From Black and Gold, to Red, White, and Blue, former UI field hockey standout Lauren Pfeiffer is enjoying the ride, no matter what the color combination. One of 20 former Hawkeyes who have played on the U.S. Women's National Team, the former Iowa All-American has been a key member of the squad since 2009.
"It has been an incredible experience playing on the National Team these past few years," said Pfeiffer. "I am not sure what else I would rather be doing right now. I get to play the sport I love every day, compete at the highest level, represent our country, and do this all in southern California. What more can I ask for?"
Pfeiffer, who trains in Chula Vista, Calif., wore the Black and Gold very well from 2005-08. The two-time All-American helped lead Iowa to the 2008 NCAA Final Four and three-straight Big Ten Tournament Championships (2006-08).
During her career, Pfeiffer earned all-Region honors three times, first team All-Big Ten honors twice and was named Big Ten Tournament MVP twice. She was selected to play in the NFHCA All-Star game as a senior after leading the Hawkeyes in points (44) and goals (20). She ended her career with 53 goals to rank ninth in school history.
Her success at Iowa has translated well to the international stage. Pfeiffer is one of nine current or former Hawkeyes competing in the USA Women's National Championships in College Park, Md. (June 1-8).
The National Championships are important on the national stage. Athletes will compete for spots on the National Squad and the Junior National Camp, where U-21 and U-19 teams will be selected. Pfeiffer has something else in mind -- the U.S. Olympic Team.
"I have a few goals in mind," said Pfeiffer. "I want to generate attack and create scoring opportunities. I have recently switched to the forward line, so I want to embrace my new position and have the ability to make change early on. But with Olympic selections on the line, my main focus is about having fun. I have my best games when I can just play without any expectations. I am so excited for this tournament and for the opportunity to compete and do what I love."
The U.S. Olympic Team will be announced June 23. With the selection on the horizon, Pfeiffer realizes what an honor it is to represent the United States.
"There is something really special about putting on that Red, White and Blue uniform," said Pfeiffer. "It has made me realize that this is about more than me and what I am doing in field hockey. It is about Team USA and representing this country. I feel very fortunate to be able to wear the USA uniform."
Despite the switch in uniform colors, Pfeiffer thinks fondly of her time at Iowa, especially the support from head coach Tracey Griesbaum and associate head coach Lisa Cellucci.
"Even though I am wearing Red, White and Blue now, I still bleed Black and Gold," said Pfeiffer, who started all 83 games in her career as a Hawkeye. "Iowa has prepared me to get to this level and has given me the confidence to follow my dream. Tracey and Lisa set me on the right path from the beginning and have continued to support me since I graduated. I know I can always look to the Hawks for support, and I will always be proud to be a Hawkeye."
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