HARRISONBURG, Va., June 12, 2012 -- James Madison field athletes senior midfielder Jenna Taylor (Midlothian, Va./James River) and sophomore midfielder Dana Allaband (Elkton, Md./Rising Sun) represented JMU at the High Performance Women's National Championship held at College Park, Md., June 1-8. Head National Team coach, Lee Bodimeade and his U.S. Women's Field Hockey staff used this tournament as a final selection for the 2012 Olympic Games roster. With a second & third place finish Jenna and Dana share their experience.
Q: Did you enjoy the experience?
Dana: I got to know women on the Olympic training squad. Their insight into the game was amazing and playing with and against them was a good challenge. I would not have changed this experience, it was a great learning process and a lot of fun.
Jenna: Participating in High Performance was a great way to get hockey touches in over the summer and learn to play with new people in new situations.
Q: Did you get the chance to play against each other?
Dana: When Pennsylvania played the South it was fun playing against Jenna. there were even moments when we played each other one-on-one on the field and that was a lot of fun.
Jenna: It's always fun to play against Dana at practice and we did get the opportunity to compete during these games. I can't wait to return to JMU as teammates for the 2012 fall season.
Q: Any memorable moments on the turf?
Dana: I remember playing against Keli Smith Puzo (U.S. Squad) and she was dribbling the ball and I waited for my moment to make the tackle and hit her foot and she said "Good tackle," right then and it made me feel like I was on cloud nine.
Jenna: It was great to be able to play against my sister, Shannon Taylor (U.S. Squad) and win the semi final game!
Q: Did you enjoy playing with and against the National Team players?
Dana: Caroline Nichols and Jesse Gey were on my team. They never played down to our level and challenged us to be better athletes every day.
Jenna: Yes! The high caliber of players including national team members, and skill level allowed me to improve my own skills and game knowledge which I will then be able to transfer to my teammates at JMU.
Q: What are some of the differences you experienced with the International games compared to NCAA college hockey?
Dana: We had to go into overtime which was a different experience because unlike college, instead of playing 7-on-7, we played 11-on-11.
Jenna: The high ball speed! We also tried using the new video review rule that will be used at the Olympics this year.
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