TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Dec. 26, 2016 — An “A” camp, of sorts

Up until about 15 years ago, USA Field Hockey player selection was a two-week-long combine of invited collegiate, postcollegiate, and adult players held at the tail end of December. The players were put through drills and scrimmages in order to keep their places in the U.S. national team system for the next calendar year.

Beginning tomorrow, a somewhat different process will take place at the Spooky Nook Sports Complex just west of Lancaster, Pa. A select group of players are going to play intersquad games against each other over the course of four days in what is called the STX Select Tournament.

The common theme is the fact that all of them are under the age of 19. The purpose of this exercise is to choose members of the United States U-19 and U-17 teams for this coming spring.

Many of the stars from the scholastic hockey season just past will be there, including the likes of Meredith Sholder of Emmaus (Pa.), Megan Rodgers of San Diego Serra (Pa.), Mackenzie Allessie of Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.), and Sammy Popper of Fort Washington Germantown Academy (Pa.).

There will also be rookie sensations like Kara Heck of Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) and Sophia Gladieux of Oley (Pa.) Valley. They are playing on Team Blue along with Sholder, Margot Lawn of Severn Archbishop Spaulding (Md.), Riley Fulmer of Norfolk (Va.) Academy, and Lexi Davidson of Pottstown Hill School (Pa.). Indeed, I think the Blues are the team likeliest to do the best overall, with the USA team a close second. The USA team features goalie Katie Jean from Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.), Liz Romano from North Caldwell West Essex (N.J.), Leah Crouse from Virginia Beach Frank W. Cox (Va.), Charlotte DeVries from Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.) and Mayv Clune from Bethlehem Moravian Academy (Pa).

Red, I think, will have a puncher’s chance with Allessie, Kyler Greenwalt of Archbishop Spaulding (Md.), Ali McCarthy of Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) and Lily Posternak of York (Maine). The White team will feature Popper, Rodgers, Emma DeBerdine of Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.), Madison Orobono of Emmaus (Pa.), and Elise Wong, who skipped her senior year at Lake Forest (Ill.) and is now a sophomore at Princeton University.

It should be an interesting exercise for the holiday week, especially to see which players are able to excel in this environment.

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