Hockey star earns her national title
May 26, 2022
Savannah Sipp was six when she started playing hockey.
“There was a letter sent home from school for kids who wanted to try hockey, and I immediately loved it and started playing.”
Before Sipp started playing hockey, her family wasn’t that interested in it. Now all of them are big hockey fans.
Being a woman in a male focused sport hasn’t been easy. “I played on boys’ teams for my first eight years of hockey. Some years there were other girls, and some years I was the only one.”
Gendered separation was a big challenge for her.“[Because I was a girl], I got dressed in a different locker room, and I didn’t connect with my team as much. Some boys, with obvious influence from their parents, believed girls shouldn’t be playing hockey.”
“There was only one year that I had outright issues and fights with my boys’ teams and those all stemmed around one problematic person. Overall, most of the boys I have played with have been nice to me or at the very least indifferent,” she said.
“There have been seasons where I have played on multiple teams, select teams, and not very good teams. It depended on the season and where I was living. My team currently is the Omaha Lady Jr. Lancers 19u. Our colors are orange, black, and white. Our mascot is a lancer, which is basically a knight,” Sipp said.
Sipp is a goalie for her 19-girl traveling team, of which essentially only compete in tournaments. The team went to around 10 tournaments last season and then participated in districts and high school nationals. “It depends on what level you are playing at, but hockey is essentially August to March. A lot of players also play on summer teams or do summer programs and camps, so it tends to be year-round at the level I play at.”
“My coach can be really intense, and he does like to push us to our limits. Our practices are usually an hour, but there were many times that our coach would make us stay on the ice longer to run drills or skate. There were also times that our coach would skate us until some of us puked. He focused a lot on our mental game and fine tuning the basic skills.”
The Knights competed at nationals this year, placing third.
“At nationals I think my team did good…we could’ve gone farther. We lost after overtime and a shootout in the semifinals, so it was extremely close.”
Nonetheless, Sipp enjoyed the experience. “Obviously, I feel some of that blame on me, but overall, I had a good weekend too. Competing at the national level was awesome. In terms of rinks or level of play, I don’t think it was that much different than what I was used to at regular tournaments. But there were a lot more teams there and it was sponsored by Chipotle, who had an entire camera crew there,” she said.
Sipp thinks that next year her team just needs to continue to work on consistency to be able to reach that level again.