My name is Lilli Armstrong. I am 16 years old, my graduating year is 2021, and I am from Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I go to St. Mark's and play for their high school team as well as the U16 Tier 1 Bay State Breakers. I have been playing hockey for only six seasons but I feel like I have come very far and accomplished many goals in hockey throughout the years. Even though I am pursuing hockey as my sport in college, I still play soccer.
Soccer was the very first sport that I played when I was younger and still love the sport. I have also come very far in soccer. Although I play two amazing and challenging sports hockey comes out on the top for me.
When I first stepped on the ice I knew that this sport was for me even though I was just starting and wasn't very good at it. For the first couple of practices, I got down on myself and I made myself very angry because I knew that I wasn't at the level of all the other girls who have been playing for longer. That just gave me the drive to push harder and practice on my own time without my coaches to get better at skating, shooting, and stick handling. In the middle of the first year, I really started to get the hang of the game and it paid off since I was starting on the first line. By the second year, I was starting to get really good but I wanted to challenge myself even more so I tried out for PeeWee's. At the tryouts, I proved that girls can make the boys A team and be one of the starting five. I made the A team and I was one of the starting defense. This last season I played for Team Colorado AAA.
Playing Team Colorado was a whole new experience for me. Driving down every weekend to Denver (6 hour round trip) to go to practices was a tough decision for me. I had to make a decision that barley any people have to make. I didn't have a lot of close school friends during the hockey season, because I was never in town, but my amazing team made up for it. They are like family and the bond that we have with each other is unbreakable. The first time I stepped on the ice with the team for tryouts I was terrified that I wasn't good enough and no one would like me. However, after I made the team and everyone was starting to get to know each other, I instantly grew closer to some more than others. Our first tournament I had no idea what I was getting myself into, until I stepped on the ice for our first game. I was astonished. Our team didn't do that well, but it sent us back home realizing that we had to work even harder to win games. For the next couple of weeks before our second tournament we worked our butts off in every on ice session as well as off ice session. And when we went to the tournament we were as prepared as we could ever be and the hard work paid off. This team has taught me that if you want anything really bad you have to work as hard as you want it, because nothing in life is going to be easy or handed to you. You have to work for it.
My hockey career hasn't been all smooth sailing there has defiantly been up and downs but more ups then downs. I love the sport of hockey with a passion and that is why I want to play college hockey at a high level. I am ready to take it on!