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Archive for March 5, 2019

March 5, 2019 — A waystation, or a retirement?

Ever since the “new look” U.S. women’s national field hockey team was announced a month before the start of training for FIH Pro League play, there has been one surname missing from the team pool.

That name is “Vittese,” shared by three sisters who have played for the United States.

Carissa (25 caps) had been on spot duty for the U.S. women’s national team, while Tara (14 caps) had been expected for many years to become an impact player on the world stage.

But the memorable figure over the last eight years is Michelle Vittese, whose international career began in 2011 with an enormous performance at the Pan American Games, where she and teammate Katelyn Falgowski denied Argentina space to attack the goal, holding an attack featuring eight-time FIH World Player of the Year Luciana Aymar off the scoresheet. Meanwhile, Vittese’s goal in the final two minutes of play capped off a 4-2 upset of the then-World Cup champions.

Vittese often came up with big goals in big games, such as what she did at the 2015 Pan American Games, scoring twice in beating Argentina for the second time running and winning outright Olympic qualification in Toronto.

She also was part of the U.S. side that won the country’s first major trophy in the USFHA’s 94-year history upon winning the 2014 Champions’ Challenge.

Michelle Vittese today was named as an assistant coach at Temple University, and she is joining sister Carissa within the organization of the team.

It’s a sign that Michelle Vittese, despite her skills, ability to raising her level of play, and the knack for coming through in the clutch, is likely done with international hockey.

Which is a shame; she is one of the best overall players the nation has yet produced, and is a certain Hall of Famer when she becomes eligible.