Roxana graduate Abbey Revelle plays hockey for Robert Morris University in Chicago.
Abbey Revelle blazes the trail for women in sports as she laces up her skates and takes to the ice.
The 2012 Roxana graduate doesn’t dress up in a sparkly dress with her hair put in its perfect place and her make-up brightly overdone. She straps on the pads and tightens the helmet as she grabs her hockey stick to join her women’s hockey team at Robert Morris University in Chicago. The Eagles play in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA).
“I actually started playing hockey when I was 9 years old,” Revelle said. “My brother had been playing years before me, so we were already in the hockey lifestyle. At first my mom was like, heck no, but she eventually came around and we bought the equipment and I jumped on the ice.”
Majoring in business administration with a concentration on law enforcement at RMU Chicago, Revelle wants girls to know hockey isn’t just for the boys anymore; girls can get on the ice and have some fun, too.
“My message to any girl going into a male sport — especially hockey — is that you are just as good or even better as one of the boys,” Revelle said. “Do not let anyone ever tell you otherwise because when you lace up those skates, strap on those pads, and put on that helmet nothing matters. No label or gender. What matters is the effort and desire you put into the game. That should be the only thing that defines you as a player. So go out and make them talk.”
Robert Morris Chicago head coach Chris Chelios is thrilled with the progression his young forward is making for the Eagles.
“Abbey is just fun to watch,” Chelios said. “You would never know that she is a young player, she brings a physical presence to the team. She didn’t come in as a freshman and just go through the motions, she jumped right in there and has shown natural leadership qualities. She is strong in the corners, if she goes into the corner, I can be confident that she will come out of the corner with the puck.”
Playing for the same programs as her brother, Roxana senior Alec Revelle, Abbey rose through the ranks to achieve her success.
“I played for the Twin Bridges Lady Lightning from age 9 to 17 and then the Midwest Mustangs from 17 to 20,” Revelle said. “I played for Roxana High School eighth grade to my senior year where I was captain my senior year and made it on the All-Star team to represent Roxana in our district.”
Sharing the ice with guys on a competitive team proved to be an asset at the collegiate level.
“There is a definite difference in the female players who are brought up playing on a boys’ team,” Chelios said. “You can see the benefits; they are a little more aggressive, more physical, but also have a different finesse on the ice. Abbey has all those qualities as well as a great teammate. She’s supportive of the players around her.”
Revelle said the best advice she was given when she considered challenging herself in a male dominated sport was to “suck it up.”
“It may be cliché, but that’s how I go through not only hockey, but life. Hockey is a very demanding sport. It takes endurance and it takes time,” Revelle said. “We only have 14 players at Robert Morris Chicago when most teams have about 20. We have to be on our game every shift, we have to train hard, and be the best player you can offer to your team. Whenever it feels like you can’t lift another weight or skate another shift, you have to push yourself. So I look at the girl next to me and see my teammates struggling just as much as I am, so I tell myself to, ‘suck it up, do it for your team, they need you, too.’”
Revelle has played 14 games in the 2014 season and has put up 11 points with three goals and eight assists. In 60 minutes of hockey, Revelle is averaging more than 25 minutes on the ice. The Eagles are 10-4 overall and 2-2 in the conference and hope to repeat the success of previous seasons by advancing on to the top eight in the nation. RMU Chicago has averaged more than six goals per game in their last five competitions.
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