SCHENECTADY, NY. – Combining a successful coaching career and an impactful playing career, Olivia Soares has been named an assistant women’s hockey coach at Union College, head coach Josh Sciba announced on Thursday.
With her hire, Soares becomes one of only two black female coaches in NCAA Division I hockey, joining Nina Rodgers at fellow ECAC Hockey institution Dartmouth College.
“I would like to thank you Josh ScibaJim McLaughlin, and the rest of the Union Athletic Department for this opportunity,” said Soares. “I am looking forward to working with both Josh and Chris [Ardito] to develop the student-athletes at Union. It is such an exciting time to be a part of the Union hockey family and I am very grateful I get to be a part of it.”
“We are very fortunate to have Liv joining our program,” said Sciba. “Her maturity, professionalism, and passion to learn and collaborate were very evident during the interview process. We believe that she’s going to be a consistent role model for our student-athletes, helping them in any way that she can. From her playing experience and leadership positions, to how she carries herself as a young coach, we believe she’s a great fit and we are very excited to add her to our staff.”
Soares comes to Union after serving as an assistant coach at Colby College, where she helped lead the Mules to the best season in program history in her first year. Colby set a program record for wins with a 16-6-1 record and earned their first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament, finishing the season eighth in the USCHO.com national rankings.
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Prior to joining the collegiate coaching ranks, Soares was a four-year member of the women’s hockey team at The Ohio State University from 2016-20, playing in 142 games for the Buckeyes over her career. She served as an assistant captain as a junior and moved into the captain’s role as a senior, leading the team to the program’s first WCHA Tournament championship before the NCAA Tournament was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A WCHA Scholar-Athlete honoree in 2018 and was a three-time conference All-Academic Team selection, Soares graduated from Ohio State in 2020 with a degree in education and earned her master’s degree in sports management from OSU in 2021.
Soares will make her first appearance on the Union bench on September 15, when Union hosts Syracuse University for an exhibition contest at Messa Rink beginning at 3 pm