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BULLETIN: June 9, 2013 — Parnham makes a couple of aggressive changes to U.S. World League team

As befits a new United States women national field hockey team coach, Craig Parnham has made a couple of statements in his selections for the team as it prepares for the semifinals of the 2013 FIH World League in London.

While the team retains many of its offensive stars such as Katie O’Donnell, Paige Selenski, Shannon Taylor, and Michelle Kasold, there are some significant changes in the side. First of all, goalie Alesha Widdall has won the confidence of the U.S. braintrust, following on from last fall’s Champions Challenge, and will likely be the backup for Jackie Kintzer. Jill Witmer, the only member of the U.S. team who was homeschooled as a high-schooler, makes the roster on attack.

Stephanie Fee and Emily Wold, two of the final cuts from the 2013 Olympic roster, are in the side. So are a number of the usual suspects in the midfield and defense, such as Rachel Dawson, Lauren Crandall, Melissa Gonzalez, Michelle Vittese, Katie Reinprecht, and Julia Reinprecht.

But I think one of the most interesting selections to the team is the selection of Jamie Montgomery. The defender’s first appearance on the pitch in London will signify her debut for the U.S. team, 10 years after graduating from Richmond Collegiate (Va.) and matriculating to Wake Forest.

Montgomery has, because of her recent rise in the U.S. braintrust’s eyes, had to make some changes in plan. She had committed to play at this weekend’s Harrow Cup matches in Philadelphia, and was planning on being an assistant coach this fall at Bucknell University. But three days ago, it was announced that she was resigning her coaching position to go into residency with the U.S. team at Spooky Nook.

It will be a strong team, but the return to London for the U.S. side starts with a silver-medal Argentina team which has lost to the Applebees in the last two games that mattered, including the 2011 Pan American Cup.

Doesn’t get any easier.

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