Dina Rizzo, Terps and the Olympics
June 15, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - As a former Maryland All-American, an Olympian and a current assistant coach, no one knows the benefits of being a Terp more assistant coach Dina Rizzo. She helped the Terrapins win their third NCAA title in 1999 and the last two as she is back at her alma mater as an assistant coach.
Earlier this week, Terrapin greats Keli Smith Puzo and Katie O'Donnell were both named to Team USA's roster for the London Olympics. Rizzo played alongside Smith Puzo at Maryland, where they won an NCAA title together, and on the national team. Rizzo also played with O'Donnell on the national team and coached her in her senior season at Maryland.
It's Keli Smith Puzo's second trip to the Olympics and Katie O'Donnell's first. As an Olympian in 2008, can you even describe the feeling you get when representing your country in the Olympic?
What's a typical day for an athlete at the Olympics
Do you think your experience at Maryland helped prepare you for that highest level of hockey?
After playing alongside Keli and winning a national title with her, then playing alongside Katie on the national team and coaching her, what are they like as people?
Keli and OD (O'Donnell) are two of the most competitive people I have ever played with. Off the field they are two very caring and loving people who value family very much. They consider their teammates family and would both give their team their all. Both are also very unselfish and will put the work in to be successful!
The U.S. team finished eighth in the 2008 Olympics and didn't qualify for the three Olympics before that. This year, the feeling is different because Team USA beat top-ranked Argentina in October for the gold at the Pan Am Games and the future is bright. What's brought about that change?
The United States Olympic field hockey team will be in Charlottesville, Va. Friday and will have several open practices this weekend at the University Hall Turf Field. The training sessions lead up to the team's match vs. Argentina at 8 p.m. Monday. All field hockey events and parking are free of charge.
The Americans will hold their first of five training sessions from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Friday. On Saturday, the squad will practice from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. and follow that up with two sessions on Sunday from 10-12 a.m. and 6-8 p.m.
On Monday, both squads will hold a short practice before the scheduled match. Argentina will train from 9-10 a.m. followed by Team USA from 10-11 a.m. Fans are encouraged to attend all open practices.
Parking for practice sessions as well as the match Monday night is available in the Cage Lot adjacent to the Turf Field or in the University Hall lots.
After Monday's game, Team USA and Argentina will play for more games over the week. They will play at 5 p.m. on June 20 and 8 p.m. on June 21 in Norfolk, Va. The final game will be at 1:30 p.m. PT on June 23 at the U.S. National Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. The fourth game will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network.
The U.S. Olympic Team was announced Monday following play last week at the United States National Championships in College Park, Md.
Argentina is ranked No. 2 in the world, while the U.S. stands at No. 10.