As little girls, they fell in love with a sport that many of them were told girls could not play: ice hockey. Unwilling to take no for an answer, they tied back their hair, adopted boys' nicknames, borrowed their brothers' equipment, and set out to prove otherwise.
In Crashing the Net Mary Turco tells the remarkable story of the first U.S. Women's Olympic Ice Hockey Team and their unforgettable journey to becoming gold medal winners at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Turco followed this dream team for many months as they trained in practice arenas and tournaments across the United States and Canada in anticipation of Nagano. In a lively narrative filled with intimate details of pregame locker room tensions, the Olympic team selection process, the drama of the battles on ice, and the personal friendships that were made along the way, Turco provides an inspirational behind-the-scenes look at how this team came to glory.
We meet a wonderful cast of characters: twenty high-achieving, defiant female athletes, both seasoned players and enthusiastic rookies; their coach, a mythical figure in men's ice hockey who treated his players as world-class athletes; and the players' families and friends, who encouraged these girls to follow their dreams, challenge prejudice against contact sports for women, and risk everything in crashing the net.
Looking up in the stands at Nagano during their victory ceremony, the women of Team USA could see hundreds of fans waving congratulatory banners. One of them read, "Girls Can Do Anything." Crashing the Net and this special team bring this important message to life.
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Mary Turco, Ed.D., teaches in the Women's Studies Program at Dartmouth College. She lives in Norwich, Vermont, with her husband, Jack, and their three children.Review:
"An exciting literary account of what went on during a significant time with a special group of athletes." -- Ben Smith, Coach, 1998 U.S. Women's Olympic Ice Hockey Team
"In Nagano, our women ice hockey players exemplified all that is inspirational about the Olympics. They demonstrated that teamwork, persistence, and passion are attributes that can still break down what may seem like insurmountable barriers. A must-read" -- Donna Di Varona, Chair, Women's World Cur 1099
"My teammates and I are excited that our story will be told and that this great moment for women will be recorded. Now future women athletes will know what happened, not so much on a game-by-game basis, but in the personal lives of the women on our team." -- Cammi Granato, Captain
"People will enjoy reading what goes on behind the scenes of a gold-medal ice hockey team and gain insights into what it takes to succeed." -- Tara VanDerveer, Coach, 1998 U.S. Women's Olympic Basketball Team
"The 1998 U.S. Women's Olympic Ice Hockey Team is the best team I've ever played on. We have dedicated our lives to being pioneers and ambassadors for our sport. Never again will you read about a team like this one." -- Karyne Bye, Assistant Captain
"The story of a world-class team with a pioneering spirit, a team that challenged the conventions of a sport dominated by men, a team that represents our hope forthe future." -- Billie Jean King
"These heroes embodied the Olympic Spirit more than any athletes I've ever seen. In this age of spoiled and pampered athletes, this book is a warm reminder of what sports and teamwork are truly all about." -- Jim Nantz, CBS Sports
"This book about the inaugural voyage of an Olympic women's ice hockey team is not to be missed!" -- Anita Defrainz, Vice President, International Olympic Committee
"This book brought back a lot of memories for meMary Turco successfully captures all the aspects of playing and training for an Olympic team. A great read for young athletes." -- Mike Eruzione, Captain, 1980 U.S. Men's Olympic Ice Hockey Team
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