TopOfTheCircle.com

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Dec. 30, 2017 — The other training camp

This week, attention has been paid to about 67 of the best young field hockey players in the United States as they assembled for the STX Select camp to select the U-19 and U-17 national teams.

But 2,000 miles away in Colorado, there was a second gathering of top field hockey players to add a depth to the U-21 national team, and, perhaps, to get a good look for the senior women’s national team.

The U-21s are a veritable collegiate all-star team with the likes of Maryland’s Brooke DeBerdine and Linnea Gonzales, Duke’s Margaux Paolino, UConn’s Amanda Collins, and Stanford’s Kelsey Bing on the roster. But the team’s star power has been amped up with the addition of scorers Kelee Lepage, Cassie Sumfest, and Madison Maguire, goalie Jenny Rizzo, and for me, the most interesting addition, Rachel Robinson from the University of Virginia.

Robinson is a player who used to be a center forward for her scholastic team, Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.), but became a defensive force for the team as it won the 2016 PIAA Class AA championship. And with UVA, she became a second-team All-American.

Now, I don’t know exactly what the pecking order is going to be in the next year, since USA Field Hockey already maintains a developmental squad as well as the senior women’s national roster. But I’m expecting a lot from this group of U-21s because of their skills and game sense.

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