"Great practice guys, now time for the real thing!" Coach yelled from the boards. "Mila, Robert, James, and Jake, defense. Take it again from center."
We took the play again, this time with Defense and we switched positions. I was beside the net, Matthew was skating with William, and Drew was against the boards. The boys passed back and forth with Mila and James trying to cover them. They passed to Drew, and he came around the net with Jake following behind him. Jake stuck his stick out as far as he could and knocked the puck away from Drew. I pushed over and stole the puck, taking it away from Jake, around Robert and into the back of the net.
"That was fantastic boys, great improvisation after the puck was knocked away! Try harder Mila, you actually play defense, own your role." Coach dismissed the play.
"But you were the only one who improvised, how come you didn't get any credit?" Mila whispered in my ear as she skated up beside me.
"I have no idea." I told her, shrugging.
"He doesn't think we're good enough, he thinks that because we're girls we shouldn't be playing hockey with the boys." She stated carefully. "It's not right. The coach at my old rink did that too, that's the actual reason I left."
Mila had only been on our team for a year, she transferred from a rink downtown, and she had always told us it was because we were a better team. I had no idea it was because of sexism.
"I don't know, maybe you're right." I responded, just moments after stepping off the ice. We all went to change in silence. Everyone was already aching and sore, coach had pushed us harder than ever this practice.