Queen’s Bound: CDS Student Commits to Hockey with Plan to Pursue Engineering
Although Sophie Hudson received a lot of interest to play university hockey south of the border, she wanted to play in the highly competitive Canadian university hockey system and chose Queen’s University. According to Sophie, her decision feels just right.
Queen’s Women’s Hockey Coach, Matt Holmberg, first reached out to the Aurora forward in spring 2019 when she was playing Junior hockey in Toronto. That fall, he toured her around the Gael’s sports facilities and stayed in frequent contact thereafter.
A year later, Sophie had narrowed down her decision to a handful of Canadian schools, but could easily picture herself playing for Queen’s where her sister Heather will be entering her third year in Commerce this September.
“It came down to where I thought I could see myself best. Having been there and knowing my sister was there played a huge factor in my decision. I officially committed to Queen’s last September, but didn’t sign until last week because I was still deciding between Commerce and Engineering.”
Ultimately, she chose Engineering, which Sophie attributes both to her father’s mechanical engineering background and her interest in Queen’s combined Mathematics and Engineering program; the only one like it in North America.
This practice of pursuing what she wants is what motivates Sophie. In fact, she vividly remembers asking her dad to let her trade her dance shoes for hockey skates at the age of seven after watching her younger brother play. It didn’t take a lot of convincing as he wanted her to play and coached her in the early years.
After playing her first year in Aurora’s House League, she moved on to play rep for the Aurora Panthers for six years before playing Bantam A for Scarborough in the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association (OWHA). The next two years she played for Mississauga before joining the Toronto Jr. Aeros her Grade 11 year. It was while playing for the Aeros that Sophie and her teammates were most exposed to university hockey.
This past season, Sophie played for Durham West in the Provincial Women’s Hockey League (PWHL). Because Durham Region was experiencing lower COVID numbers than York Region, her team was allowed to practice with limited numbers up until Christmas. They were also permitted to play a handful of four-on-four games in October/November against the Whitby Jr. Wolves, also in the same region.
As a student at The Country Day School, Sophie was a three-term athlete, and tried almost every sport offered during her eight years, including basketball, track & field and volleyball. In high school, she played soccer (keeper), hockey (forward) and rugby (inside centre). She has fond memories of playing CDS team sports, especially on the inaugural Girls’ Hockey team, which got underway her Grade 9 year. “It was lots of fun and a completely different atmosphere playing with my friends on the school team.”
According to CDS Athletic Director and Girls’ Hockey Coach, John Andersen, “Sophie was an integral part of bringing women’s hockey to CDS. Her presence in the dressing room and on the ice are an inspiration for her teammates. Her work ethic and determination to succeed have made her a leader and a great role model. Modest, composed and dedicated, Sophie will be a great addition to the Queen’s hockey program.”
Even though her final two seasons were cut short and an opportunity to play for the OWHA U18 team last November never happened, Sophie is thankful for the silver linings.
“My dad has coached me while I’ve been home and he coaches my two younger brothers. The lack of hockey during quarantine freed up a lot of time for our family. The bonus was that we had a lot of fun together playing on our backyard rink.”
As her high school chapter comes to a close, Sophie looks forward to a return to organized hockey and meeting her Queen’s teammates in person in the near future.