Wednesday, July 28, 2010


The first couple days in Valencia have been an adjustment for our team. Since most of us arrived Sunday, Monday's test match against Spain was changed to a scrimmage (3 X 25 minute periods). Not having the optimal preparation due to our obvious change in travel plans led us to yet another change in schedule, but it's nothing we aren't used to.

Monday was still a great opportunity for our team to get our legs under us, our touch back, and try some new things against a top team in the world. The first period we came out a little sluggish and a little off, but as the game went on we started to get everything clicking. We all felt pretty good about our performance considering we had just walked off a plane the day before. We even came out with a 2-1 win.

But that was only a scrimmage. The real test would be how we fared when the game counted on Tuesday. We came out confident, knowing what to expect from the Spaniards, but our touch was just a bit off. We were a bit more sluggish than the day before and you could see that our bodies had not fully adapted. Although we fought hard and created quite a few good goal scoring chances, we didn't take advantage of them, leaving us behind on the scoreboard 2-0.

This was a bit disappointing, but the bigger lesson of the game and the trip were not lost. We know we still have 2 more chances against Spain, bodies recovered and ready to get the job done. We want that W and we know we have the ability to get it. I know this group of players is up for the challenge.

On a more positive note, this game marked an important achievement for a few of our players. For three, it was their first cap, their first time representing and wearing the red, white and blue. Michelle Vitesse, Paige Selenski, and Melissa Gonzalez quickly learned just how much faster and stronger the international game is. But they did not falter with Lauren Crandall leading the way. As captain, she earned her 100th cap last night. It is an amazing accomplishment to be able to step onto the field and play for your country and it was much deserved for each of these players. Congrats girls!

We've had a lot of hockey since we got here. Tours are often sleep, eat, play, eat, repeat. We haven't gotten to see much so far because we are staying in dorms and the field is only a couple blocks away, but today we did have a little free time since we didn't have a game, just practice. A few of the girls took the chance to catch up on some sleep while others took the opportunity to do a little shopping in town. Needless to say, most of our team is lacking a large Spanish vocabulary and got a little lost reading the metro signs on the way back. Turns out their metro signs are a bit different than we are used to in the states. But everyone made it back safely and we all got a good laugh. Since our games are in the morning tomorrow and Friday, we are hoping to have a bit more time to see the city and possibly get over to the Mediterranean as well (it's only 5-10 minutes away)!

Oh and don't worry... all our luggage finally arrived!
We are all in good spirits and excited for the chance to play Spain again!
Watch our game online! (The link is on US Field Hockey)
As always... keep following... and GO STATES!!!

Here are a couple of pictures courtesy of Rachel Dawson:

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