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Jan. 24, 2023 — The (very) young guns

We knew that, when the U.S. women’s field hockey team’s roster pool was being assembled over the last year, that it was going to be a very young team.

But David Passmore has really gone with the American youth movement with his 24-player selection for the first two rounds of the FIH Pro League, which will take place over a three-week period beginning Feb. 16th.

In the player pool are not one, but two high-school players — Olivia Bent-Cole of Cherry Hill Camden Catholic (N.J.), and Josie Hollamon of Delmar (Del.).Also joining in are a number of exciting young players such as Ashley Sessa, Brooke and Emma DeBerdine, Kelee Lepage, Megan Rodgers, Meredith Sholder, Beth Yeager, Charlotte de Vries, and Hope Rose.

Balancing out that youthful exuberance will be veterans like Danielle Grega, Kelsey Bing, Amanda Magadan Golini, Ashley Hoffman, Sanne Caarls and Maddie Zimmer.

For Passmore, these choices are not just for trying to build this team towards the avoidance of relegation within the Pro League, but to figure out who he will be bringing to Chile for the Pan American Games. And for not the first time, the 2023 Pan American Games run into conflict with the U.S. domestic season.

Indeed, the Pan Am Games fall between Oct. 25th and Nov. 4th, which is right smack in the middle of the conference tournament season with U.S. college field hockey. What I find interesting is that a number of players who have already used up collegiate eligibility, such as Erin Matson, Sky Caron, Sofia Southam, Rachel Robinson, and Maddie Bacskai are not in the current roster. It’s players of this quality who are an advertisement for the establishment of a U.S. post-collegiate professional field hockey league.

Will the kids be alright? We’ll see.

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