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Melissa Gonzalez Living Olympic Dream in London

The Lakeland graduate is one of 16 women who are playing in the 2012 London Olympics as part of the Women's Field Hockey Team. They're scheduled to play against Argentina today.

Melissa Gonzalez, 23, who was a three-time All-American field hockey player at and All-American at the University of Connecticut, 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 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. 

They're scheduled to play against Argentina today, July 31 at 7 p.m. (2 p.m. US time.)

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, 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 6-year graduate program at the School of Pharmacy at University of Connectcut.

The USA Women's Field Hockey Olympic team departed for London on July 21. The London 2012 Olympics run from July 27 to Aug. 12. 

Follow Melissa and the US Women's Field Hockey Team:

London 2012 U.S. Women's Olympic Hockey Schedule: Preliminary Round

Date/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   Visit Match Page Thursday, August 2 at 10:45 am (6:45 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 (6:45 am US) USA vs. South Africa   Visit Match Page

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Maureen Dowd July 31, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Congratulations Melissa - Yorktown is proud of you.
Florence Snarr July 31, 2012 at 03:31 PM
I'm sure Felix is watching over his beautiful daughter and is so very proud as we all are!!!
McKey Rivers July 31, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Thanks for the informative and well written article on Ms. Gonzalez. I had the privilege of watching Melissa play through her high school career and at the Empire State Games. Her spot on the Olympic Field Hockey team is well deserved both as a player and for being a great person.
colleen Blair July 31, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Good job Melissa, you were a tough opponent when my team played against you in HS. Also a big congrats to Sharon Sarsen, Lakeland's Field Hockey coach for inspiring a generation of young ladies to love the game.
Mike Sabini August 01, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Congrats Melissa! You're not only a great athlete but a great person. Couldn't be more happier for you. Remember writing about you when you were in high school, knew even back then that you were destined for great things!
Joanne Wilson August 01, 2012 at 01:47 PM
THE USA FIELD HOCKEY TEAM BEAT ARGENTINA YESTERDAY--1-0---I WATCHED IT ON MSNBC AT 2 PM--SAW MELISSA AND SAW COACH SARSEN IN THE STANDS ROOTING HER ON --WAY TO GO MELISSA
KKant August 02, 2012 at 04:25 AM
MellyG I aspire to have your heart passion and amazing power to put it all on the line. keep on impressing the world of fans you have out there.

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