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Archive for July 10, 2019

July 10, 2019 — A long road to Tokyo

The numbers don’t lie.

The U.S. women’s field hockey team, fresh off a two-win, 14-defeat campaign in the FIH Pro League, is going to rely on many of the same players who played on the team during League play at the Pan American Games next month.

Gone are players from the sides that won the last two Pan American titles; the lone holdover from Toronto 2015 is Alyssa Manley. The team will continue its youth movement,  including the likes of Erin Matson, Mackenzie Allessie, and Margaux Paolino. It’s going to fall to veteran striker Kat Sharkey not only for leadership, but for goals.

On defense, the coaching staff is going to build out from Kelsey Bing, the Stanford rising senior. But in terms of backliners, the U.S. is going to have to rely a lot on Caitlin Van Sickle, whose 143 caps lead all defenders.

The U.S. team’s focus, obviously, is a likely Aug. 10 meeting with Argentina in the final of the tournament, although a lot can happen between now and then.

And the American women certainly hope that the team that shows up is the one that drew at full time against Argentina Feb. 2, and not the one that lost 4-0 at Spooky Nook May 12.