Posts tagged "Tyler Poslosky"

The unsung hero of women’s soccer

By Tyler Poslosky  |  BSU at the Games

Becky Sauerbrunn, an alternate defender for the U.S. women’s soccer team, was about to enter the most important game of her life.

With 10 minutes remaining in the gold medal match between the U.S. and Japan, defender Rachel Buehler went down with an injury.

In came Sauerbrunn.

With Japan darting into the offensive zone, Sauerbrunn positioned herself between two Japanese forwards with the hopes of forcing a shot. She managed to block off a passing lane from her opponents, dictating a premature shot that goalkeeper and captain Hope Solo managed to save.

“Becky came up huge for us,” forward Alex Morgan said.

It was Sauerbrunn’s play that helped seal the gold medal for the U.S.

Suddenly, all 80,203 fans stood up and cheered for both Solo and Sauerbrunn.

“We have so much confidence in [Becky],” Morgan said. “Every practice, I hate going up against Becky because she just anticipates your every move. She’s so organized defensively and has such great awareness that she’s just a defender that you don’t want to go up against.”

The play was drawn up during the U.S.’s pre-Olympic camp, and was one Solo knew would work, especially with Sauerbrunn in the middle.

“I remember that day at practice,” Solo said. “I was doing some shooting with [coach] Paul [Rogers] and all the front-runners and he was on the side-field far away. I just remember him screaming my name to come down. He was working with the defenders.

“I kind of rolled my eyes. I’m like, ‘what do you need Tony? I’m working on this stuff over here with the forwards.’ I ran down there and he wanted to run through it. We ran through it and it was crazy.”

Solo praised Sauerbrunn for her efforts on that final play, which could have resulted in a game-tying goal for Japan.

“Becky’s like, ‘Hope, I just really wanted to force the shot,’” Solo said. “For her to think to not only do the physical work, but to think and process it in a short amount of time, it just shows the sophistication in her play.”

Minutes later, the game was over, leaving Sauerbrunn celebrating on the podium with a gold medal dangling from her neck along with the rest of her teammates.

It’s not always about the players who score the winning goal or receive the loudest cheer from the crowd. Sometimes it’s about the player who rises to the top in a game’s most crucial time.

“Becky is one of those unsung heroes I’m talking about,” forward Abby Wambach said. “A player that on most other national teams would probably be their starting center-back. Sometimes it’s the Rudy that really does make a team a champion.”

Tyler Poslosky is a senior journalism news major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Tyler and the BSU team at @tylerposlosky@bsuatthegames andwww.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

Quadruple sculls rowers come just shy of Olympic dream

By Tyler Poslosky  |  BSU at the Games

U.S. quadruple sculls rowers Elliot Hovey, Peter Graves, Alex Osborne and Wes Plermarini sprinted out of the blocks with the rest of the boats during the repechage heat.

They were right there alongside New Zealand, Italy and Switzerland when disaster struck 350 meters into the first leg of the race.

Permarini, a four-year veteran rower and 2008 Olympian, was positioned at the front when the blade of his oar suddenly became lodged in the water, bringing the boat to dead stop.

“We had a great start; we were right with the field, right where we wanted to be, and then I got a massive boat-stopping crab,” Permarini said in a press release.

Not an animal crab. Permarini was talking about a stroke that simply gets caught under the water.

The delay put the U.S. a length and a half behind the rest of the field. Without hesitating, the four rowers restarted the race and charged after the teams in front of them.

Their adrenaline pushed them back into contention, sprinting with every last bit of energy they had at a rate of more than 40 strokes per minute.

Suddenly, the gap began to narrow.

The four men rowed the second fastest 500-meter sprint on the second quarter and the fastest split in the third quarter to pull within an inch of the Swiss with the finish line on the horizon.

They continued to dig their oars harder and deeper into the water. Faster and faster they went. Their arms were throbbing, but they had to press on.

Despite giving it everything they had, their last-second efforts weren’t enough to overpower the rest of the field.

For Piermarini, Osborne, Graves and Hovey, their Olympic dream came to a halt. They finished fourth with a time of 5:45.62 behind Switzerland, who crossed the line at 5:44.90. New Zealand won the race in 5:43.82, followed by Italy in 5:44.57.

For what seemed like hours, three of the men sat in their boat stunned, while Hovey’s face was buried in his hands.

