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Archive for September 5, 2018

Sept. 5, 2018 — Two national teams, two very different goals

In the last few days, announcements were made about the United States senior women’s field hockey and lacrosse teams, who will be preparing for upcoming tournament action.

The lacrosse team, off a World Cup/World Games double in 2017, is preparing to play October 6 in Sparks, Md. in the Team USA Fall Classic, a doubleheader featuring the United States playing against the current NCAA champions in fall-ball. The United States team has 12 players from the last World Cup, and 15 more players coming in from the collegiate and pro ranks.

I find it interesting that, for all of the star power that the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL) had boasted in its ranks, United Women’s Lacrosse (UWLX) sent seven players to the American roster.

I had prophesied a few weeks ago that, while the WPLL had the known quantities in their league, there was room for discovery on the UWLX side. I’ll focus on two players, Dorrien Van Dyke and Kelly Glatthorn, as examples. Van Dyke is a graduate of Stony Brook, but she graduated in 2017, and did not participate in SBU’s run at No. 1 for most of last spring before running headlong into Boston College one rung short of the Final Four. She coached at Monmouth last year and was hired into the coaching staff of national champion James Madison for next year.

Glatthorn was the co-captain at Virginia Tech, helping steer the Hokies to their inaugural appearance in the NCAA Tournament. A close defender, she had 50 draw controls, 42 ground balls and 16 caused turnovers this past season.

Meanwhile, the American field hockey team has a much younger team for the Sompo Cup Four Nations tournament in Osaka, Japan. Fewer than half of the members of the World Cup roster will be taking part in this tournament, which features Australia, Korea, and host Japan.

And, as it is a tournament being held in the midst of the NCAA season, you’re not going to see the likes of Ashley Hoffman, Margaux Paolino, and Erin Matson, who are currently with their college teams. This means an opportunity for newcomers like goalies Kealsie Robles and Jess Jecko, forward Mary Beth Barnham, defender Carissa Vittese, and midfielder Laura Hurff.

Indeed, I think this tournament is much more of a combine to assess players for the FIH Hockey Pro League, which begins in earnest Feb. 2 with the States traveling to Argentina, then hosting Holland in what could be called the “Koode Oorlog” (Cold War) Feb. 16th in Winston-Salem, N.C.

For the women on the Sompo Cup roster, it’s a reward with a lot of difficulty, but some inspired choices could bear fruit down the road for Olympic qualifying.

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