01. What will you take with you from the Masters tourney in Tampa, FL? Highs? Lows?
Lows: the warm water at the bubbler. Seriously, losing the bronze.
Highs were trading shirts at the closing ceremony; taking pictures with teammates and that big trophy, and talking to the Slovakians, being player of the game in our first win, and finding that I genuinely liked every player on my team and would love to play with each one of them again (I hadn’t met any of them prior to the tourney). Our coaches were awesome. I give Jason Kelly and Scott Tarzy, the Loaves and Fishes Award, not given that much to work with, but almost pulled off a miracle.
02. What was it like to play against teams from all over the world?
Amazing. The best sports experience you can get! Hanging out with the Slovakians was a highlight of the tournament; they were fun, social and fierce traders. I learned how to say Good Game and Good Luck prior to the tourney to be a good sport and they were really cool about it. I wish more countries were involved, but understand that woman’s masters ball hockey needs time to grow…. I hope the ISBHF does more to encourage participation from across the world, and I think ASHI can help by promoting our part in this.
03. What was your mindset going into the game Sunday against Canada for Bronze?
Need to score first; and We CAN do this, so let’s execute the way we have been told by our coaches. Unfortunately we (I) didn’t do that. I was thinking: Our goalie is phenomenal; need to get points on the board. However, I think I was a little too calm; I should have been more vocal about getting pumped.
04. What was your favorite moment of the tournament?
Realizing we were going to win with 10 seconds left to play in our first win against Slovakia. During that game, I faced a dilemma (happily) after our team scored and the forwards jumped on each other and were on the ground, and I wanted to jump on them too, but didn’t want to crush them, since I outweigh them by about 100 lbs. The pictures of that are funny.
05. What one or two things did you do during your training that was keys to your success?
How do you define success? We had the bronze within reach and didn’t win- some would say we were not successful. However, in regular play, we only lost to USA Blue by one goal, and Canada Withrow Park by one goal; we were that close to the eventual silver and bronze medalists. For a team that had not practiced even once, that is a great achievement. Training: 1. I tried to focus on the mental game, being positive, in order to stay calm on the rink. 2. Watch hockey. As someone coming to the sport late, I don’t have an innate sense of playmaking and need to make myself think of the smart move.
06. What do you feel that the US has to do more effectively to be able to capture Gold in 2016?
Practice more as a team definitely. (Fundraising needed to accomplish that.) I know our team was put together late in the process, but clear goals for each individual would help. And if USA Women want gold, we need to focus on offensive playmaking and quick passing. With the level of goaltending, and until we catch up to the Canadians, skilled shooters can only get us so far. Need to focus on smart play. And I guess we should watch “Miracle” again because you can always be in better shape.
07. How would you rate your experience with ASHI on a scale of 1-10 and why?
A 9. The staffing is excellent, the logistics (except for uniforms) were professional the trophies were impressive (kudos to ISBHF). I know there were technical problems with the live steaming, but having that was great- knowing people at home were watching was a wonderful feeling I left the tournament very optimistic about the future for Team USA in Switzerland next year.
8. If you could change one thing about the process or the actual event what would it be and why?
The process: start putting teams together earlier.
The event: Print a program with the players names and numbers to give out when players arrive (also with a team email contact). Then we could cheer other teams and players by name. Also think there should have been an opening night get together- “scope out the shirt you want” event or a scavenger hunt pairing you with a player of your position from another team by example.