January 4, 2013

Bozek Earns Gold Medal with U.S. Women's National Indoor Field Hockey Team in Austria

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PERCHTOLDSORF, Austria – Megan Bozek
(Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.), a junior back on the 2012 University of New Hampshire field hockey team, earned a gold medal as a member of the U.S. Senior Women's National Indoor Field Hockey Team at the 33rd RohrMax Cup, which was held Jan. 4-6. 

It marked the first gold medal for a U.S. Indoor team, which went a combined 4-1 against teams from Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. The U.S. team won its initial three games before falling to Slavia Prag, but that loss was avenged one day later in the gold-medal game by a score of 3-2.

The U.S. opened the RohrMax Cup with a 6-1 victory against Austria's U-21 squad and then prevailed 4-2 against Rot-Weiss Wettingen and 4-1 vs. SV Arminen.

Bozek's 2012 accolades at UNH included Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-America Third Team, NFHCA Northeast Region First Team, America East Defensive Player of the Year, All-Conference First Team and All-Academic Team.

The following blogs were written by Megan Bozek during her trip and upon her return.

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FRIDAY, JANUARY 4 (11 am Eastern)

Hello everyone!

Just wanted to send a quick email about the trip so far! We left on Wednesday at 6:30 pm and landed yesterday at 8:10 Austrian time. We went straight to the hotel, which is a little bed and breakfast half a mile from the hall we are playing at. 

We started our day going to Vienna for some sight seeing. It was FREEZING. We took the train in and it was actually very easy and clean.

Because of the flight time we had to stay awake for 24 hours straight, minus an hour nap on the plane, so we all crashed as soon as we got back from the tour at 4. My roommate and I took a two-hour nap then went to this little Italian sort-of restaurant for dinner then knocked out again. 

The girls are all really nice and I am taking tons of pictures.

We won our first game 6-1 against the U21 Austrian team. I played about 17 minutes out of the 40-minute game and did pretty well. We play again at 7 pm (1pm east coast). 

I'll update everyone again soon!

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FRIDAY, JANUARY 4 (2:40 pm Eastern)

We won the second game 4-2 against Sweden. I got the same amount of time but played a lot better. We are off to dinner now and play tomorrow morning at 10:20. 

Talk to you soon,

Meg

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SATURDAY, JANUARY 5 (1 pm Eastern)

Good morning from Perchtoldsdorf, Austria! This is our third day here. We started our morning at 7:30 am (1:30 am EST) with what we call a "shakedown run." We jogged for 10 minutes through town then stretched. This time we decided to take a left out of our hotel so we could explore town more. We managed to find another Italian restaurant and a small park. 

After our shakedown run we had breakfast in the small restaurant attached to our Inn. The breakfast they serve is definitely different than the one you would find in the U.S. The main part of the meal is cold cuts. They offer salami, bologna, and ham for meat and swiss cheese. The other things we eat include rolls, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, yogurt, and hard boiled eggs. A favorite for many of us is Nutella and bread. I have stocked up on my Nutella to bring home.

Our first game today was at 10:20 so we met in the locker room at 9:40 to go over the scouting report for the other team. We played the Vienna club host team Arminen and won 4-1, scoring all 4 goals in the first half. The first half went really well - we controlled the entire play from the first whistle. I played very, very well this game. Each game has gotten better and better for me as an individual as well as the team. We are now 3-0 in the tournament and are guaranteed a spot in the finals tomorrow at 4pm (10am EST). 

Our second game of the day was at 1:20pm (7:20am EST) against Prague. Going into the game both teams were undefeated. Unfortunately, the end result was not to our favor. We were defeated 6-1, with it 4-0 at halftime. The team looked like they had been playing together for years and were extremely crisp with their passing. We will be facing the same team tomorrow in the finals at 4pm (10am EST).

We had free time in the afternoon before dinner so I decided to go Vienna with my dad and teammate Ashley and her parents. We decided we really wanted to do some touristy things since we were not able to the first day. We went to the Imperial Palace, Parliament, St. Steven's church, and a few others. We did our usually tourist things by taking pictures of absolutely everything. 

We are now off to a dinner at the hall for all teams in the tournament.

Goodnight and talk to you tomorrow!

