July 12, 2016
Communications and Marketing
Saint Anselm College student Nick Richardson '18 says he learned to walk while also holding a field hockey stick, so it's no surprise that this summer, the nursing major was not only named to the U.S. Men's Field Hockey Development Team, but played his first game with the U.S. Men's National Team against Canada's Olympic team on July 7. Richardson was one of six players brought up to the development squad and has been training with the team during the four-game-series in Surrey, Canada.
"It's been an incredible experience getting my first Senior Men's Team Cap* versus a team that's at the peak of their preparation for the Olympics," said Richardson. "To play with the men's national team and play my first game against an Olympic caliber team [Canada] is an honor all in itself."
Having been chosen for the development squad, new opportunities lie ahead for Richardson including being eligible for the United States team playing in the World League Round 1 in Mexico in September. Just another step in the right direction to his ultimate goal of someday playing for the United States in the Olympics.
The idea of playing at an international level isn't new to Richardson. In addition to playing in Canada, the defender from Kents Hill, Maine, has played in Australia and the Netherlands. In 2015, he spent a year abroad in Ivanhoe, Australia where he played for a club team and coached a local boys team. In March 2016, he played for the USA Under21 National Team in Amsterdam for a week, competing against semi-professional Dutch club teams and participating in intense training sessions.
Most recently, in May, he played in the Junior Pan American Championship in Toronto, Canada as a member of the United States Junior National Men's Field Hockey Team. The eight-day tournament for players in North and South America under the age of 21 was a dream come true for Richardson.
"Since the U21 National Team is spread out all over the United States, we have very few opportunities to play together as a team," he said. "So playing opportunities like this, against very strong and skillful teams in an international environment, was a surreal experience."
Balancing Academics and Athletics
As a nursing major, Richardson balances a rigorous academic schedule with his other commitments including as a resident assistant (RA) for the Office of Residential Life and Education and of course, field hockey practice where he trains on his own in the Carr Center or one of the college's athletics fields. He plans his work outs, which include physical conditioning and skill training, around his clinicals and RA schedule. He admits time management has become his greatest strength.
"I consider myself a student athlete and always prioritize school work while also trying to be an international caliber athlete," said Richardson. "All of my coaches support that for all of my team and hold us to that standard."
He emphasizes that it's a balancing act but for love of the game, it's well worth it.