Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Fesette transfers from DI program: Hometown skater joins the Cardinals’ flock


Ella Fesette skating in full Cardinal uniform in front of the home crowd vs. Morrisville Jan. 12 at Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena.



By Michael Purtell

Many birds migrate home for winter, including new Plattsburgh Cardinal Ella Fesette.

The daughter of former Cardinal assistant coach of the men’s hockey team, Gregg Fesette, Ella grew up on the ice rink at Ronald B. Stafford ice arena.

After four years at Northwood School and beginning her collegiate career with the D1 program at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Fesette joined the ranks of the Plattsburgh State women’s ice hockey team over the winter break.

“I always tell my wife, when we put her on the ice, she immediately had a natural stride, she loved it,” Gregg Fesette said. “From that point on, from when she was 5 years old, she never stopped.”

Ella’s hockey journey started when her father put her on the ice as a child. When she fell in love with the sport, she also fell in love with competing. She decided she wanted to go as far as collegiate hockey could take her. 

Ella’s drive to compete to the best of her ability at all times is one of her most striking features. Captain Julia Masotta and Head Coach Kevin Houle both agree that it is one of the immediate characteristics she presents her teammates and opponents with on the ice.

“She’s someone who works hard every single shift at practice, in games, in the gym, just everything she does,” Masotta said. “She’s also one of the best teammates I’ve seen.”

She developed that drive in Plattsburgh, and it’s those ties to the team and the proximity to her family that encouraged her to return.

“It was what I thought was a good fit for me,” Ella said. “Coming back and playing for Plattsburgh was something I always dreamed of doing and it’s cool that I get the opportunity to do it.”


Provided by Ella Fesette

Young Ella Fesette lines up with the Men’s team pregame during her father’s coaching tenure.


Ella says one of the more unique aspects of her return is the support she’s gotten from her community. She’s had super fans like her grandparents and other relatives present at many of her home games, but the expected supporters aren’t the only ones who showed their support.

At a recent game, Ella was shocked when a couple and their children were cheering loudly for her. They held homemade signs reading things like “Go #15” and “Welcome Home Ella!” At first, Ella didn’t recognize who the supporters were. Speaking with them after the game, she realized it was her mother’s coworker and her family.

“That’s something that not a lot of people playing college hockey get. It’s really special,” Ella said.

Ella isn’t the only one benefitting from her local ties. The Fesette family hosted the team for a home-cooked meal, creating a team bonding experience that Julia said the team was “lucky to have.”

Ella is also known for cooking on the ice. Her self-proclaimed biggest strength is her speed. Her father claimed it was always the case once she stepped on the ice, and testimonies from Houle and Masotta prove that hasn’t changed.

In addition to her speed and athletic motor, Ella was praised for adding sharp edge-work and bolstering the Cardinals’ depth.

Fesette has had to adjust to a new role with new teammates, a new coaching staff and an entirely new system. Despite these hurdles, she has been able to contribute with a sizable role on this strong Cardinals squad, to her work ethic and hockey IQ.

Ella majors in nutrition. She aims to achieve her masters in order to become a dietitian. 

Whether it’s work on the ice or in the classroom, Ella will always put her best foot forward.

“That’s one thing that we’ve never had to instill in her was the hard work. She just goes and does her thing,” Gregg said. “She’s the kind of kid who never misses a set, never misses a rep, never misses any of the stuff that goes along with the hard work.”


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