Boston, MA - The Boston Lady Whalers are excited to announce our revamped staff ahead of the 2022 Spring/Summer season. Effective immediately, Michaela Boyle has been elevated to the role of Executive Director, replacing Dana Trivigno after her seven seasons with the club.
"I'd like to personally thank Dana for her dedication and commitment to the Boston Lady Whalers since its inception," said Mike Cusack. "Dana has been an integral part of our program, and we're very appreciative of her efforts over the past several years. I wish her the best as she pursues her professional career outside of the sport," he continued.
In a simultaneous restructuring move, the Boston Lady Whalers program is thrilled to announce that 2018 U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist and Boston College captain, Cayla Barnes, has been named Associate Director. Cayla will serve as a pivotal presence amongst our staff, returning to Boston in February fresh off of the 2022 Olympics.
Additionally, we're elated to share that Kayla Friesen has been hired as our Director of Player Development. Kayla will oversee our expanding on-ice training curriculum, serving as a vital figurehead in the construction of our developmental platform moving forward. Kayla's hiring is in conjunction with a partnership that will be announced shortly with the Elev802 program out of Vermont. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and a former captain at St. Cloud State University, Kayla was selected #2 Overall in the First Round of the 2020 NWHL Draft, after rounding out her collegiate career at Clarkson University. We are privileged to have Kayla lead our on-ice development and empower her to share her expansive knowledge with our players.
Danielle Doherty - Director of Player Advancement
Finally, Danielle Doherty has been elevated to the role of Director of Player Advancement; a role in which she will build, coach, and work directly with each and every member of our Boston Lady Whalers 19U, 17U & 16U National Showcase teams, in an effort to serve as a true liaison in bridging the gap from prospect to NCAA athlete. As a former player at Boston College with several years of experience as a women's junior hockey coach & prep school coach, Danielle will flourish in this role.
"We've spent years researching the proper way to implement and allocate the focus of one of our staff members toward the advancement of our athletes to the next level. We are thrilled to have Danielle spearhead what we anticipate to be a role that is emulated nation-wide in the near future," said Mike Cusack.
Our 2022 Boston Lady Whalers staff advancements are highlighted in detail below:
Michaela Boyle - Executive Director
Michaela returns to the Boston Lady Whalers bench in 2022 for the fifth season, and her first season as Executive Director. As the program's all-time leading scorer, Michaela has played a number of different roles both behind the bench & behind the scenes; She now takes her rightful spot at the helm of operations as Executive Director of the Boston Lady Whalers program.
Boyle, a native of Reading, MA, completed her freshman season at Clarkson University in 2018 and was crowned an NCAA Division I National Champion. After that, she transferred to Robert Morris University where she emerged as a star, concluding her Junior season as the 10th leading scorer in the country. As a result of the unfortunate news that Robert Morris was cutting their men's & women's hockey programs, Michaela elected to transfer to Boston College for her senior season, and will suit up for the Eagles in 2021-22.
“I am extremely honored and eager to take over as the Executive Director for the Boston Lady Whalers program. Spending my developmental years as a member of the Boston Lady Whalers as a player and student-athlete, and now being able to give back and share everything that I've learned with the superstars of tomorrow is something that I am grateful for and do not take lightly. I would like to sincerely thank Mike for having the faith in me to make this jump, and Dana for helping develop me as a player, a person & a coach," said Executive Director Michaela Boyle.
Michaela's father, Mike Boyle, is a world-class strength coach highly regarded as the pinnacle member of the profession, training the most accomplished athletes in the world at his facilities - Mike Boyle's Strength & Conditioning.
Michaela has a passion for teaching the game to the next generation, and she is extremely outspoken in both her communication & relationship-building qualities amongst our players and parents alike. We are incredibly excited to announce Michaela's elevation to Executive Director of the program.
Cayla Barnes - Associate Director
The Boston Lady Whalers program is excited to continue adding valuable pieces to our unrivaled staff of women who've played at the highest levels, and we're thrilled to add U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Cayla Barnes as our Associate Director effective immediately.
“I am so excited to be a part of the Boston Lady Whalers program," said Cayla Barnes. "To join a structure that has had so much success in cultivating not only elite hockey players, but exceptional young women in the process is something special, and something that I wish I had the ability to be a part of in my developmental years," she continued.
To read more about Coach Cayla, and her countless accolades, please see the bullet points below:
Kayla Friesen - Director of Player Development
Kayla returns to the Boston Lady Whalers staff for a second year in the expanded role of Director of Player Development for the 2022 Spring/Summer season. A natural teacher of the game, Kayla brings a wealth of knowledge as a result of the uncommon avenue that she's paved to get to where she is today as a player.
A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Kayla grew up playing her youth hockey with the Winnipeg Warriors program. She progressed on to star at St. Mary's Academy in Winnipeg - a member of the CSSHL. In her senior year at St. Mary's, she was selected to represent Canada at the U18 Women's World Championship - where she put up a goal and an assist in five games, while helping Canada to a Silver Medal.
From St. Mary's, Friesen matriculated onward to St. Cloud State University, where she had an immediate impact in the lineup as a true freshman. A natural center, Kayla notched 18 points in 36 games in her Freshman season. As a junior in 2018, Friesen was named team captain of the St. Cloud State Huskies. Following her junior season, Kayla transferred to Clarkson University where she was able to play immediately and had a significant affect on the team's offense by tallying 10 goals & 20 assists for 30 points.
Following her collegiate career, Friesen was drafted 2nd Overall in the 2020 NWHL Entry Draft by the Connecticut Whale. Due to a COVID-shortened season, she was limited to playing just three games. She will be suiting up as a member of the Boston Pride for the 2021-22 NWHL season.
Kayla has served as the Skills Director for the Elev802 program out of Vermont, and will be relocating to Boston this fall to help run their new facility out of Andover. We are very excited to have Kayla as a full member of our coaching staff, and we're excited to have a different voice for our players to learn from!
The Boston Lady Whalers program will return as a charter member of the ORION Series for the 2022 season, and we are eager to share with our families several additional advancements that we are looking forward to providing our players with.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or inquiries regarding the Boston Lady Whalers program to our staff members highlighted below: