Kaitlyn Isaac Thankful For Her Community After Successful First NCAA Campaign
Kaitlyn Isaac has committed herself to excellence on and off the ice. It’s why the Walpole Island First Nation product recently completed a stellar first season of NCAA hockey and academics at Cornell University.
An Ojibwe and Potawatomi person, Isaac, who has found success at every step of her hockey career, knows that her excellence has come in part from the support of her community.
“I would like to thank the Walpole Island community as they have always supported me throughout my hockey career,” said Isaac. “They have helped me with numerous opportunities that got me where I am today and having the support from back home is really appreciated.”
Isaac spent last season playing in the PWHL with the Etobicoke Dolphins, and won a silver medal in 2017 playing for Team Ontario at the National Championships. Isaac also represented Team Ontario multiple times at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships.
It didn’t take long for Isaac to continue making an impact on a winning team, as she helped Cornell to an Ivy League title, and ECAC regular season crown on the Nations top ranked team.
“My first season at Cornell was a memorable experience,” said Isaac, who is enrolled in Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
“Being apart of a team that accomplished a lot like winning the Ivy League, ECAC regular season, and making it to the NCAA tournament was really exciting. It was challenging at first balancing athletics and academics. It was a big adjustment from junior as I was on the ice everyday and the speed and skill of the game was a much higher level.”
Already a role model for younger Indigenous and women’s hockey players in Ontario, Isaac hopes that others see that their dreams are possible, as she lives her own dream.
“I hope when younger female athletes look at my past successes that they feel inspired. Inspired to create and reach their own dreams and goals, and know anything is possible to accomplish when they really want it. I hope they realize that hockey is more than just a game. It can give you so many opportunities and other types of success off the ice like a college or university education or lifelong connections.”
Although her first season playing NCAA hockey was a dream and goal complete, it was still incomplete as Cornell’s hope for a National Championship was cut short as the tournament was cancelled due to COVID-19.
“It was very difficult to take in that our season was ended so abruptly. It was disappointing that we didn’t get the chance to compete for a National Championship after the long season and hours of practice and training in the gym. With still having 3 more seasons ahead of me I’m looking to play a bigger role on the team and further develop as a player. As a team, we definitely want to make it back to the NCAA tournament and play in the frozen four.”
Luckily for Kaitlyn Isaac, and her many fans and supporters in Walpole Island and beyond, her story of success is just beginning.