Years of training for this one race, and not the outcome the group had hoped for.

“Right there, we had the opportunity to role over and die and we said absolutely not, not today,” Hovey said in a press release. “You guys are not getting off easy, and we’re going to come and get it. And that’s exactly what we did.

“We did a start again, and it came naturally. Everyone was on the same page. We were catching it. We could taste it. It got a little ragged at the end, but we went for it and we just fell short.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with the crew and the performance that was done by the guys around me and I would not have chosen to row with another group of guys, and I mean that sincerely.”

The agony of falling short of their goal didn’t strike Osborne until minutes after the race ended.

“It kind of hit me,” Osborne said in a press release. “The regatta is over for us and it’s a terrible feeling. You cross the line and aside from the pain in my legs and forearms, I was overcome with just a pit in my stomach that we were done racing. It’s really tough because we worked so hard for each other. We wanted to keep going, but I’m proud of the way we competed in the end.”

Tyler Poslosky is a senior journalism news major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Tyler and the BSU team at @tylerposlosky@bsuatthegames andwww.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

Scoring gold medal tickets

Soccer, a popular sport around the world, generally doesn’t peak my interest.

But it was the Olympic Games. It’s Team USA and Canada with each team vying for a spot in the gold medal match.

The conclusion to this particular match, one of the few matches I’ve watched from start to finish, was unreal. Every time Canada scored, the U.S. came right back to even the contest. The same was true when the U.S. scored. Canada wouldn’t go away.

But it was the U.S. who triumphed 4-3 in extra time, forcing a re-match of last summer’s World Cup final with Japan for the gold medal in London.

The thought of buying tickets never crossed my mind. Everything is so expensive here.

As I departed Worcester for London, I pondered the possibility of getting tickets. Once I arrived at our London flat, I took out my laptop and began browsing the ads on Craigslist.

I came across one particular post, which read: “Four Tickets to Women’s Football Gold Medal Match; CAT A; First Row; Section 144.”

After pulling up the seating chart for Wembley Stadium, I realized these seats were right at midfield.

I replied to the listing and texted the number provided on the ad, “Are those football tix still available for gold medal match?”

Shortly thereafter, my phone lit up with a response, “So far, yes, but many people are calling.”

The asking price was 250 pounds per ticket. The first words out of my mouth were, “Holy cow. That’s outrageous.”

I got a call from, Remi Padoin, the scalper who posted the ad on Craigslist. I told him I was from the United States and wanted to see my country play in the gold medal match. I told him I’d get back to him shortly as I needed to round up three colleagues to go with me.

After asking around for nearly an hour, I was in luck. Alix Sappington, Jena Levy and Sara Schaefer agreed to go with me.

I rushed to my phone, punched in Padoin’s number and told him we’d buy them.

Having no idea who this man was, my stomach started churning. Scalping is illegal and I wanted to make sure we didn’t get caught.

Padoin told me to meet him at the Tottenham Court Road tube station at 7 p.m., roughly an hour from the time I spoke to him.

I hung up the phone and began recruiting volunteers to go with me to pick up the tickets. After another extensive search, Alix and Jena joined me, and we were off to the Farringdon tube station.

Upon arriving at the Tottenham station, I received another text from Padoin, “Hoping on the tube now. There in 15ish. Look for ridiculously long flag pole with Norway flag.”

As Alix, Jena and I made our way toward the exit and walked up the stairs, there was no sign of a long flagpole with a Norway flag.

We decided to go into Burger King for a final count of our money. It was all there.

We came out of Burger King and I couldn’t believe my eyes. A giant Norway flag was swaying through the air right across the street. Padoin was holding the flagpole, draped in a Norway flag while wearing a Norwegian Viking helmet with horns shooting out of both sides.

After being so nervous about making this transaction, I couldn’t help but laugh. It was an entertaining site to see.

The three of us approached Padoin. He greeted us with a smile, shook our hands and showed us the tickets.

He even asked me if I’d like to wear his Viking helmet. I couldn’t resist. All three of us posed for a picture with our newest friend.

Minutes later, I was holding four Olympic women’s football gold medal match tickets in my hand.

It was the strangest of occurrences, but it turned out to be one of the finest moments of this trip to the Olympic Games.

