The U.S. women’s national field hockey team is a fresh mix of the old and the new, but given the heavy post-Olympic retirement after Rio, there are going to have to be significant performances by newcomers.
Thirteen players return from the Rio roster, in addition to the six players announced by Craig Parnham last year: Maryland’s Anna Dessoye and Alyssa Parker, Syracuse’s Jess Jecko, Penn State’s Amanda DiNunzio, UNC’s Casey DiNardo, and James Madison’s Taylor West.
Filling out the roster are several interesting players. One pair is Loren Shealy and Lauren Moyer, the strike partners from the University of North Carolina. And I think they’re going to have the most pressure put on them because of their attacking roles.
Another pair are players who have been at the edges looking in. Goalkeeper Duke’s Lauren Blazing has two senior caps to her name, while Maryland’s Ali (McEvoy) Campbell has earned 21 in three years playing mostly series.
But between the last three newcomers — fullback Julia Young of UNC, Miami’s Ali Froede, and Lafayette’s Amanda Magadan — you have the makings of players who could represent the States for multiple Olympic and World Cup campaigns. Young is coming off a successful U-21 World Cup as a back, and Froede and Magadan could very well fit the narrative about players from unheralded field hockey programs.
We’ll get our first look at this new side June 15th at the FIH World League semifinals. And I think a lot can happen between now and then.