---- — By Anthony Mitchell
For The Daily Item
Mallory Weisen could be called a field hockey lifer.
Weisen has been involved in the sport from a young age and any athlete passionate about their sport dreams of having the opportunity to stay active in the game.
Weisen played in a series of three matches for the United States Indoor Field Hockey team against the Canadian national team in a series dubbed the Can-Am Series in Feasterville.
Weisen appeared in the first game of the series, held Aug. 3 and 4, helping the United States erase a 3-1 halftime deficit en route to a 4-4 tie. Her squad closed out the remaining two games with wins, 7-1 and 4-2.
After traveling to various countries for tournaments throughout her career, Weisen was able to represent her country in her home state.
"The tournament was really well organized and the competition was great," Weisen said. "It was nice to not to fly or travel far distances for this tour and still be able to earn International Caps for matches."
The Can-Am Series was simply the latest international field hockey cap for someone who has had a life filled with them.
After traveling to Argentina to face top South American players in March, Weisen was chosen as a member of the U.S. national indoor team, which will compete in the 2014 Pan-American Cup in Uruguay as a qualifier for the World Cup in 2015.
"It'd be another honor to be able to travel and compete in the Pan-American Cup representing (the) USA," Weisen said.
Weisen first made a name for herself on the international scene while playing on the United States U-16 team in 2000 and 2001. After honing her game against some of the top young international athletes while only a freshman and sophomore in high school, Weisen brought her game back to Middleburg.
"I think confidence was the biggest gain from playing so competitively at such a young age," Weisen said.
Her confidence in her ability showed, as Weisen helped turn Middleburg (now part of Midd-West) into a perennial contender before ending her career as the program leader in goals and points.
Weisen's success led her to Penn State to continue her career, while making a switch to defender after playing mostly as a midfielder in high school.
Weisen made a quick transition to defender, working her way into the starting lineup as a freshman and showing an ability to convert in the clutch on penalty strokes, finishing her career a perfect seven-for-seven.
After starting every game she played over her final two years, Weisen had the opportunity to cap her career with a national title after Penn State ran through the tournament to face an undefeated North Carolina squad.
Despite a loss in the national title game, Weisen remains happy about the experience.
"(The national title game) was an unreal experience and it really justified all the hard work and sacrifices that I and my team had to go through to get there," Weisen said.
Now Weisen is trying to instill her work ethic in younger players to potentially reach another national title game, this time as an assistant coach at Lock Haven University.
"Even before entering college, I found coaching younger athletes very rewarding," Weisen said. "When the opportunity arose to coach field hockey at the Division I level so close to home, I couldn't pass it up."
After spending countless hours perfecting her craft on a rise through international and United States field hockey, it appears that Weisen has found a permanent home in coaching.
"I ideally want to become a head coach eventually," Weisen said. "I've learned a lot from (head coach) Pat Rudy at Lock Haven and I can only hope to be as successful as her someday."
Weisen mentioned her intentions to become a coach full-time but still relishes the chance to compete.
"It's a great honor to be able to play a sport that has been a part of my life for so long at an international level," she said.