Oct. 26, 2011
Follow Team USA
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Boston College field hockey associate head coach Chris Clements, now in his fifth year with the Eagles, is currently in Guadalajara, Mexico for the 2011 Pan American Games. In December 2010, Clements signed on to join Team USA and made the trip with the national field hockey squad to the Pan Am tournament as the team's manager.
"The opportunity to participate in these games is a great honor and without the support of Ainslee [Lamb], the team and the athletic department, it would not be possible," Clements said.
"It is a fantastic opportunity for Chris to experience an international tournament of this magnitude," BC head coach Ainslee Lambsaid. "There is no question that it fosters his own professional development, which directly impacts the BC team to grow vicariously through his exposure at the Pan American Games."
Following BC's game at New Hampshire on Oct. 16, Clements took off for Guadalajara. He caught up with the team in the athletes' village, as the squad had already been in Mexico prior to his arrival.
At this year's tournament, eight teams are vying for a first place and an automatic bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England. The next four runners-up will earn the right to attend an Olympic qualifier early in 2012.
Team USA was defeated by Cuba, 4-2, in the squad's first pool-play game on Oct. 20, despite taking an early lead in the contest. On Oct. 22, the U.S. lost to Argentina, 2-0, which was the closest game that the South American powerhouse had to date at the tournament. Team USA completed the round-robin portion of the tournament with a 3-2 loss against Mexico on Oct. 24.
The U.S. team returns to action on Oct. 27 when it squares off against Trinidad and Tobago in hopes of winning its remaining two games to place fifth and earn at spot at next year's qualifier. Win or lose, the team will play one more game on Oct. 29 before Clements returns to BC and travels with the Eagles to the ACC Tournament in College Park, Maryland.
"Being around all the athletes and coaches from all of the Olympic sports has provided many opportunities to share and gain new ideas, which I look forward to bringing back to BC," Clements said.
Clements is excited to rejoin the Eagles next week, but his experience at the Pan American Games is not something he will soon forget.
"The exposure of coaching and managing at the international level provides the best opportunity to learn the latest trends, tactics and management of elite athletes in the highest level of competitive sport."