BY LORI RAUDIO
This past Sunday, the University of Minnesota Gophers women’s hockey team made history. Not only did they win their second straight NCAA Championship, but they completed a perfect season (41-0-0). If you only catch the sports headlines, however, you probably didn’t even know women’s hockey was having its tournament.
What the Gophers did is no small feat and they are the first women’s hockey team to complete an undefeated season. Despite their success, there was little to no mention of the team in the media. It wasn’t covered on Sportscenter or any other major sports network, but it was covered online by ESPN’s female counterpart, espnW. The article did make ESPN’s homepage, but only at the very bottom of the page.
Sportscenter doesn’t show many NHL hockey highlights, so women’s hockey coverage is pretty much non-existent. Many other media outlets also chose to ignore this story, as it was overshadowed by March Madness, the Miami Heat’s win streak, and Tiger Woods regaining his world ranking. The Gophers’ accomplishments are a rare achievement and at least deserved some acknowledgement.
This echoes issues raised in my previous article about Brittney Griner and problems in women’s sport. It seems to be a never ending cycle. Women’s sports are seen as less competitive and exciting so the media doesn’t report on them very much. People who rely on these media outlets for news don’t hear about women’s teams or even know they exist. Therefore, women’s sports are silenced and ignored, unable to gain popularity.
It’s a shame the Gophers didn’t receive more recognition for their achievements. Their undefeated season is something no men’s team has done since 1970. These women, and other female athletes in every sport, are achieving exciting things, and the media needs to step up and give them the respect they deserve.