Cover image for Crashing the net : the U.S. Women's Olympic Ice Hockey Team and the road to gold
Crashing the net : the U.S. Women's Olympic Ice Hockey Team and the road to gold
Turco, Mary.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollinsPublishers, [1999]

Physical Description:
xxvii, 242 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV848.6.W65 T87 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
GV848.6.W65 T87 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



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.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Arguably the most thrilling moment of the 1998 Nagano Olympics came when the U.S women's ice hockey team beat the odds and the Canadians for the sport's first-ever Olympic gold medal. The victory not only struck a blow for women's sport but also conveyed the value of discipline, especially in light of the lackluster showing of the U.S. men's team. Turco, who teaches women's studies at Dartmouth, tracked the team from a warm-up victory over Canada to the crying and flag-draping after the final buzzer in Nagano, and she sets out to show how "if you set goals and work hard, you can break barriers, smash stereotypes, rewrite traditions and succeed." She doesn't go much beyond boosterism, however. No individual portraits stand out and, in addition to bland reportage, the book is marred by a patronizing, do-no-wrong tone ("Sandra's passion was deep-seated. She was a scholar-athlete who had set aside personal plans to play for her country... to open doors for younger girls"). More glaringly, while Turco exhibits enough social conscience to note how, at the high-school level, male players tried to sabotage a female player, she exhibits little awareness of class issuesÄmost of the U.S. players went to elite colleges, a fact Turco all but ignores. A heartfelt section about players about to be dropped is interesting, but it's too little, too late. Though well-constructed and easily digested, this report contains all the sizzle of a weak wrist shot. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved