The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday September 26th

Field Hockey's Lingo, Tran Head to France

Lingo and Tran weren't on their way to vacation -- they're meeting up with their teammates on the U.S. national field hockey team. Once all of the team's members meet, they will climb aboard a bus bound for Washington, D.C.

From Washington, the team flies to France for a World Cup qualifying tournament.

Before Tuesday's terrorists attacks in New York and Washington, Lingo and Tran were supposed to leave this week for the World Cup and miss most of North Carolina's September games.

"Initially, I knew we weren't going to leave on time just because of the airport situation," Lingo said. "But I thought maybe we wouldn't leave until next week. I didn't think that we'd leave (Friday.)"

Wednesday, Lingo participated in a conference call with other members of the national team to decide if they still wanted to travel to France. Tran was in class.

U.S. Field Hockey told the team that the decision was entirely up to each individual player. Former Tar Heels Kate Barber, Kristen McCann and Peggy Storrar are also on the national team.

"It was really informative," Lingo said of the conference call. "It was really reassuring everyone that the tournament's still going to go on, and they were just trying to give us as much confidence as possible."

Among the steps U.S. Field Hockey is taking to make the team members feel safe are security guards on the planes -- the team is being split up on two flights to Paris -- and French guards to and from the field. Usually when the team is abroad, clusters of women break off and do their own thing. For this trip, they are all in the same hotel and have been told not to share any information about their agenda with anyone.

The players will not wear any of their USA gear when not on the field and will be provided with unlimited phone access so they can call home to reassure their families about their safety.

Both Tran's and Lingo's families supported their decisions to play.

"My parents are really pushing this," Tran said. "They say, `You need to get away, to do your thing and play hockey."

Lingo said her parents said they would support her decision either way, but had a difficult time explaining to her grandmother why she was getting on a plane.

"I'll be nervous," Lingo said of the flight. "But I have faith in our country and the people that are working -- they'll take care of us."

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.

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