Summer Sports: Hannah Lipskar

Spencer Kahn, Staff Writer

This summer Hannah Lipskar (10) participated in the Maccabi Youth Games in Israel as the goalkeeper for the East Coast United States Youth Women’s soccer team, helping them earn a silver medal.

Lipskar was chosen for the team after she sent in a taped recording of her playing soccer. “A friend had told me the team was missing a few players,” Lipskar said. “If I was in a certain league or level on a team, I was supposed to send a tape in, and they would say whether or not I could join.”

Lipskar is enrolled in the U.S. Development Academy, one of the highest-level youth soccer leagues in the United States. “I have been playing soccer essentially my whole life, since I was seven or eight,” she said.

Last fall, Lipskar played on the school’s varsity soccer team as the goalkeeper. Due to an ankle injury, she had to step down from the team later in the season. “I recently joined a new team that’s on a little bit of a higher level,” Lipskar said. “I’m under a contract so I’m not allowed to play with the school, which is a little disappointing.”

The Maccabi Youth Games were not Lipskar’s first high-stakes soccer competition. “This was the second international tournament that I’ve played in,” she said. “Last summer I went to Italy and played in the San Marino Cup tournament, which was also a great experience.” The San Marino Cup is a yearly youth soccer event hosted in Rimini, Italy.

Goalkeeper is Lipskar’s favorite position because it has “a lot of baggage, but the feeling when you make the game-winning save” makes it worth it, she said. “You either feel like a star or the villain.”

Lipskar’s team consisted of other students from the East Coast similarly passionate about soccer. “We bonded so much; we were all the closest friends,” she said.

Even though all the students on the team played soccer year-round, they prepared for the competition with a three-day training camp, Lipskar said.

During the tournament, games were organized early in the morning in order to “beat the heat,”Lipskar said. “We would play games around 6:30 and 7:00 AM. We had to wake up an hour early, which was a little awful.”

The team was in Israel for two weeks, but only competed for “four or five days.” They spent the rest of their trip touring Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. “The whole country was so beautiful,” Lipskar said.

The daily routine for Lipskar and her teammates involved getting breakfast, going to the field to practice for thirty minutes, playing a game, and then enjoying the sights in Israel.