Team Colorado AAA star Sawyer heading to NCAA D-III Albertus Magnus as part of first-ever program in fall of ’23
Aliyah Sawyer has played hockey at a high level her whole life in Colorado.
Her skill set had NCAA coaches taking notice and next season, the Colorado Springs native and Team Colorado AAA standout will head to New Haven, Conn., to help start the first-ever women’s hockey program at Albertus Magnus College.
“Hannah (Westbrook), the 19U AAA coach for Team Colorado, reached out to Albertus for me and after talking to Hannah, Coach (Stephen) Novodor emailed me offering me a spot to come play for him,” said Sawyer. “I really liked the coaching style and how he approaches the game of hockey. I was excited to a part of the inaugural team for Albertus and to be able to start new traditions with the team.”
Sawyer said she will be majoring in Secondary Education with a focus in Math in the classroom.
“Albertus has a good education program that I am looking forward to getting involved in,” Sawyer said. “I have always taken my education very seriously and have taken both honors and aAP classes throughout high school. I take a lot of pride in getting good grades and being academically focused throughout my high school experience as a student-athlete.”
Back home, Sawyer was hooked on the game of hockey at a young age.
“I was introduced to hockey by attending Colorado College Tiger games since I was a newborn,” said Sawyer. “My older brother started playing hockey at the age of four and I followed suit and started my career at the age of four with the Jr. Tigers program. I have grown up watching the NHL with my family and have gone to multiple Avs games with my family cheering on my hometown team making me want to play at the highest level I can play.”
In addition to the Jr. Tigers and Team Colorado AAA, Sawyer also played for the Colorado Rampage and Pine Creek High School growing up.
“My two coaches from Pine Creek, Ed Saxer and Hal Jordan, coached me all four years of high school and have built me into the player I am,” said Sawyer. “They have taught me discipline, both on and off the ice, and have made me a tough player by teaching me that when I make a mistake how to own up to it and fix it. Hannah Westbrook and Taylor Gross coached me at TC and were both instrumental in giving me the opportunity to play at the collegiate level. They were very encouraging about my ability to play at that level and helped me reach out to coaches and have me advise on how to make that dream a reality.”
Down the road, Sawyer has aspirations to reach her goals in hockey and academically.
“I am excited to play hockey at the collegiate level and to be a leader, on and off the ice,” sawyer said. “I have been accepted into the honors program at Albertus and want to prove that I can be both a great athlete and a great student. After college, I want to continue being a part of the game of hockey by coaching with the hope of impacting the young girls like my coaches have impacted me. As an educator, I hope to be able to encourage my students to love to learn.”
Photo provided by Aliyah Sawyer
— Matt Mackinder
(April 20, 2023)