Tyler Poslosky  |   Sports Reporter

Harper wins silver in women’s 100-meter hurdles

By Tyler Poslosky  |  BSU at the Games

Battling against the rain, Dawn Harper needed one last push, a final stride to propel her across the finish line.

As Harper dug down for that last bit of energy, the defending 2008 gold medalist came up just short, settling for silver in the women’s 100m hurdles final inside Olympic Stadium Tuesday night.

In a close finish, Australia’s Sally Pearson edged out Harper by two-hundredths of a second to win gold.

As the hurdlers took their mark and awaited the sound of the gun, a steady rain began to fall.

“When the rain started, it was so dramatic,” Harper said to USA Daily, admitting it made her imagine the theme music of a horror show.

Her heart was thumping with adrenaline.

When Australia’s Sally Pearson appeared to be running away from the field, Harper closed the gap, creating a nerve-racking photo finish that saw Harper cross the finish line slightly after her opponent.

It was such a close call that both Harper and Pearson stood for about a minute, anxiously waiting for the final decision.

“When I leaned at the [finish] line, I looked over and that’s when I finally saw her,” Harper told Yahoo!Sports. “And I was like, ‘Did I sneak? Did I just sneak and get past her?’ I look up, and I actually realized I didn’t win when I saw her fall to the ground. I was like, ‘Dang it, she’s happy. She just won.’”

Pearson had an extensive lead heading into the final two hurdles, with Harper and the rest of the field closely behind.

Entering the final 20 meters of the race, Harper caught the edge of a hurdle. She quickly recovered and broke away from the pack inching closer to Pearson. For a brief second, it looked as if Harper broke the finish line before Pearson.

But the photo finish proved otherwise.

“I knew I needed a good start—but didn’t quite get that,” Harper told Yahoo!Sports. “I just kept telling myself, ‘You have to go to work.’ I couldn’t really feel anybody. I knew [teammate] Kellie [Wells] was right there, and I was like, ‘I’ve got to get in front of Kellie.’

“Then I clipped a hurdle and was thinking, ‘Either you’re winning by a lot because you can’t see anybody, or Sally is so far ahead you just don’t know where you’re at.’ I just remembered thinking, ‘You need to just lean.’ And when I leaned is when I finally saw her.”

Pearson won by running an Olympic record of 12.35 seconds, upgrading her 2008 Olympic silver to 2012 gold.

The U.S. went 2-3-4, led by Harper with a personal best of 12.37 seconds. The silver medal is Harper’s second-career Olympic medal.

Tyler Poslosky is a senior journalism news major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Tyler and the BSU team at @tylerposlosky@bsuatthegames andwww.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

Quick exit leaves Team USA Field Hockey with higher hopes

By Tyler Poslosky  |  BSU at the Games

Whether summer or winter, most U.S. teams rack up the medals during the Olympic Games.

The U.S. men’s and women’s basketball teams consistently blow out their opponents, while the U.S. softball team was so dominant, the sport was removed altogether.

On the ice, the U.S. men’s and women’s hockey teams almost always find themselves standing on the podium.

Inside Riverbank Arena, the blue-turf field-hockey venue, it’s the other way around.

Team USA went 1-4 in the round-robin stage of the Olympic tournament. But their lone win, a 1-0 triumph over perennial powerhouse Argentina, was proof that the U.S. could match up with the best teams in the world.

The four losses meant that the U.S. will not advance for a chance at a podium finish, which hasn’t happened in more than three decades.

Having been eliminated from medaling by New Zealand on Aug. 4, the U.S. rounded out pool play with a devastating 7-0 loss to South Africa.

“In sport[s], you get what you deserve,” coach Lee Bodimeade said. “We got what we deserved.”

The blowout wasn’t what the U.S. expected. It lost to a team that had been outscored by a combined 14-2 margin in its first four matches. With nothing to play for against South Africa, the U.S. lost its swagger.

“It’s disappointing,” Katie O’Donnell said. “In our games against opponents ranked higher than us, we took it to them and shocked the world. And then to come out and play this kind of hockey is saddening.”

The encouraging factor coming out of this tournament is the youth and experience gained by the U.S.

“We have amazing kids coming up,” said Keli Smith-Puzo, who is retiring after this year’s Games. “The young talent is going to be amazing. I think Rio [2016] is going to be a completely different team.”

