Ciannella out to make impact for Hawkeyes on back end, in classroom

CORALVILLE, Iowa – It’s funny how opponents one day can be teammates the next.

That has certainly been the case with University of Iowa sophomore defenseman Will Ciannella after playing high school hockey in the Chicago area for York Community High School in Elmhurst, Ill.

“The opportunity to play for Iowa hockey this year arose from a player on the team,” Ciannella said. “I had played high school hockey against CJ Parisi for all four years, and he reached out to see if I wanted to join. I came to practice and was welcomed by all the players, so I decided to play.

“What I like most about playing for Hawkeyes hockey is being able to represent my school and being a part of a hockey team again. I enjoy being part of something bigger than myself that also encourages physical activity.”

Ciannella has enjoyed the family-like environment with the Hawkeyes.

“This year, I think we have a talented group of guys that can win against any team we face as long as we put the work in,” said Ciannella. “I expect to keep winning games as the season goes on and getting closer with everyone on the team.”

Setting realistic goals on and off the ice are challenges Ciannella looks forward to accomplishing. In the classroom, he is studying Finance and Business Analytics in the Tippie College of Business.

“Looking to graduate and get a job and move to Chicago,” said Ciannella. “Some goals for hockey are just to enjoy playing while I can and win as much as possible.”

Getting swept by Iowa State last weekend was a wake-up call to the Hawkeyes, now 6-2-0, but Ciannella doesn’t see those games as defining the 2021-22 season.

“The Iowa State series, I think, was an essential part of this season,” Ciannella said. “We have realized what we need to really work on, and definitely has given us more motivation in the long run since those were our first loses. Nobody wants to lose, so I think that has really given us a push to work extra hard.”

Photo/Casey Anna Photography