On May 14, the women of the New York Magpies made the long drive to play in the Montreal Tournament to kick off the 2016 season. Having swept the tournament the previous year, the team was excited to be bringing a strong group of both veterans and new recruits.
The competition in Montreal was fierce this year, thanks to an impressive turnout from the attending teams. The Montreal Angels, Ottawa Swans, and combined team of the Toronto High Park Demons, Boston Demons, and Columbus Jillaroos made up the Lady Pies’ opposition for the day. With the higher number of players from the teams and a larger field, the tournament format changed from nine players a side last year to 14 a side.
The larger space and number of players was a different challenge for the Lady Pies this year. Coach Christina Licata said, “In 2015, when we took the cup, the games were 9 a side. We brought 18 players and effectively had two teams. This year, playing 14 a side with 14 players was tough on us, especially with two games in row. While there were less Canadian teams there to compete this year, it was wonderful to have Boston and Columbus represented at the tournament.”
In the first game, the Lady Pies faced off against the combined Boston/Toronto/Columbus team and came out victorious. After such a strong first-game performance, the team was dealt a blow in their second game against the the Montreal Angels, who won 26-0. With one win and one loss, the Lady Pies went confidently into their third game, leading in the first half against the Ottawa Swans. But it was a tiring second half and the Swans came back for a 58-18 victory over the New York women.
“During the first game, we moved the footy very well and had a lot of players taking shots on goal,” said Coach Licata. “Despite the two losses, we never gave up on the footy or each other. That kind of dedication and teamwork is hard to accomplish when you’re behind. I’m very proud of the ladies for taking on a very difficult schedule for the weekend and seeing it all the way through.”
Although the Lady Pies were not successful in taking home the trophy for a second year, the tournament was ultimately an exciting start to the 2016 season. “The Montreal Tournament has reinforced our goals for the season,” said Coach Licata “We know that bringing the rookies up to speed quickly and focusing on truly playing as a team are going to be critical pieces to our success. A larger focus in general for us this season are the one-percenters.”
“Our biggest takeaway was that we need to bring up the level of fitness overall on the team. After three games with only 14, we lost steam, as any team would. Ultimately, fitness was what made the difference. We were putting the footy into space, but just didn’t have the legs to get there.”
With a growing number of new recruits and a set of goals in mind, the New York Lady Magpies got some solid game-time under their belts and are looking forward to an outstanding 2016 season!
2016 Montreal Tournament Goal Kickers:
Boston/Toronto/Columbus vs. NY: Kim Hemenway 4, Janet Beyersdorf 1, Grace Koplow 1, Sam Wolf 1
Montreal vs. NY: None
Ottawa vs. NY: Janet Beyersdorf 2, Kim Hemenway 1