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Carla McSweeney Has Shined On The Ice Since Day One, When She Had A 6-Point Game

By Ross Forman, 02/16/24, 1:45PM CST


Standout Forward For Chicago Central Romans, Chicago Mission Has Committed To Harvard University

Carla McSweeney was playing for the Chicago Stallions in her first-ever hockey game on a mite 2 team. She was one of two girls on the team and they were playing Winnetka at home. The Stallions won, 9-0, and McSweeney had 5 goals and an assist.

After the game, the team manager gave the scoresheet to McSweeney’s mom who eventually had it framed.

She still has it today – with countless more on-ice memories and milestones over the years.

McSweeney, 17, who lives in Chicago, is a junior at Latin School of Chicago and in her third season skating for the co-op Chicago Central Romans, a team filled with players from Latin, Lane Tech, University of Chicago Lab Prep, Whitney Young, Lincoln Park and Saint Ignatius. She also skates for the Chicago Mission Girls U19 team.

Her career has included goals scored for CYA (Windy City Storm).

McSweeney is a three-year All-State player and was a Chicago Blackhawks Player of the Month award-winner. She also was a member of multiple USA Hockey Player Development Camps, participated in USA Hockey Women’s National Festival and the USA Hockey U18 Select Team which she tagged as, “one of the most incredible experiences I have had.”

McSweeney has been skating this season primarily with Mickey O’Malley and Annie Chen – and the Romans went 6-6-3 in the Metro Girls Scholastic regular season.

McSweeney is tied for the Metro Girls scoring lead: 33 goals and 20 assists in 18 games.

“I play a game that is aimed towards creating offense and goal-scoring opportunities, but to do that I try to play from the defensive zone out. Getting pucks out of the D-zone and into the offensive zone to get to work on creating chances,” she said. “My game revolves around making the right play, using speed and deception to create space for myself and lanes to get pucks to the net or to open teammates. I pride myself on doing the little things right since in hockey the little things make a big impact. I play a smart game; I know where to be in different situations and am always trying to be aware of where everyone else is on the ice.”

McSweeney credits many for her on-ice success, starting with her Stallions’ coaches who first taught her the game that she now loves. He also praised her coaches at CYA and the Mission.

“I could not do what I do, or accomplish what I have, without (all my coaches), nor would I want to. My teammates also have influenced me in so many ways; each one has taught me something about the game, myself, or life off the ice that has helped me become who I am today,” she said.

McSweeney skated for the state champion Romans as a freshman, when the team went 23-0-2. “We had a great group; all were super close and it was always fun to (go) to the rink.”

That season, she had a 5-goal game against New Trier.

“I was just so excited to be playing high school hockey with all these different people who I didn’t usually get to play with. It was such a fun game, with or without the five goals,” she said. “Obviously it set a tone for the rest of the year and I think the team and I lived up to it.”

McSweeney, ironically, had 5 goals and an assist in her first Romans game and 5 goals and an assist in her first-ever hockey game.

McSweeney said the Romans are having a “really strong season,” with a team that delivers a complete team effort, solid puck movement, can create chances and plays strong games.

“I am proud of what I and the team have done,” this season, she said. “I have loved playing with everyone on the team this year and am most proud of my assists this year; being able to set my teammates up for goals and contributing not only by scoring.

“My season highlight would be the games where my two freshman linemates got their first goals as well as when two of our other players got their first goals. They all worked so hard for them and I was so excited to be out there with them for (those milestone moments).”

McSweeney is committed to playing Division I hockey at Harvard University.

Slapshots With … Chicago Central Romans forward Carla McSweeney

All-State Team: “It’s always exciting to be recognized and I really appreciate (the honor). I am super excited for the All-State Game. It will be a fun opportunity to play with friends from other schools; it will be some great hockey.”

Off The Ice: “In the little time when I am not on the ice or in an ice rink, you can usually find me doing homework, watching TV, cooking or hanging out with friends. In the summers, I try to have some balance and do things not related to hockey. This past summer, I volunteered at Shirley Ryan Ability Lab.”

Sporting Life: She is a goalie on the Latin girls’ soccer team, which she noted is, “the complete opposite of the role I play on the ice.”

Hockey: “I have always just loved hockey; it’s my happy place. I watch a ton of hockey, whether it’s a mite game, watching film of my games, watching the NHL … all of it helps with vision on the ice, and knowing where to be. I love to coach and help out with the younger (athletes); it helps me not only give back, but see hockey through a very different perspective which makes me a better player.  Anyone who knows me, especially my coaches, knows that I love to talk about hockey. I like to pick apart decisions and situations. You have to be a student of the game and study hockey. I like to have fun playing hockey, but I also take it seriously and am competitive, so I am always thinking about hockey and how to prepare for my next game.”

Favorite NHL Team: Chicago Blackhawks

Favorite NHL Player: Patrick Kane

Favorite Sports-themed Movie: Miracle or The Mighty Ducks

Favorite TV Show: The West Wing

Favorite Pre-game Meal: Starbucks Refresher with chicken and rice

Favorite app: TikTok

Celebrity You’d Like To Meet: Dolly Parton

Best Hockey Tip: “The other team can’t score if the puck is on our sticks.” – Erin Rourke

Hardest Slapshot on the Romans: Vaeda Vojticek

Most Accurate Shot: Audrey Dengler

Teammate Who You Could See As A Hockey Coach: Margot Mulcahy

Best High School uniform (other than the Romans): Saint Ignatius