UConn’s Jessica Lutz Leads Switzerland to Bronze in Sochi

University of Connecticut alumna Jessica Lutz ’10 (CANR) scored late in the third period of Thursday’s women’s ice hockey match to help Switzerland win a Bronze medal in the 2014 Sochi Games.

The goal for Lutz was her second of the tournament and propelled Switzerland to its first medal in the history of Swiss women’s ice hockey. The nation finished with a one-point victory over Sweden.

But the outcome was not clear until the final minutes of the match.

The Swiss trailed 2-0 going into the third period, before a furious rally tied the contest. Lutz then redirected a pass from teammate Lara Stalder past the Swedish goaltender to give Switzerland its lead of the day.

Switzerland tacked on an empty net goal to bring the score to 4-2, before Sweden made one more goal within the last minute of the match to make the final score 4-3.

Switzerland reached the medal round after defeating Russia in the quarterfinals on Feb. 15. Switzerland lost to Canada in the semifinal round, in a game that saw Lutz score her first Olympic goal.

Overall for the tournament, Lutz fired 11 shots on goal.

“I came in to work early and sat on my couch and watched the entire Bronze medal game,” said Jaclyn Hawkins ’08 (CLAS), who coached Lutz for a year. “When Lutzy scored, I jumped up and screamed so loud and have been walking around with a big smile on my face all day.”

“There is so much pride,” added Hawkins, who learned that her former player was going to the Olympics through an email from Lutz’s parents. “ When you know someone like Lutzy on a personal level and the amount of time, work and sacrifice that she’s put in, you can’t help but be proud of her. “

Lutz’s father is a native of Switzerland, and she holds both a U.S. and an EU passport. Her dual citizenship afforded her the opportunity to compete for Switzerland, provided that she established residency there.

So, knowing the Sochi Games were coming up, the 24-year-old completed her studies in allied health sciences in three years, graduated a year early, and moved to Switzerland for nearly three years.

Lutz’s accomplishment was featured in an article in the Washington Post, as a follow-up to a Feb. 6 article about her.