ROANOKE, VA (August 13, 2014)— Keli Smith-Puzo, two-time Olympian and ambassador for the game of field hockey is in Roanoke Wednesday through Friday this week. Smith-Puzo is conducting a multi-day clinic for North Cross’ girls’ field hockey team, helping to take them to the next level.
During the London and Bejing Olympic games, both Keli’s life on and off the field were covered. As an All-American at the University of Maryland and Olympian, Smith-Puzo reached the pinnacle for her sport. She is a committed athlete who played the game with raw passion and skill. She had a successful 10-year career and thought her playing days were over. Having watched Team USA pull off an upset to win the 2011 Pan American Games, her desire to play for the team energized her. With only three months having passed since the birth of her second child, and less than nine months before the start of the 2012 Olympic games, Smith-Puzo made the team.
Raiders’ coach Katherine Kelly commented, “This was a tremendous opportunity to be coached by Keli. She has a passion for the game and is able to share her experience, not only on skills, but on what it takes to be a great team. We have some great players who are getting noticed by college programs, like Avery Sturm who plans to go on to college and play for Keli’s husband, Inako Puzo, Head Field Hockey Coach at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Our team is among the many successful teams at North Cross. We’re gaining momentum as a team because we’re practicing hard during the season and the girls are attracting others to the program. They are a positive group of girls who do the right things, and others want to be part of that. ”
When other teams play North Cross, they expect a great game and a tough opponent whose winning record earns them respect. Brenda Wilson, an All-American field hockey player from Colgate University, assists Katherine Kelly with coaching responsibilities. Wilson sees the program building solid skills and confident young women. She says, “To play well, at any level, requires dedication, hard work, teamwork, and commitment. We practice hard and our coaches know what it takes to be a winning team.”
About North Cross School
North Cross School is a college-preparatory day school grounded in a strong liberal arts and science curriculum combined with exceptional co-curricular programs. The academic program, from junior kindergarten through twelfth grade, prepares students to become responsible, successful citizens by encouraging them to explore their interests and develop their talents. The School is located at 4254
Colonial Avenue, Roanoke, VA, 24018. For more information, visit www.northcross.org.
Video of Keli Smith-Puzo before the 2012 Olympic games: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/25/olympic-moms-keli-smith- puzo_n_1703322.html