Saturday, June 30, 2012

Back to Cali!

After a wonderful week at home with my family, I am headed back to California for our last 3 weeks of training before we head to London!!! I am so excited!! Our whole squad will finally be back together and our final preparation is here, at last! Stay tuned for all the excitement of the next few weeks!

In the meantime, check out the blog I did for the New York Times that recaps our games against Argentina last week in Virginia!!


Thursday, June 21, 2012


Greetings from Old Dominion University! We have been in Virginia for almost a week now and have played 2 games against Argentina. These are our last matches before we compete in London this summer, so we are fine tuning some final skills and tactics.

The first match with the Argies was held in Charlottesville at UVA's blue turf. It was a fairly evenly matched game which ended in a 1-1 draw. It was our first game back as a team after National Championships and after a few practices under our belt as the Olympic team. It was a good performance and start for this 4 game series. I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone at the University of Virginia! They did a wonderful job hosting us and we all loved playing on the amazing blue turf (which is good practice before London!). Also, another big thanks to all the fans that came out and cheered us on! I think that was the biggest crowd we've ever played in front of in the States (at least since I've been on the team) and it was AWESOME!! Keep that support going in the next couple months! :)

Our second game of the series was last night at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. The heat was really blazing yesterday, but we came out strong scoring 2 goals in the first half. Although we had quite a few more good scoring chances, we didn't find the back of the goal again, and finished the game on a 2-1 win. It's always good to get a W, especially against a top side like Argentina. We were happy to get the result, but know we still have a few more little tweaks to make in order to be at the top of our game. That's what these next two games and our last month of training is for: adjusting the little things.

We play again tonight at ODU for the third game of the series. It should be a little cooler at 8pm which will be nice! Our final game of the series will be at the Virginia Beach Sportscomplex at 1:30pm. Come out and watch if you are in the area!!! If you can't make it, it will be NATIONALLY TELEVISED on NBC Sports Network so you can catch us on TV! Exciting stuff!

Keep following and supporting us on our journey over the next couple months to LONDON! Also, I am writing a blog for the New York Times through until the Games!! Check out my first post here:


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Olympics: London 2012

It is official! I will be heading to London this summer as a part of the US Hockey Team. It is an indescribable feeling. I have worked extremely hard to make it to this point, but I know there is still work to be done before we first step foot onto the blue "smurf turf" pitch in London.

I dreamed of this moment as a little girl. My first memory of the Olympics and all it's glory is from the Atlanta Olympics in '96. Those Games were so close to home and so inspiring for so many reasons. I vividly remember the US Women's Soccer Team winning the Gold in penalty kicks, their achievement inspiring me to do the same. To be able to play on the world's highest stage, but more importantly to represent your country is a dream come true. I've always gotten chills every time we hear the National Anthem played before games. Every single game I have played in the red, white, and blue uniform has been incredibly special to me. I am representing something bigger than myself; I not only represent my country, but those who have come before me who have so proudly worn it, and those who will inevitably come after me.

So although the Olympics only come around every 4 years, I have been training for this moment my whole life. I came up just shy 4 years ago and it has been a battle everyday to push even harder and make myself better. I must say though that I wouldn't have been able to get to this point without a lot of people's support. First and foremost: MY FAMILY. I cannot  thank them enough for every single thing they have done for me over the 25 years of my life. There is no doubt in my mind that I wouldn't have made it here without their support. From driving me to practice, to traveling to away games, to keeping me fueled, to the encouraging words when I was down. They've been there through thick and thin, and I am so excited for them to share this Olympic journey with me!

I must also thank all of my coaches and teammates. They have pushed me to work harder and have taught me so much over the years. They have helped to shape the player that I am. And I must also thank my friends. I'd like to think I have the best ones around! ;) haha... but their support and companionship has also helped to keep me grounded and keep everything in perspective. When I have a rough day, they constantly remind me how lucky I am. So thanks for that!

With that being said, it's back to work we go!! There are 46 days left to go before the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games in London! Please keep following and supporting my teammates and I as we venture to do what no US Hockey has done before: win GOLD.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

3rd place and Euro2012!

National Championships concluded yesterday and the South finished in 3rd place! We went into the semi-finals confident we could make the final, but facing a very strong side in New Jersey. We knew it wasn't going to be easy, but we were up for the challenge! The semi-final game was, in my opinion, one of the best games of the tournament. It was a fast-paced, high-level competition with good chances for both sides. We left everything on the field that night, but fell just short with a 2-1 loss. Disappointing of course not to make it back to final as we did last year, but we knew there was still one more game to be played, and win! We played the North yesterday (yes, North vs. South!) and called it the Civil War battle! On this occasion, there was a different outcome though: the South came out on top! (haha... please, no one get offended by this, all North vs. South comments are/were meant solely in jest in regards to our country's history and don't represent current cultural views). We finished strong with a 3-1 win and were all happy to go home on a win!

After the final (in which New Jersey won- congrats to them!) the National Squad for 2012-13 (and the Developmental Squad) was announced. The names announced included all of the names of the current 2011-12 team, but with a few additions! A big CONGRATS to Kelsey Kolojejchick, Alesha Widdall, Emily Wold, and Stephanie Fee!! There were lots of new Developmental Squad selections as well. It is a very exciting time for our program and it's future with lots of young talent.

Although it was a great week of hockey and National Championships is one of my favorite tournaments every year, we were all pretty happy the week was finally over. It was extremely fun, but it was a lot of hard work and quite stressful for most with selections on the line. I personally just couldn't wait to have a few more days with my family this week before we're back to our London focus. Plus, EURO 2012 started yesterday!!! For anyone who knows me, they know I love my soccer! And today especially, the Dutch play. And of course I had to pull out my Dutch gear from my year playing in Holland! So for the next couple days, I will be found working out, hanging out with my family, and sitting in front of the tv (probably yelling at the tv as well ;) haha) watching soccer!

Who do you think will win Euro2012??

But for today: #HupHollandHup

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

National Championships

We are over halfway through National Championships being held at the University of Maryland-College Park. Team South has found themselves a spot in the semi-finals!

We had a great start in our first two games over the weekend with commanding 4-2 and 3-0 wins over the Midwest and New England, respectively. This put us into a showdown with Pennsylvania to determine who would take the number 1 (vs. the number 2) seed in our pool. We came out strong creating chances early, but PA got on the board first. We continued to challenge their circle, but couldn't find the equalizer until the second half. Although we had an abundance of corners and shots on goal, we didn't find the back of the boards again, and PA found a way to put another in. Disappointed with a loss, we were still happy to be into the semi-finals. At this point, it is a new tournament with two games, in which you must win both.

Despite the fact that the games have been very exciting and lots of fun, I must say that the highlight of this tournament so far has to be Steph Fee teaching us that you can do the "Cotton Eye Joe" dance to any song! It has been fun challenging her to do it with a plethora of tunes. Including the many dance parties that have ensued from Katie Plyler's bright pink boombox.

Enjoy the dance party: