Melissa Gonzalez, 23, who was an All-American at the , and three-time All-American field hockey player at in New York, is representing Team USA in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The Olympic field hockey competition began on Sunday, July 29 when the Mohegan Lake, NY, native's team played against Germany. Gonzalez played for 42 minutes out of the 70 minute-game. Her team lost 2-1 to Germany in the preliminary round. Today, July 31, Team USA beat Argentina 0-1.
Gonzalez is set to take the field again on Thursday, August 2, against Australia at 5:45 a.m. U.S. EST.
The former college field hockey star became a member of the USA Women's National Team in 2009 and verified her importance at the Pan American Games, according to her athlete's profile. Gonzalez is now the key player on her team because of her ability to secure vital goals.
Gonzalez, who was born in Peekskill, NY, grew up in Mohegan Lake and now lives in California, said she formally started playing field hockey when she was a student at . Before leaving for London, the Olympian she was "thrilled and excited" to be able to participate in her first Olympics.
In an interview with NBC, the athlete said she first picked up the field hockey stick after her father Felix passed away from a heart attack at age 57. She was 16 years old. She and her father shared a love for soccer, but when that became too painful for her, she dropped the ball and started playing field hockey.
She is now one of 16 women who are playing in the 2012 London Olympics as part of the Women's Field hockey Team. The U.S. team will look to record its first Olympic medal since 1984, after finishing eighth at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Gonzalez, who is the youngest of three sisters, said her family – sisters Erica, Jennifer, and Sara along with her brother-in-law Michael and her mother Yolanda – will be in London cheering her on.
This fall Gonzalez will begin a six-year graduate program at the School of Pharmacy at University of Connecticut.
The USA Women's Field Hockey Olympic team departed for London on July 21. The London 2012 Olympics run from July 27 to August 12.
Follow Melissa and the US Women's Field Hockey Team:
London 2012 U.S. Women's Olympic Hockey Schedule: Preliminary RoundDate/TimeTeamsFinal ScoreWeb Link Sunday, July 29 at 9:15 pm (5:15 pm US) Germany vs. USA 2-1 Visit Match Page Tuesday, July 31 at 7:00 pm (2:00 pm US) Argentina vs. USA 0-1
Visit Match Page Thursday, August 2 at 10:45 am (5:45 am US) Australia vs. USA Visit Match Page Saturday, August 4 at 7:00 pm (2:00 pm US) USA vs. New Zealand Visit Match Page Monday, August 6 at 10:45 am (5:45 am US) USA vs. South Africa Visit Match Page