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Courtesy: Gil Talbot
Foley at Fenway

Senior Spotlight with Kelly Foley

Courtesy: Dartmouth
Release: 02/17/2012
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HANOVER, N.H. — January 10, 2012 will stand out in the memory of senior Kelly Foley (South Boston, Mass.) for quite some time. It wasn't just that it was one of the forward's 28 regular season games in her final season at Dartmouth, or that she was playing against the team, Providence, that her mother, Dawn Sprague, played for in the 1970's. No, on January 10, 2012, Foley stepped out of the visitor's dugout at historic Fenway Park, walked 15 yards toward the third base line, tightened up her skates and played the sport that she loves, hockey, in the ballpark that has always served as her backyard.

But before Foley made her way to an ice rink at Fenway Park she got started in the sport at a young age. She grew up in South Boston and got her start in hockey due to being the youngest of four and the child of two people passionate about sports.

"My dad (Stephen) is a huge sports fan and he didn't get to play growing up," Kelly said. "Being the youngest, my siblings were always down at the rink so I kind of grew into it. I was a huge rink rat."

She picked up the sport quickly and soon was playing at Tabor Academy in Marion, Mass. During her freshman season, current Dartmouth Associate Head Women's Hockey Coach, Holley Tyng, was one of her coaches and that started the path of Foley ending up at Dartmouth.

"After she (Holley) went to Dartmouth to coach, it kind of opened my eyes to that it could be an option," Foley said. "And some of my other coaches kind of knew it would be good for me to get out of Boston and experience some new things. It was also great to be able to get an Ivy League education."

The time at Dartmouth has been beneficial to both Foley and the Big Green. In her four seasons, the team has made the NCAA Playoffs twice, and is on its way to its third winning season with Foley on the roster. For Foley, she is closing in on 100 points in her career. The captain has 48 goals and 49 assists for 97 points in 109 collegiate games. Although, hitting the century mark isn't something that Foley has been focusing on trying to reach.

"The only reason I really know how close I am is because Camille Dumais (Beaconsfield, Quebec) is right behind me," Foley said. "She is always giving me a hard time about it. But reaching 100 is something that if it happens it happens and if it doesn't it doesn't.

"I was out injured for a time my sophomore year and if that didn't happen I would probably already be at 100 points. It's one of those things if you let it get in your head it becomes that big elephant in the room and you start to overthink. If it does happen, everyone will be really happy for me and it will be an honor to achieve it."

Foley has closed in on the century mark due to her strong play this season. She leads the team in goals with 16 and has 12 assists for 28 points, which puts her second on the squad. Foley came into the season with a little extra confidence after being selected to take part in the USA Hockey National Festival this past summer, and then being selected to participate in the USA Women's Winter Training Camp in December.

"It was a really big surprise to me this summer, because they only tell you like three weeks before the actual camp," Foley said. "I was a little more prepared mentally and physically for the second camp in December. It was a cool experience to see those leaders in action and to see how they handle certain situations. It was pretty special and made me better getting to play with those types of athletes."

The special experience with USA Hockey led into the next for Foley at Fenway Park on a cool but sunny Tuesday afternoon in January. The team got its first chance to go out on the ice in the morning before the game started at 3 p.m.

"It was a time to take it all in," Foley said. "When we came out the first time it had snowed just a very little bit, but it was enough to put a layer of frost on the entire field.

"And then someone pointed out that my name was over on the Green Monster and that was one of those stop and just be awed moments. It is something you are never going to see again, and it was just so cool."

The Big Green fell behind in the contest in the first period, but were able to come back and win the game in the third. Foley didn't score in the game but made the pass to Dumais for the game-winning goal with 1:14 left in the third in the 3-2 victory over the Friars.

"When they would play all of the replays it was hard not to play attention to all of that," Foley said. "Once we went down a goal in the first, it all kind of clicked for us that this is a real game and we need to focus on getting the win."

Foley and the team are looking for that same kind of clicking moment as the regular season winds down this weekend. Dartmouth is fifth in the conference and will need to make some noise in the ECAC Hockey Tournament in order to go back to the NCAA Playoffs for the second consecutive season. But with a player and teammate like Foley, whose dedication and production have been on display for the past four seasons at Dartmouth, it's pretty easy to believe this team has another run in them.

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