DeCosta, Sara : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

DeCosta, Sara

A goaltender, DeCosta was a two-time member of the U.S. Olympic team, winning the gold in 1998 and the silver in 2002.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. May 13, 1977

Career Highlights:
A member of the boys hockey's team in high school, DeCosta was the squad's MVP at Toll Gate High School in 1995 and 1996. In 1996, she became the first girl to play in the Rhode Island Interscholastic League Championship Division. DeCosta, who helped Toll Gate become the first public school in 14 years to reach the best-of-three title round, was named all-tournament, all-city, and all-state.

In 1996-97, DeCosta enrolled at Providence College. That year, she had a 18-7-2 record and a 2.66 goals against average, earning All-Eastern College Athletic Conference honorable mention her freshman year. 1996 also marked DeCosta's first appearance for the U.S. National team, as she played at the IIHF Pacific Women's Hockey Championship.

In 1997, DeCosta did not play at Providence because she competed in the 1997-98 pre-Olympic tour. She played in nine games and compiled a 6-2-0 record, leading all U.S. goaltenders with a .941 save percentage and a 1.30 goals against average. During the tour, five of her six victories were shutouts, including one against Canada in the final of the 1997 Three Nations Cup. The victory cemented her spot on the 1998 Olympic team. It was the first time the U.S. had ever beaten Canada in a tournament, and the first time Canada had ever been shutout.

In 1998-99, DeCosta returned to Providence and led the nation with a .943 save percentage, was fifth in goals against average (1.50) and had a record of 17-10-3 (seven shutouts). She was named 2000 USA Hockey Women's Player of the Year and played exceptionally for the U.S. National team. She did not play at Providence her senior year, and instead played exclusively with the U.S. National team as they prepared for the 2002 Olympics.

DeCosta was an important member of the U.S. team in the early 2000s. She was 11-1-1 with 1.28 goals against average in 2000-2001, including 2-0-0 (0.50 GAA) in the 2001 World Championships as the U.S. captured the silver medal. On the U.S. Olympic Committee's website, DeCosta said about the stereotypes of being a goalie, "They say goalies are a little crazy and different but, goalie is a unique position. I mean I guess you have to be a little strange to stand in front of a puck that's going at you like 90 mph at your head."

In 2002-03, DeCosta was a volunteer coach for the women's hockey team at Providence.

Warwick, Rhode Island

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Jewish Sports Review, September/October 2000 issue (Vol. 2, No. 8, Issue 21)