The U19 National Indoor Tournament concluded this past weekend in Richmond, VA. PFHC featured it’s first ever indoor team and managed to make a significant run at a gold medal in it’s pool. We finished 3rd. But the real results are hidden in the details. Remarkably, ending up one goal short against IFHKA in a pivotal game 3 prevented us from taking gold overall, based on goal differential.
Head Coach Mike Pallister’s thoughts on PFHC's inaugural indoor season, including the NIT Qualifier buildup and NIT:
I’ve never been more impressed with a group of players than I am with the 2015 Indoor team. We were behind the 8 ball compared to other clubs as we only started training in mid December. The club fielded one team, 10 athletes, and of those ten seven had never played a single minute of Indoor. The majority of a training was spent familiarizing our team with the nuances of indoor hockey. We couldn’t afford to get fancy so we settled on a structure and playing style that we felt could be easily transferred and successful in our tournaments. The players with indoor experience were de-facto coaches, taking time to help their team mates learn the game and improve their technical skills. It was a true team effort. The original goal was to register for the NIT qualifier and hope to be competitive and maybe earn a spot at the NIT. We registered for the last possible qualifier to give us as much time as possible to prepare and it really paid dividends. We breezed through the first four games to earn qualification for the NIT. A 3rd place finish meant we were drawn in pool H.
The tournament started well with wins over Saints and WC Eagles but we found ourselves in a 0-3 hole against a strong PA Elite team. Two goals before half time set up a scintillating finish. We tied the game up with a little under four minutes left and then almost went ahead twice in the dying minutes. The tie was a good result and we headed into the final day with gold in sights. Unfortunately we started slowly again and were behind a solid IFHCK team by three goals. The girls once again showed their resilience and battle back into the game but a dubious no stroke call and a flurry of spurned chances would see us fall 5-4. Gold was no longer in reach after PA Elite beat WC. A 9-5 win in our final game saw us finish third in the pool and one point behind the winners PA Elite.
At the beginning of the season simply qualifying for the National Indoor Tournament was perceived as success, but to be a single goal away from winning a gold medal speaks volumes about the type of players we had in this group. It was an absolute pleasure coaching them and I hope they had as much fun as we did.
Pre Qualifier Buildup - 7 practices at Stuart Country Day School.
2 Tournaments at Viper (2nd & 1st place finishes)
NIT Qualifier - York, PA - 3rd overall; field of 16
Mystx Tournament - Won 4 of 5, Medalists
NIT - POOL H
Day 1. Princeton 12 - Saints Blue 3
Day 2: Princeton 3 - WC Eagles IX 1, Princeton 3 - PA Elite 3
Day 3: Princeton 4 - IFHCK 5, Princeton 9 - TGT 5
Final Pool Results
1. PA Elite 11 points +10
2. IFHCK 11 pts, +3
3. Princeton 10 pts, +14
4. TGT 6 points, +2
5. WC Eagles IX 4 pts, -2
6. Saints Blue 0 pts, -27
U19 Indoor Roster
Jordyn Cane (Princeton, NJ)
Maria DiCioccio (Burlington, NJ)
Julia Ditosto (Princeton, NJ)
Lauren Hausheer (West Windsor, NJ)
Melissa Nobile (Hillsborough, NJ)
Susan Orth (Moorestown, NJ)
Melanie Scibilia (Allentown, NJ)
Julianna Tornetta (Plymouth Meeting, PA)
Kaitlyn Valentino (Moorestown, NJ
Coaches: Mike Pallister & David Williamson
We're on to outdoor.