The USA are the lowest ranking team participating in the Hockey Champions Trophy, but that has never stopped the women wearing the red, blue and white from eyeing the main prize. Katelyn Falgowski is a hardened campaigner for Team USA and she spoke with her customary enthusiasm about the challenges ahead.
“Whether training for the past 11 years or the past 11 months, as a united front, we are ready to enter the battle field. We have trained hard and are ready to draw on our training for strength, encouragement and determination. We view every opportunity as a chance to get better one day, one game at a time. We are preparing ourselves to the best of our abilities and are excited to see what this summer holds in store for us, both in London and Rio.”
USA coach Craig Parnham added: “Following our gold medal win against Argentina at the Pan Am Games in 2015 which qualified us as Continental Champions for Rio, the team has had a strong start to 2016. Our preparations are going well, the squad has continued to develop both on and off the pitch, and we are looking forward to the competitive matches that we have in June and July ahead of the Olympics.
“The squad that we will take to London for the Champions Trophy will likely feature a good proportion of the Olympic group. Obviously injury can always play a part, though we have a very established player pool and have contingencies in place.”
Asked about her aspirations for the Olympics in Rio, Falgowski was quick to deflect the question: “We have always been a one-game-at-a-time kind of team. We try to control what we can, and looking too far down the line can cause us to loss sight of the details that will get us to the big picture.”
The USA team has won plaudits for its hard working ethos. Opponents have learnt over the past few years that if there is one thing the American squad will never do, it is stop running.
Falgowski explains the mindset further: “We strive every day in training to break the ceiling of what we thought was possible in terms of our own strength, endurance and skill. Whenever you think you have reached your point of exhaustion, as a team we draw strength from one another and realise there is always more to give. Every day we ask the question to ourselves, how will we make this ordinary Tuesday into something extraordinary?”
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