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TUESDAY, JANUARY 8 (10 am Eastern)

Yesterday and the day before were hectic days so I apologize for not writing to everyone! I just woke up at my house and wanted to let you all know how the rest of the trip went.

Sunday was a great day. Our game wasn't until 4pm (10am EST) so we had breakfast at 8:45 then a team meeting at 9:15. We first wrote down what describe our team and what our strengths are. After, we watched video from our game against Slavic Prague the previous day. We made some adjustments to our press and outletting scheme. The meeting was very positive and we walked out of it thinking we had a chance to win. 

We finished our meeting around 10:15 and hopped on the train at 11 to go do some sight seeing. We were going to one of the many castles Vienna had to offer. I will say, even though it was winter, this was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been too. The castle was surrounded by huge gardens with symmetrical walkways, trees, flowers, you name it. Unfortunately, since we did go during winter time, the trees and plants were bare. We first stopped by the greenhouse which was HUGE. You'll have to check out the pictures.

We then continued to see some fountains and more barren gardens. We then reached the castle. I do not think there are words to describe how massive it was. Opposite the castle was a large fountain with different statues built together. Behind the fountain was a giant hill (I would compare it to the hill on Madbury road, maybe longer) with another piece of architecture at the top. We walked all the way up to the top, which took us quite a while, but was well worth it. The view was breath taking. You could literally see the entire city of Vienna. I must say the city was a lot bigger than I had originally thought. 

Since time was closing in on us, we decided to go check out the front of the castle before we hopped back on the train to our hotel. The front was massive. It created a huge square in the middle surrounded by more buildings and gates. It reminded me of the beginning scene in the movie Anastasia.

We then made our way to the train station. Our coach, Denise, was talking about this sandwich we needed to try before we left the city so we stopped by a little cart before we hopped on the train. It was a kabob sandwich with lettuce, tomato, kabob (which I think is pork), some other things that I didn't know. I will have to admit it was delicious and hit the spot after our long cold walk. 

When we got back to the hotel we quickly packed our bags and walked over to the court at 2:45. We watched the first half of the men's final match between Slavic Prague and the host club Arminen. We had a quick scouting meeting at 3:20. The coaches told us they believed we could win the game. We just needed to play smart and listen to our game plan. We were also told we had the chance to make history - no other USA indoor team had won an international competition. This definitely helped to light a fire under my butt.

We came out hard in the first 5 minutes and were able to put up the first goal. I wish all of you could have watched us play because it was day and night from the first game against them to the final match. We played smart, hard, and as a team. We led 2-1 at halftime and were able to hold them to only one goal in the second half, even though they played with a kicking back for 13 minutes in the second half. The final score was 3-2 and the USA had won its first international competition. I can't tell you how amazing it was to hear "Born In the USA" when we accepted the trophy. 

Many pictures and hugs later we had dinner at a local pub. Our host, Peter, had rented us out a room to ourselves so we could play music and celebrate. Our parents were invited as well. My dad flew over to watch me play so he was able to meet some of the other parents. Then some more pictures and speeches later we turned in for the night since we had an early flight the next morning.

Day 5 was bittersweet. I didn't want to leave, it seemed as though we had just gotten there, but I was excited to be going home to see my friends and family. Our wake-up call was at 6:15 am and the bus left our hotel at 7 am. We got to the airport at 8 and proceeded to check in for our flight home at 10:30am. Our flight was slightly delayed so we didn't take off until 11:40. The flight back was 8 hours and 40 minutes. I managed to take 3 naps but it was still the longest flight of my life. 

We landed at 2:20 and proceeded to go through customs. I will say, if you think it sucks coming back to the U.S. as an American citizen, you should see the lines the foreigners had to wait in. It took us an hour and 20 minutes to get through immigration and pick up our luggage. By that time the other people on our flight were barely halfway through the line to get their passports stamped.

We took a few more pictures then said our goodbyes. We promised to friend each other on Facebook and put up our pictures as soon as we could. This was an experience I will not soon forget. Being able to represent my school as well as my country on the international stage is something that you hold with you for the rest of your life. I hope I can take what I have learned and bring it to my play at UNH as well as the indoor team. 

Go USA!

Meg

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