MNT athlete describes first match at 2014 Pan Am Cup
U.S. Men's Indoor National Team athlete, Sebastian Scheurer reporting from the 2014 Pan Am Cup in Montevideo, Uruguay.
After all of the preparation, traveling and adjusting to local conditions, here it finally was: Pan Am Game day number one!
Our opening game against the host nation Uruguay was scheduled late on Monday evening. We spent the first part of the day off with a nice late breakfast and a team jog and stretch in the morning, a video session in the afternoon and quite a bit of ‘rest and recovery.’ This can typically include hanging out in hotel rooms reading, sleeping, watching TV series, etc. and of course drinking enormous amounts of water to stay hydrated. Side note: Rob and Bambi like to do the water drinking part as a competition! At 7 p.m. we caught the bus which took us to the venue and we were fully focused and ready for the first big match!
Although we felt confident that we should be able to perform some solid hockey and thereby win the first game, we also were aware of Uruguay’s determination to pay back for our close win over them at the Pan Am Cup in Venezuela 4 years back. Furthermore we were expecting a full, energized home crowd!
What happened when the umpire opened the game? We had a perfect start, passed the ball around a couple of times and before the opponent had even touched the ball for the first time. Mo put us up to a 1 – 0 lead! “Wow, this is going well,” I thought to myself. Despite a good start and controlling the ball most of the game, we were not able to score a second goal in that half. It actually took us until almost mid of the second half when Rob put a corner lay off into the back of Uruguay’s net. Naturally, this helped us to focus even more on some solid defense while opening up good opportunities for two more goals.
To summarize this game, it was a solid team performance. It was great to not concede a goal and we recognized items to fine tune in all areas of the game, which we’ll continue to work on to further step up our play.
To summarize this day: Coach happy, team happy. Since our manager Nigel was happy too, the win was followed by a really nice dinner at a Mexican restaurant close by, which was a nice change to the food we usually have in the hotel.
- Sebastian Scheurer
*Photos courtesy of Quico Anderson and Pan American Hockey Federation