TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Dec. 5, 2015 — A preview of Rio?

The U.S. women’s field hockey team this week closed out a dominating four-match Test series at Lancaster, Pa., with three wins and a draw against Japan. The Applebees conceded no goals in 240 minutes of play, which, in international hockey, is a remarkable feat.

And it’s one that should be heartening for a team which will be competing in two enormous events this summer: the FIH Champions’ Trophy in London in June, followed by the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The USA, champion of the Americas, rolled out a couple of new lineups for their Tests against the Red Samurai, and pretty much were able to solve them at will, generating corners and chances with speed and daring.

And they were able to convert on corners through straight strikes from captain Lauren Crandall.

A couple of new faces have dotted the lineup in this series. Maria Elene Bolles looks to be an impactful running mate up front. Caitlin Van Sickle looked quite comfortable on the backline.

Combined with other lineup changes in the last 12 months, it is going to be interesting to see how the senior team develops over the next six months, because there could be significant changes, given the size and depth of the current player pool. Nobody’s job is safe.

One challenge could very well come from some of the awesome players who are scattered through the junior high-performance teams. Those players will be at Spooky Nook in January playing a Test series against Great Britain.

That might be the series to watch.

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