Final Youth Olympic Squad Blog

Feb. 19, 2014, 8:38 p.m. (ET)

As we knew the whole tournament, everything we worked for came down to the semi-final game. If we won that game, we would have the chance to represent our country in the Junior Olympics. We prepared for the game as usual, and were pretty confident since we had previously beat Uruguay in both pool play games. In the beginning of the game we lacked urgency, and before we knew it Uruguay was up. By the time we pulled it together we had already dug ourselves into a hole, and ran out of time before we could get out. Speaking for the entire team, it had to be the most heartbreaking and devastating loss any of us had ever experienced. The mood was somber as we realized it wasn't happening for us. As with anything time can heal, we came out with a new fire in our hearts for the Mexico game. We had something to prove, and every player gave everything they had. Awards were given later that evening, Julianna Tornetta won player of the tournament and Austyn Cuneo was awarded with the high scorer of the tournament. 

The next day we enjoyed each other’s company while shopping, tanning and relaxing before the 18 hour trek back home. I think the whole team would agree that this was an unforgettable experience. We all learned and grew so much in such a short amount of time and are so thankful for the opportunity. 

- Ashley Hoffman