Sunday, August 8, 2010


As I finally recover from my sleep deprivation of travelling over 24 hours from England to the West Coast, I can reflect on just how amazing the rest of our European trip was in England.

The first match against England started as a back and forth battle between both teams. Midway through the first half, Keli Smith snagged the ball from a defender at the top of the circle, leaving her one on one with the goalie, and with one quick shot, we were on the board winning 1-0. We kept our composure and less than 10 minutes later Paige Selenski drove the baseline and have me a great pass right in front of the goal that I finished to give us a 2-0 lead going into half time. We were right where we wanted to be, controlling the game and leading the game. As we continued to create chances in the second half, it wasn’t until late in the half when we added a 3rd goal. Katie O’Donnell received a long ball on the baseline, drove to the circle, and passed it perfectly to the far post to a diving Rachel Dawson who tipped it in. Unfamiliar with having a 3 goal lead on a top level opponent, the last 10 minutes got to be a bit frantic for us, and although we let in 2 goals, we still held on for the win. This was a big win for our team and our program. To play as decisively as we did as well as win against a top team is always a positive.

We couldn’t rest on this game. In order to prove that we belong with the top teams in the world, we would have to have another good performance against England in our last game. But first, we had a day off to go see London and the site of the Olympic Games in 2012. As we boarded the bus bright and early, our first stop was the Olympic Park. Although it is still in the building phases, we got to see the progress as well as the proposed layout. It was really excited to see where we plan on being in 2 years time. Also, the hockey stadium is the closest venue to the village and will have one of the largest seating capacities. It definitely got us excited for what is to come, and I know personally, it gave me the chills because that is what we dream for, what we strive to achieve. After this, we took a bus tour of all the major sites in England. (Since we still had another game on Thursday, they didn’t want us walking around too much in London). We saw everything from Big Ben, the Eye, Westminster Abbey, to Buckingham Palace. We stopped at Covent Garden Market for lunch and then Windsor Castle on the way back to Bisham Abbey. All in all, we fit a lot of sightseeing into one day and we’re all pretty exhausted by the time we got back.

We still had one more task to take care of on our last day in England. We knew England was going to come out even harder after having lost to a team ranked quite a bit below them. They did just that, coming out and taking the early lead on us. We didn’t back down though and evened the score just minutes later. From there, we continued where we had left off the day before and added two more goals before the half. With a 3-1 lead, we knew we couldn’t let England come back again; we had to stay composed. We did just that, frustrating and tiring the English players, as well as adding 2 more goals before games end. This was definitely one of the best wins the US team has had in a long time. We were all excited to see the potential of our team and our program finally coming together and getting results.
We know we still have a lot of work to do before the Pan Am Games in 2011 and the Olympics in 2012, but we also know that we have a good starting point and we are nowhere near our potential. Keep watching out for US hockey and all the things to come!

Here are a few pictures from the trip:

Tower Bridge in London:

Windsor Castle:

Telephone Booths:

Olympic Venue being built:

Big Ben:

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