Sisters Katie and Julia Reinprecht figure to be part of that team four years from now. Katie, 22, and Julia, 21, appear to have a bright future ahead of them with Team USA Field Hockey.

“Now that I’ve got a taste [of the Olympic Games], it’s something I definitely want to come back and try to do again,” Katie said. “I just can’t describe how awesome it is, playing for your country.”

“It’s the best job you could have,” Julia said. “We’ve never played in front of crowds like this. People you don’t even know are here, supporting [us]. It’s one of the coolest things ever.”

Tyler Poslosky is a senior journalism news major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Tyler and the BSU team at @tylerposlosky@bsuatthegames andwww.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

Team USA field hockey eliminated: New Zealand spoils U.S. dream of podium finish

By Tyler Poslosky  |  BSU at the Games

In the weeks leading up to the 2012 London Games, Team USA field hockey head coach Lee Bodimeade was confident in his team’s ability to come away with a medal.

“We learned a lot of lessons out of Beijing,” Bodimeade said. “We missed an opportunity to really challenge the top teams in the world. I thought we were [just] happy to go to the Olympics rather than be successful.”

Unfortunately, the U.S.’s play in London has been identical to what took place in 2008.

On Saturday night in a must-win game, New Zealand eliminated the U.S. from medaling with a 3-2 victory under the lights of Riverbank Arena.

The loss destroyed what could’ve been the U.S.’s first podium finish in nearly three decades.

“We trained for four years to maximize our achievements at the Olympic Games and we know that [the] result has put us short of our goals,” Bodimeade said. “The scenario today was that one team was headed forward in the tournament and the other team is going to really struggle. It is devastating for us.”

Clarissa Eshui’s goal in the waning minutes of the match put New Zealand ahead 3-2, eliminating the U.S. while keeping the Black Sticks alive for a potential spot in the semi-finals.

“We came into this game knowing we needed to get three points to keep going in the tournament and tonight we fell short and didn’t execute at the key moments,” captain Lauren Crandall said.

Penalty corners proved to be the difference in the match. New Zealand scored its first of three goals just over minute into the match.

The U.S. fought back to knot the game at 1-1 when Paige Selenski got the assist on Katie O’Donnell’s goal.

But the momentum quickly shifted to New Zealand after being awarded a penalty immediately following the U.S.’s goal.

New Zealand capitalized once more. Kayla Sharland’s shot changed directions multiple times before trickling past U.S. goalkeeper Amy Swensen.

The U.S. attempted to challenge the play, but it was denied and the goal was upheld, giving New Zealand a 2-1 lead.

With two minutes remaining in the first half, the U.S. was awarded a penalty corner.

This time, the team came through. Claire Laubach’s shot deflected off the New Zealand goalkeeper and a defender prior to going into the net. The equalizing goal was Laubach’s first of the tournament and gave the U.S. the momentum going into halftime.

New Zealand came out strong in the second half, applying constant pressure on the U.S. defenders and Swensen.

“We were able to defend really well,” Bodimeade said. “When we applied pressure, I thought we may have been able to get a [goal]. But when you are facing a side as good as New Zealand…If you don’t take chances, the game slips away.”

Swensen kept the U.S. in the game with multiple saves in the second half. With the clock working against the Americans, Bodimeade pulled Swensen for an extra player.

The U.S. created a handful of scoring opportunities with the extra player, but couldn’t even the match or force a draw.

New Zealand came away with three points, improving to 3-0-1 in the preliminary rounds.

Team USA will play its final match of the tournament against South Africa Monday at 10:45 a.m.

“The goal now is the same goal that we had when we came into this tournament, which is to win one game at a time,” Crandall said. “I think taking that attitude into South Africa is what we really need to focus on. This is one that hurts, but we still need to come out in the next game and play or best.”

Tyler Poslosky is a senior journalism news major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Tyler and the BSU team at @tylerposlosky@bsuatthegames andwww.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

Team USA field hockey suffers 1-0 loss against Australia

By Tyler Poslosky  |  BSU at the Games

On the heels of one of its most historic triumphs ever, Team USA field hockey stumbled to a 1-0 loss against Australia Thursday morning at River Bank Arena.

After consistently pressuring Argentina’s defense two days earlier, the U.S. only amassed half of Australia’s 14 total shots on goal.

