Rockville native lands Olympic bronze -- Gazette.Net







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Perhaps it seems only fitting that Rockville native Jessica Lutz’s middle name is Joy because she recently brought plenty of smiles to the residents of her home countries last week.

Lutz, 24, a graduate of Washington Christian Academy in Olney where she attained most of her accolades on her feet in soccer and track and field, earned a bronze medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia while playing for Switzerland’s women’s ice hockey team. Lutz, a dual-citizen of the United States and Switzerland, scored two goals and added three assists for the Swiss, including the go-ahead goal in the team’s 4-3 win against Sweden in the bronze medal game. She could play for Switzerland because her father, Ernst Lutz, 64, was born there.

“I definitely have lots of friends in [Washington,] D.C. that were cheering for both teams,” Lutz said. “There were a lot of people cheering for our team to do well, even though most of them are Americans who wanted the U.S. women to win the gold.”

Lutz, who works as a barista at The Coffee Bar in Northwest, Washington, D.C., honed her skills on the ice during three seasons at the University of Connecticut where she scored four goals and added 13 assists in 95 games for the Huskies from 2007-10. She scored three goals and had 10 assists as a junior, highlighted by a goal and two assists in a win over Brown, a goal and an assist in a victory over Maine and the last goal of a 4-1 rout of Providence.

“It’s fun being a barista and a little bit nerdy, but the baristas get together to see who can make the best coffees,” she said. “It’s a friendly competition and it’s a lot of fun.”

At Washington Christian Academy, Lutz did most of her scoring on grass fields with a soccer ball. During her senior season she was named the Maryland Independent Schools Athletic League’s girls’ soccer player of the year. She had also developed a love for hockey during that time, playing for the Montgomery Blue Devils in 2004-05 and the Washington Pride in 2006-07.

Lutz did not have the chance to play for or against the U.S. in Sochi, but she came close. In the women’s semifinal round, Lutz scored the lone goal for Switzerland in a 3-1 loss to Canada, which eventually captured the gold medal over the U.S.

“It was an unbelievable feeling,” Lutz said of earning the bronze medal. “I didn’t score that many goals in college, so to get two in Sochi was incredible. That last goal was just a great pass from Sara [Benz] and I was just right there. It’s one of those feeling that I can’t explain. Looking back on it, the whole thing was amazing.”

Cait Lowry, manager at The Coffee Bar, noted that Lutz had “requested ample time off” for her venture to Sochi and that the entire establishment followed her trip to the Olympics closely.