Administration. She isn’t 100% sure what she wants to do after college, but she is very interested in marketing or management. Regardless of her future career, McMahon knows she wants to coach ice hockey in the future. Whatever she ends up choosing, she will surely succeed.