“We are very disappointed with the outcome,” head coach Lee Bodimeade said. “This match was one we targeted as getting three points and today we came up empty. We had chances but unfortunately did not capitalize.”

Australia opened the game with two penalty corners, but Anna Flanagan whiffed on both. In the 33rd minute she came through, though, scoring the game-winning goal on another penalty corner.

Constantly being pressured to win each and every match can be overwhelming, and the U.S.’s play wasn’t up to speed against an aggressive Australian squad.

“I think obviously every game is important in a tournament like this where you have to be top two to make it through to the semifinals,” Rachel Dawson said. “I think there’s pressure on every game, so the pressure before this game wasn’t more than for the other games. We just came out a bit flat.”

The U.S. had multiple chances to knot the game or perhaps take the lead. Katie O’Donnell created consistent offensive pressure inside the circle but couldn’t fire the ball past Australia’s goalkeeper, Toni Cronk, who recorded her first shutout of the tournament.

“Australia got three points off us today, and when every game is a must-win and you let points slip away, it hurts you in the end,” captain Lauren Crandell said. “We have two more games left, so we’re definitely looking to get three points out of the New Zealand and South Africa games. We’ve got to refocus and get back to how we know how to play.”

The U.S. will look to rebound against New Zealand on Saturday. The match will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network at 2 p.m. ET. With six points to its record, New Zealand is in second place in Pool B, while the U.S. is in fifth with three points.

Tyler Poslosky is a senior journalism news major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Tyler and the BSU team at @tylerposlosky@bsuatthegames andwww.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

Team USA Field Hockey shocks Argentina 1-0

By Tyler Poslosky  |  BSU at the Games

Turn back the calendar to last fall, the biggest triumph in U.S. field-hockey history.

The U.S. shocked defending world champion Argentina 4-2 in the finals of the XVI Pan American Games.

Some thought it was luck. It wasn’t supposed end up that way. The U.S. was ranked No. 13 in the world at the time.

But on Tuesday night under the lights of Riverbank Arena, the U.S. proved what happened nine months earlier was no fluke.

In its second match of the Olympic Games, the U.S. and Argentina squared off once more. After a disappointing 2-1 defeat against Germany, the U.S. had to come out firing on all cylinders.

They did just that, prevailing for the second consecutive time against Argentina, 1-0.

“We were in a position where we had to get a result today, to get back on track in the tournament,” head coach Lee Bodimeade said. “We were fortunate to play against Argentina, a team that drives us to our best performances.”

The U.S. set the pace of the game from the first whistle. The U.S. offense created constant havoc in the offensive zone, and Argentina couldn’t match its opponent’s energy and aggressiveness.

With seven minutes left in the first half, Michelle Vittese zipped a pass to Shannon Taylor, who redirected the ball into the back of the cage, putting the U.S. in front 1-0.

Lead intact, Katelyn Falgowski and Melissa Gonzalez held Argentine Luciana Aymar, arguably the best player in the world, at bay throughout the match.

“We had a really good game plan going out there,” Falgowski said. “It is challenging and intimidating to go up against the best in the world, but it is fun to try and step up to do. My task was to try and disrupt Luciana in the midfield as much as possible.”

U.S. goalkeeper Amy Swensen was stellar in the cage by keeping Argentina off the scoreboard.

Said Bodimeade: “We knew we had to go out and do what we did in [the Pan American Games]. It was really a terrific effort.”

Tyler Poslosky is a senior journalism news major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Tyler and the BSU team at @tylerposlosky@bsuatthegames andwww.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

Former BSU field-hockey player designs Olympic logo

By: Tyler Poslosky | BSU at the Games

Kaitlan Mitchell

Former BSU Field Hockey player, Kaitlan Mitchell, designed Team USA Field Hockey shirt.

Kaitlan Mitchell sat comfortably by her computer with her family at her side watching Team USA Field Hockey defeat Argentina 4-2 in the finals of the XVI Pan American Games last fall.

When the final horn sounded, Mitchell couldn’t believe what unfolded.

“At the end of it, Lauren Crandall, the captain, was running onto the field with the American flag in one hand and in the other hand, she’s holding up my shirt,” Mitchell said.

“It was one of those moments where chills were going up and down my back. I was crying. Completely surreal. I remember my friends and family just cuddling around my computer jumping up and down with tears, crying. I don’t cry, ever. It was a big deal.”

