As far East as you can go in the United States is where the 19u Az Lady Coyotes traveled for competition and to see what they were made of this month. The 19AA division of the Fire on Ice Tournament in Rochester, NY set the scene for what proved to be a very good trip for this group of girls. Picking a tournament where the girls wouldn't be outclassed but challenged isn't always the easiest task but Coach Tom Johnson thought this grouping of mostly New York teams was the right choice. "We never play girls teams here in Arizona," explains Johnson, "and this tournament was the perfect way to see how girls stack up against the east teams."
Going 500 and winning the Silver Division proved Coach Johnson right, although he claims the biggest success was the coming together of the team. Having to rely on each other for support, Johnson says the camaraderie in the locker room is what brought them their successes this trip. Captain Sheridan Gloyd agrees, saying that "We now know that can keep up with some of these stronger teams and OUR bond is stronger than ever." Her second time at this tournament, Gloyd goes on to explain that this big win gave them the extra self-confidence to compete at further tournaments.
The championship game was a nail biter of 1-0 although Johnson says that the game could have gone just as easily the other way. He believes that the girls understand now what it takes and how it feels to work that hard to earn a victory. He knows that this is something they will all reflect on in coming games. As one of the elder statesmen on the team, Audrey Larsen came in to this tournament more mentally focused than she had in previous years knowing that the east coast teams are tough to beat. Larsen states that winning the Silver Division was a self-confidence booster for all the girls and she smiles when she says, "It was amazing, we got a banner!"