Posts tagged "USA Field Hockey"
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  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.
By: Tyler Poslosky | BSU at the Games
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.
“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.