2008 KUA Graduate Killed in Conn. Car Accident
Brittney Testa, 24, Played Ice Hockey at Woodstock High
Bridgewater, Vt. — A former Kimball Union Academy athlete who died in a car crash on Friday was remembered by teachers, family and friends on Sunday as a spunky girl with a big personality and a lifelong love of athletics.
Brittney Testa, 24, of Bridgewater, Vt., was pronounced dead at the scene after she lost control of her car, which went off the road and rolled over in Willington, Conn., about 10 minutes from the University of Connecticut campus, state police said.
“It’s such a loss for such a good kid,” said her father, Glenn Testa, who lives in Bridgewater.
Testa’s sports-filled high school career ultimately led to a starting goalie position on the UConn lacrosse team. Wendy Wannop, the former athletic director at Woodstock Union High School, remembered Testa as the freshman goalie for the school’s varsity ice hockey team.
“She loved her athletics,” Wannop said. “She was just a spunky, go-getter type of kid. As I recall, she just loved being in that goal and she was just a freshman. She was in control of that spot.”
Testa started all 16 games as goalie for Connecticut’s lacrosse team in 2011 and 2012, according to the University of Connecticut’s website. In 2012, she won Big East Defensive Player of the Week in back to back weeks.
“You don’t become Big East player of the week for being average,” her father said.
Testa said his daughter was an economics major and was also in the school’s wildlife management program. She was scheduled to graduate in the spring.
Shortly before 9 a.m. on Friday, Testa was driving on Willington’s River Road when she lost control of her 2004 Jeep Cherokee. The vehicle rolled over and off the road, police said. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Testa was not wearing a seat belt, police said.
The accident remains under investigation.
After her freshman year at Woodstock, Testa transferred to KUA, where she spread her high energy among lacrosse, hockey, soccer and academics.
Head of School Mike Schafer said on Sunday that her big personality made her a known presence on the community-oriented campus.
“It’s so sad,” Schafer said. “That’s the place to start. We’re just really trying to get our heads around it. Brittney was someone that we as a faculty all championed for.
“She wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and she wasn’t afraid to get behind a cause, a team, an idea,” he said.
And she didn’t restrict herself to just one sport. Though Testa ended up playing lacrosse at the Division I level after graduating from KUA in 2008, Glenn Testa said she didn’t care if she played high-level lacrosse or hockey, as she was equally proficient at both. She played hockey for the Boston Shamrocks, an under-19 women’s hockey team, in a gap year she took between KUA and college. During the summers, he said, she coached younger kids in lacrosse.
She also was pretty impressive on the slopes, he said.
“I’ve seen her do things on a snowboard that I’ve never seen anybody else do,” said Glenn Testa, who is a former U.S. ski coach.
In an email, University of Connecticut athletic department spokesman Michael Enright wrote that there will be a memorial service for Testa on campus some time during the spring semester.
“She was a great example of what the ideal student-athlete is — successful on the fields of play, in the classroom and a positive member of the community,” he said in a statement.
Testa’s fiery personality endeared her to those she met, even though it meant she could sometimes be a handful, her teachers said.
“Brittney gave you a run for your money but she was the kid who you knew you made a real connection with,” her KUA lacrosse coach, Lisa Dilorio, wrote in an email.
That type of disposition meant Testa was born to be a goalie, said Lauren Borislow, who played lacrosse and soccer for several years with Testa at KUA.
Borislow, who is now a student at Hobart College in New York, remembered the early morning junior varsity hockey team practices, for which the girls had to get to KUA at 5:30 a.m.
Testa was two years older than Borislow, and a member of the varsity team.
But she’d still wake up early and head to those practices, teaching the girls how to skate, gifting her old pads to the new team.
“She took it upon herself to be everybody’s friend and be the best teammate she could be,” Borislow said. “She was just full of life all the time.”
Jon Wolper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.