I love travelling and playing field hockey has given me opportunities to go places I’ve never been before. It started when I was on a club team in high school. My coach invited players to journey to Barbados and play their national team. Of course I begged my parents to go because warm weather in the middle of March sounded like a grand idea. My mother liked the idea so much; she decided to come with me as a chaperone. We had a blast. In the morning, we practiced on a beat up astro turf field, and then we went to the beach in the afternoon. In the evening, we returned to the field to play a game against one of the Barbados teams. Each night we played a different team. One night we played the women’s national team, and on a different night we played a men’s club team. I was still learning a lot about the game I loved, so I found it tough to play against such experienced players.
Even in college, I was afforded another opportunity to travel and play field hockey. As a junior on the Mercyhurst field hockey team, my team decided to travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Yet again, I pleaded with my parents to let me go on this trip. This time, my sister Paige who is also on the team decided she wanted to come with me. After fall semester ended, we packed up our bags, got on an eight hour bus ride to the JFK airport,
and then hopped on a ten hour flight to our final destination. It was hard to sleep on the plane because I was so excited to get where we were going. When we did finally get to Argentina, we met our tour guide named Jerry. He made sure that we had fun and he us got to all our destinations. On this trip, some days we would also practice in the morning and then have games in the evening. In the middle of the day, we spent our time sightseeing. Buenos Aires was a beautiful place, and it was also very warm in December. It was somewhat like New York City, but with many more Spanish speaking people.
In case you don’t know much about field hockey, Argentina has one of the top women’s field hockey teams in the world. Most girls start playing at a very young age. None of the teams we played were easy to play. In fact, I don’t think we won any of our games because these girls were fast and very skilled. Plus, we played on both water-based and sand-based astro turf which makes for a lot faster game. No one on my team was really used to that. However, it was a great experience, and it helped me to improve my game.