Mitchell, a Ball State University alum, was a four-year backfielder and midfielder for the Cardinals. Upon graduating in 2011 with a degree in journalism, she accepted an internship with USA Field Hockey, serving as both graphic designer and writer.

Her idea surfaced during the Pan American Games last October. It was the U.S.’s first chance to qualify for the Olympic Games in London.

Team USA Field Hockey shirt

Kaitlan Mitchell designed this Team USA Field Hockey logo in her first year after graduating from Ball State University.

“I was told to come up with a logo just in case we did win so they could put it on different pamphlets and things to hand out,” Mitchell said. “They made a bunch of shirts just in case, and what do you know, we end up beating Argentina [4-2].”

Mitchell wasn’t set on designing just one logo. Instead, she turned in five with the hopes of one being used.

The chosen design “exudes a modern vibe while still being within the tastes of a broad generation of field-hockey fans across the nation,” Mitchell said. “I brought in the Union Jack and placed it within the 2012 font as a tip of the hat to this year’s host country.

“The Olympic rings are a trademarked logo, so I had to be careful with the design. The layout of the sticks are used to frame the 2012 logo. The sticks create leading lines to establish further visual interest instead of the traditional circle logo.”

On June 24, the U.S. wrapped up its final preparation match before heading to London, and Mitchell was in store for another surprise.

“I just thought the logo was going to be on shirts,” Mitchell said. “I walked around and found it everywhere. It was mind-blowing. I saw it on pins, beer glasses, jackets, hats [and] backpacks. The Olympic team was announced wearing custom-made jerseys with my logo on it. It left me totally speechless. It was so [thrilling], a complete dream.”

Beth Maddox, Mitchell’s previous coach at Ball State, was thrilled to see one of her former players get such an amazing opportunity.

“She is so talented that I’m not surprised how amazing the logo is,” Maddox said. “Kaitlan is such an extraordinary person. She works hard and has a passion for the sport. We couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Given an opportunity of this significance right out of college wasn’t what Mitchell expected, but it certainly was a dream come true.

“I didn’t think I’d be doing something this big,” Mitchell said. “I had to work my way up, but it happened really quickly. …

“Just to think, coming out of college, designing a logo for the national team is wild.”

Tyler Poslosky is a senior journalism news major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Tyler and the BSU team at @tylerposlosky, @bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

Field hockey looking for first podium finish since 1984

By Tyler Poslosky  |  BSU at the Games

Four years removed from its eighth-place finish in the Beijing Games, Team USA Field Hockey is set on making history in London with a podium finish.

After shocking Argentina 4-2 in the final of the XVI Pan American Games en route to claiming its first-ever gold medal in the tournament, the U.S. looks to transfer that momentum into the London Games.

The unpredictable triumph over the former No. 1 team in the world, Argentina, boosted the U.S.’s confidence heading into London, and head coach Lee Bodimeade believes his team has learned from the past.

“We’ve just targeted every game as being one game in a row,” Bodimeade said. “You play well enough to beat the world’s No. 1 [team], then that’s the level of performance that you need to bring to every game at the Olympics.”

With nine of his 16 players making their Olympic debuts, team chemistry hasn’t been a concern for Bodimeade thus far.

“The team has been together for 12 months of preparation,” Bodimeade said. “We’ve added three players due to injuries just prior to the Pan American Games—Kayla Bashore-Smedley, Amy Swensen and Keli Smith Puzo. And there’s 450 international caps collectively [between them].”

As the No. 10 team in the world, the U.S. drew a challenging crowd of teams in Pool B. Undoubtedly the tougher of the two groups with four of the U.S.’s five opponents ranked in the top seven, Bodimeade is optimistic about his team’s chances of medaling.

“We learned a lot of lessons out of Beijing,” Bodimeade said. “We missed an opportunity to really challenge the top teams in the world. I have a feeling that we were [just] happy to go to the Olympics rather than be successful.

“The positives that come out of it are now we have that Olympic experience. Most of our [team] is doubling up for their second [Olympic Games], and we want to go into London knowing that our goal is finish in the top four and to challenge for the medals.”

Listen to an audio recording on this story. 

Tyler Poslosky is a senior telecommunications and journalism news major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Tyler and the BSU team at @tylerposlosky@bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.