Competing in their last tournament as a U14 team, H20 pink, went undefeated in capturing the Gold Medal at the ESPN Rise/ Disney Junior Showcase held July 16-19 in Orlando. The Harford County based field hockey club has added this prestigious championship to their gold medal victory at the National Indoor Championship (NIT) in February.
This event featured teams from all over the country including traditional powerhouse states New Jersey, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Unlike the NIT tournament where multiple teams are crowned "Gold Medalist" after pool play, the Junior Showcase has pool winners compete to determine an ultimate champion. 27 teams were divided into three pools with the top teams advancing to the medal round. H20 won all their games during pool play including wins over highly regarded teams Spirit of USA and Peninsula Storm.
In the medal round, H20 won their quarterfinal game 2-0 against FC United out of Connecticut. Linnea Gonzales tallied both goals in the win. In the semifinals, also a 2-0 victory, Sabrina Rhodes and Olivia Beachley each scored a goal in defeating Typhoon from Virginia. The championship game was tight throughout with H20 prevailing 1-0 with the lone goal being supplied by Logan Oh in a rematch with Peninsula Storm. Goalie Sydney Rhodes led a stingy defense, notching shutouts in all three medal round games. She, along defenders Sarah Davis, Emilee Halley and Gabby Karr, only let in two goals during their entire nine game tournament run.
Team members for both tournaments were Madie Adams, Sarah Davis, Emilee Halley, Gabby Karr, Linnea Gonzales, Sydney Rhodes, Sabrina Rhodes, Logan Oh, and Drew Vineyard. Judy Yurkofsky participated in the NIT Championships and Olivia Beachley played on the Showcase team. Janice Rhodes coached both the NIT team (along with Patterson Mill Varsity Coach, Shannon Troyer) and the Disney team.
The successful team has garnered not only national team honors but several players have been recognized for their field hockey prowess. Four H20 players; Linnea Gonzales, Logan Oh, Sabrina Rhodes and Sydney Rhodes were chosen earlier this year by USA Field Hockey to compete at the National Futures Tournament held in June in Virginia Beach. Further honor was bestowed on two of those players, Linnea Gonzales and goalie Sydney Rhodes as they were tabbed to compete at the Junior Olympics held in New Orleans in August. Competitors at The Junior Olympics are predominately 16 year olds. Gonzalez and Sydney Rhodes are both 14 years of age.
H20, which stands for Harford Hockey Organization, was started by club founder Natalie Magdeburger in 2004. It is primarily an indoor field hockey club that participates mainly during the winter after the traditional fall hockey season. Recently, many showcases, such as the one in Disney, have been offering spring and summer hockey events for the club teams.