University of Minnesota Duluth senior goalie for women’s hockey Emma Söderberg will be an Olympian for the first time in February after Team Sweden qualified for the Winter Olympics 2022 on Sunday.
After a three-year absence, Sweden will return to a top-level event after defeating France 3-2 in the final of the Olympic qualifying group E at home in Luleå, Sweden. Söderberg, who got a shutout for Sweden last Saturday in a 15-0 victory against Korea, will be joined in Beijing by former bulldogs Michelle Lowenhielm and Linnea Hedin. Lowenhielm scored the Swedes’ first goal on Sunday and will make his second appearance in a winter Olympics with Sweden.
Soderberg is the second Bulldog player to have registered as an Olympic runner-up so far this year – junior forward Kassy Betinol will represent the host team China. Senior defender Ashton Bell is currently centralized with Canada ahead of the Olympics.
Former UMD forward Katerina Mrázová also got her first Olympic ticket and helped lead the Czech Republic through Group C. Former All-American and two-time Olympic (and bronze medalist) Lara Stalder has already completed her third trip to women’s hockey’s biggest stage with Switzerland, while another former All-American, defender and two-time Winter Olympics (and gold and silver medalist) Jocelyne Larocque is still centralized with Bell pending final decisions in the list. UMD’s arguably the most famous former Olympian of all time, goalkeeper Maddie Rooney, is also centralized with Team USA this fall, awaiting a final roster this winter.
In total, UMD can have as many as nine current and former players on five different Olympic lists in February.