On Friday, May 26, two days after my thirteen birthday, I got the chance to watch and interview women on the USA Women’s National Team. The USA team played a great game – winning 2-0 against Ireland. I was lucky to interview Erin Matson, who is still in high school and played the position of center-mid; she also started in the game. The second player that I interviewed was Michelle Vittese. She was playing in her 173 international cap and was playing in the midfield. The third player that I interviewed was Taylor West, who also scored the very first goal in the game; she is a striker on the team. I asked these players questions and each responded with something that inspired me.
What made you want to start playing field hockey?
Erin: My mom played in college and then I started doing little camps and everything. . . I loved it!”
Michelle: “I started after playing hockey, like on skates, and I think I started field hockey in 5th grade because my phys education teacher was like ‘you are really quick and have great footwork – why don’t you try field hockey’. I did and I actually ended up being kind of good.”
How long have you been playing field hockey?
Taylor: “I am twenty-three and I started when I was four or five so that is about eighteen to nineteen years I’ve been playing.”
Erin: “I started playing field hockey at six and I am seventeen, so elevens years.”
Why did you want to be on the women’s national team?
Michelle: “I actually never had the dream of playing on the national team and it’s something that happened – I don’t know how!”
Taylor: “I was inspired by the girls that were on the national team and it’s been a goal to reach it.”
What is your favorite part about being on the team?
Erin: I only have a brother and I always wanted to have a sister so it is like I have twenty-six sisters.”
Michelle: “It’s like another sense of family in a different sense — not one that is blood but forged on its own, and it’s really special when twenty-six people choose to do the same thing and make the same goal every single day.”
Do you have any tips for people that are just starting field hockey?
Erin: “Sticking with it no mater what and it will get you to where you want to be.”
Michelle: (She said she wished people would have told her to be more “resilient” and this means to be able to withstand and recover quickly from difficult conditions.)
Taylor: “Always enjoy playing no mater what you are doing; always have fun, but don’t underestimate hard work.”
So this game and these three women — Erin Matson, Michelle Vittese, and Taylor West — left a big impact on me for me to try my hardest and not stop in hard times. I love to play field hockey and it’s very fun to play with my team. I made the varsity team with hard work and determination just like these girls did to make the national team. My goal is to make the national team some day and to say I was inspired by the best.
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