Tucceri adapts to new life in the United States
Temple Field Hockey freshman midfielder Agustina Tucceri, who is an Argentina native she has played an important part in the team’s performance.Tucceri adapts to new life in the United States.
When the freshman midfielder Agustina Tucceri left the city from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to join Temple Field Hockey in Philadelphia, the city of Philadelphia, she faced the most challenging test of her career.
“I am trying to get used to everything,” Tucceri said. “I have to continue learning to speak the language and I’m missing my family members a lot. I am still getting used to not seeing them from the other side of the field. However, the girls are helping me to get over it.”
Moving between Argentina into the United States has not been simple for Tucceri. She was required to adjust to the new styles of hockey and learn how to live her life, without her mother with her when she first moved to Philadelphia.
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“My mother played in field hockey, and I was a spectator of the games she participated in when I was a kid,” Tucceri said. “I have been playing since the age of three years old, and we’d always have a chat about games afterward.”
Tucceri has proved to be a crucial player for The Owls in the current season. He has been appearing in all 15 games and scoring two goals in addition to a shootout win in the game against Providence College (5-10, 2-3 Big East Conference) on Oct. 7. Tucceri is also ranked eighth on the team, with 759 minutes of playing time, despite being only a freshman.
The adaptation to the American way of playing has been a struggle for Tucceri. In Argentina the emphasis was more on the transfer of the ball, and playing on both sides of the field. But when playing in America, in the U.S., the priority is to primarily play forward, Tucceri stated.
Tucceri’s required adjustments both on and off the field seemed daunting initially however she soon was able to relax with her team. Even though she was missing her mother and her family as her primary support and motivational factors, her new teammates helped her feel an identity in Philadelphia.
“[My mom always pushed me to become an improved player, while also providing me with emotional support,” Tucceri said. “Not having her around has been very difficult for me.”
In offseason training, Tucceri developed a strong relationship with fellow international second-year back Alize Maes who is from Antwerp, Belgium. The two athletes have helped each other in easing the process of leaving their countries to move to the U.S. by sharing their experiences of moving away from their countries.
“We have built connections because we’ve shared the same issues,” Maes said. “If you speak to someone who is American and they don’t know the issues you’re facing and even if they do want to comprehend, it’s an entirely different experience. I’m sure we’ve built a bond which other people do not have.”
In a 6-3 victory over Quinnipiac University on Sept. 16 Maes got an assist for the Tucceri goal following the sending of her ball into the penalty box of Tucceri who scored two goals in her college career.
The Owls believe that Tucceri will continue to grow as a prolific goal scorer and consider her an essential player in the team moving forward as stated by Owls director of coaching Michelle Vittese.
“We think her ceiling is extremely good,” Vittese said. “Recently she’s been playing quite a bit as an outside midfielder. However, when she is able to improve and improve and become more familiar with our principles of play I believe she will definitely be able to play a central midfield position because of her skills and experience. I believe that’s something that can be achieved over time. Nevertheless, she is doing an amazing job.”
With just two regular season games left in the regular season, it is clear that the Owls are expected to count on Tucceri’s services to provide the team with significant minutes while Temple strives to secure an invitation to the Big East Conference tournament.
“Being capable of playing as a freshman is a great privilege,” Tucceri said. “Being as a member of the team that we are on is awe-inspiring because each and every practice we’re working on some aspect and it’s as if we’re all part of one family. I am extremely excited because I believe we’ve got an amazing chance to be a part of it.”