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Archive for January 11, 2023

Jan. 11, 2023 — The middle layer is forming

From time to time, I’ve likened national-team development to creating a Jello parfait. Making each layer requires plenty of care and time until the next layer is prepared.

Yesterday, a significant series of cues was sent out when it comes to the senior women’s national team, the outline of which was created last summer. Tracey Paul, the legendary former head coach of Escondido San Pasqual (Calif.) who is the U.S. U-21 national team coach, has selected a pool of players who will be competing for slots for this spring’s Pan American Cup team.

On this preliminary roster for the U-21 national team are all three high-schoolers in the senior women’s national team pool: Olivia Bent-Cole, Mia Abello, and Josie Hollamon. But also on the team are five players who competed last fall in the NCAA Division I national championship: UNC’s Ashley Sessa, Ryleigh Heck, and Katie Dixon, and Northwestern’s Annabel Skubisz and Lauren Wadas. Also on the team is U.S. indoor national team veteran Rayne Wright from the University of Maryland.

In addition, Maryland’s Hope Rose and Duke’s Alana McVeigh are part of a group of players coming off injury and will trial for the team next month.

A couple of interesting players are also in this player pool. A rising high school senior, Matalie Machiran from Ellicott City Mount Hebron (Md.), has made the U-21 trial team. Another player in the pool is Columbia University’s Mia Karine Myklebus, who is majoring in neuroscience. And joining Bent-Cole, Abello, and Hollamon in the corps of scholastic seniors is Charlotte “Charley” Bruder from Newtown Square Episcopal Academy (Pa.).

It should be a strong team coming out of camp, and it is one looking to improve on its bronze-medal performance at the 2021 Junior Pan Ams. The U-21s will have that tournament in Barbados in April, then will have to regroup for the Junior World Cup which is scheduled for December.