COLUMBUS, Ohio – When the Ohio State women’s hockey team advanced to the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four title game last season, there had been just four programs crowned champions in the 21-year history of the tournament. On March 20, 2022, the Buckeyes became the fifth.
Ohio State won its first national championship by a 3-2 decision over Minnesota Duluth to cap off a historic season for the program. With goals from Paetyn Levis, Clair DeGeorge and Kenzie Hauswirth, plus a 17-save performance by goaltender Amanda Thiele, the Buckeyes hoisted the national championship trophy for the very first time.
Among the notable firsts of the championship win included Buckeye head coach Nadine Muzerall becoming the first to win a national championship as both a player and a head coach in women’s hockey.
National championship aside, Ohio State’s 2022 NCAA title run was momentous on all accounts.
En route to the national championship, the Buckeyes earned critical wins over traditional powerhouses Wisconsin and Minnesota to win the 2022 WCHA Final Faceoff title. The victory marked the second conference tournament championship in three years for Ohio State and solidified the team as the top program in the country. With the win, the Buckeyes earned their first No. 1 national rankings and No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, which led to Columbus hosting NCAA championship games for the first time in program history.
After advancing through the Columbus regional to the Frozen Four, Ohio State defeated Yale, 2-1, in the semifinals to move on to the final game for the first time in program history. By that point, the Buckeyes had already earned a program-record 31 wins and were on their way to their 32nd.
The women’s hockey team is just the second women’s program at Ohio State to win an NCAA title, following rowing’s three consecutive titles from 2012-14. Though it is the youngest program in the Ohio State Department of Athletics, contesting its first season in 1999-2000, the team has evolved into one of the best in the sport with an impact not only at the collegiate level, but the professional and international level as well.