Field Hockey Canada > Commonwealth Games Blog - Entry #9

Commonwealth Games Blog – Entry #9

July 31, 2014 | Field Hockey Canada |

Hello Everyone!

Today was a day that we had all been waiting for – the chance to play New Zealand, one of the top five ranked teams in the world, who boast an immense amount of experience, athleticism and skill.

In order to prepare for the task ahead of us, the team spent yesterday getting fired up. In the words of the great Lauren Logush, we were “honing it out”.

The day began with a solid practice, which gave us a good mental workout, as we explored hypothetical pressing situations and outletting scenarios. After that, the team headed back to the Athletes Village and spent time looking over video and chatting through tactics.

By bedtime, we were a little fatigued, mentally, but nonetheless, ready to give New Zealand a good run for their money.

This morning, my room awoke to some good ol’ “B.” For those of you who don’t know this reference, “B” is Beyonce, one of the most talented female artists out there. Considering that my roommates are Mac (Sara McManus) and Kate (Gillis), both equally obsessed with Beyonce, it was not surprising to hear her vocals as the alarm.

First thing on the agenda was the usual walk and stretch, although today, we were in for a treat. Instead of going to the typical, mildly sketchy grass patch behind the residences to do our stretching, we got to assemble at the square of turf outside of the dining hall.

Here, our favourite friend, who we call “Nessy,” (she’s a statue of the legendary Scottish Lochness Monster) resides. It is also the area where many of the athletes gather, talk or just stare. It kind of resembles a watering hole, where every different animal is eyeing eachother up.

Anyways, we completed a little warm up at the watering hole and then proceeded to meet, eat and get pumped to leave for the pitch.

Right before our departure, the team received two exciting surprises.

The first came in the form of personalized, and inspiring cards from our captain Kate. The second was given to us through Facebook. I heard of this surprise through one of my roommates, saying, “Hey Maddie, have you checked Facebook lately? Smarter (Lauren Logush) just posted!”

My initial response was to roll my eyes and say, “Not again!” as in the past day, Smarter had posted the EXACT same thing over FORTY times in our team Facebook group, because of her malfunctioning phone.

Luckily, after I opened up my Facebook, it was not this usual Smarter post (which referenced “Wreck it Ralph” for some unknown reason) but a well-written ode to every player on the team! Well-done Smarts, extremely thoughtful and motivating!

Off to the pitch we went, with spirits high and tactics running through our heads.

The New Zealand game started a little shakey, as we were trying a new structure, due to our injury-related lack of subs. After we went 3-0 down to the Black Sticks, (Coach) Ian stepped in and changed a few things.

As well, Kaelan and Thea, the two men down, rallied and played their hearts out, despite hurting bodies. We finished the game with a mildly disappointing 6-0 loss, but our fans continued to support us and we definitely learned a lot as a group.

After routine ice baths, showers and snacks, we were greeted by our loving parents, families and friends (shout-out for the support – THANK-YOU!). We watched the end of the following game between India and South Africa (two other teams in our pool), which was a nail-biter and ended 3-2 for the South African side.

The day finally closed with us heading back to the village, eating (yet again…what else do athletes seem to do, other than eat, play and sleep?), and de-briefing the New Zealand game.

A huge thank-you to everyone here, and back home, who are supporting us! If you can, check out the live stream and cheer us on in our 9:15pm game against Malaysia tomorrow, when we compete in our last match of the Commonwealth and look to achieve 7th place!

So proud to be representing Canada!

Until next time.