|RMU Honors McLaughlin with Permanent Banner|
Pittsburgh, Pa. - The Robert Morris University Athletic Department held a special ceremony to honor former Colonial women's hockey goaltender and United States Olympian Brianne McLaughlin Saturday evening at the RMU Island Sports Center.
The ceremony included remarks from Robert Morris President Dr. Gregory Dell'Omo, Robert Morris Athletic Director Dr. Craig Coleman and Robert Morris Associate Athletic Director Marty Galosi that highlighted and paid tribute to McLaughlin's extensive list of accomplishments, both academic and athletic, before culminating with the unfurling of a 14' by 8' banner that will permanently hang in the Colonials' home facility.
"The Olympics were not Brianne's only achievement," Dell'Omo said. "Brianne set the NCAA's record for saves while studying nursing at Robert Morris, one of our most demanding programs for the time it requires in clinical training. After the Olympics, she returned to Robert Morris to complete her degree. In short, Brianne was a scholar-athlete in the truest sense of the word, and a role model for students, faculty and staff--someone who exemplified our core values and our mission to change lives."
McLaughlin, who joined the RMU women's hockey staff as a volunteer assistant coach this past July, had a storied collegiate career for Robert Morris before competing for her country in both Olympic and World Championship events.
In 120 career games for Robert Morris, McLaughlin stopped a NCAA-record 3,809 shots, a figure that is more than 200 clear of the closest netminder. McLaughlin was a four-time All-College Hockey America award winner and also earned national defensive player of the week honors on three occasions in her career. She led RMU to one of the biggest wins in school history Oct. 3, 2008 when she made a single-game school record 63 saves to lead the Colonials to a stunning road upset of No. 3 Minnesota. McLaughlin recorded at least 40 saves in 27 contests in her RMU career and stopped at least 50 shots on eight occasions.
Less than one year after she completed her collegiate career, McLaughlin traveled to Vancouver, British Columbia for the 2010 Olympic Games as a member of the U.S. National Team. She appeared in the team's first game of the tournament, becoming the first Colonial student-athlete to compete in the Olympics, and went on to help the U.S. earn a silver medal.
McLaughlin added another item to her award collection in April as she won a gold medal with the Red, White & Blue at the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Women's Championship in Switzerland. McLaughlin got the start between the pipes in the opening tournament game for the U.S. against Slovakia and certainly rose to the occasion in her first-career world championship appearance. She stopped every shot she faced to record her first-career shutout in a U.S. uniform despite having to face the Slovakian power-play unit on five occasions. McLaughlin's effort would prove to be America's only shutout of the tournament as the U.S. squad would go on to win its third-consecutive world championship with a thrilling, 3-2, overtime victory over Canada.
"On behalf of the RMU Department of Athletics, we congratulate Brianne on all of her achievements and hope that with this visual tribute, young girls will aspire to take after her on the ice and in the classroom," Coleman said. "This banner is a fitting and permanent reminder as to how strongly we at Robert Morris feel about all that she has contributed to our women's hockey program, our athletic department and our university."
The distinct banner was designed by Jeff Symonds, a former member of the Robert Morris sports information staff.
McLaughlin helped coach the Colonials to two exhibition victories this past weekend against Penn State and Waterloo in her first action behind the bench. Robert Morris will complete its pre-season schedule this Saturday, Oct. 1, as it hosts Windsor at 2:05 p.m.