Janie Dowling is versatile. “Janie plays wherever I ask her to play. She can play offense or defense. She is up for the challenge,” explained Rice Memorial High School girls head ice hockey coach Maurice Boucher. “Janie is a key ingredient to our success. She is an intelligent player that makes very few mental mistakes,” he added. “Janie is a skilled player, a team leader, and more importantly she is a really great kid.”
Born in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. on Jan. 8, 1996, Dowling and her family lived briefly in South Carolina before moving to Vermont. After a short time in Charlotte, the family settled in Shelburne when Dowling was in the fourth grade. Her family includes parents, Janet and Jim; older brothers, James, a graduate of Providence College; and Will, a senior at Holy Cross.
“I grew up in hockey rinks. I had two older brothers who played the sport. At first, I was a competitive figure skater,” she explained. “I think I was in third grade at Christ the King when I started looking for a team sport. I attended an ice hockey camp, fell in love with it, and never went back [to figure skating]. I’ve played ice hockey ever since.”
For her first three years at Rice, Dowling played Prep hockey. This year, she chose to play on the varsity team to focus on college. “I knew I couldn’t travel every weekend and give the college process the time it deserved,” Dowling said. “It was an easy decision.” The Green Knights are now benefitting from her experience, skills, and love of the game.
In addition to ice hockey, Dowling is a three-year varsity lacrosse and field hockey player, her preferred sport. “Over the past year I have been exploring my prospects of playing field hockey in college. It is my focus right now.” It is also the sport in which is most proud. “I know this is going to sound funny but my greatest achievement is really a lesson I learned and not an achievement,” she insisted. “This year, after winning back-to-back-to-back field hockey state championships, we made it to the title game but lost. That loss and the adversity that followed helped me in more ways than winning ever could,” she shared. “For me, it was a reminder about what’s really important.”
This three-sport athlete is also very involved in Peer Ministry, a spiritual organization at Rice where Dowling held the position of president last year, and in a “World of Difference,” an anti-bullying campaign whose mission is to eliminate bias and stereotypes.
Already accepted to Providence College where she is unable to play field hockey, Dowling is waiting to hear from Hobart William Smith and St. Lawrence. “I’m still waiting to hear from most of the colleges I applied to,” Dowling offered. “I’m undecided on what to study, but it will probably something in the humanities.” Plans for next year may be incomplete, but there’s no cause for concern. In her versatile, capable way, I’m confident Dowling will come up with a winning combination.