Bodimeade selects team for European tour

July 22, 2011, 12:57 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, C.O. - The USA Women’s National Team Head Coach Lee Bodimeade announced eighteen players to the travel squad for an upcoming tour in Germany and Belgium. The athletes selected will depart for Europe on August 1 and compete in three test matches in Moenchengladbach, Germany August 4-7. The second half of the tour will be in Antwerp, Belgium for four test matches against the champions of Champions Challenge II, August 10-14.

In February, USA faced Germany in Mendoza and Rosario, Argentina for two four-nation tournaments. In three matches against the number three world rank Germany team, USA was victorious in two, including a 3-0 shutout win in their final matchup together.

“Germany will be a good test for us,” said Bodimeade. “We match up well against them and had good results in Argentina. They are coming off a disappointing result from Champions Trophy and we will be pressing to win these test matches. We beat Belgium twice in the Olympic Qualifier before Beijing. They have been steadily improving and recently won Champions Challenge II. We are very wary of their abilities and want to do well against them as well.”

After completing Champions Challenge I in Dublin, Ireland, Bodimeade is looking to rest some of the veteran players and allow playing opportunities at the international stage for some of the younger players as they push towards selection for the Pan American Games. Kathleen Sharkey will embark on her first tour with the USA Women’s National Team since selection to the squad at the Women’s National Championships in late May.

Sharkey led the Women’s National Championships with number of goals scored and was named the 2010 Ivy League Player of the Year at Princeton University. She currently holds the record for the Tigers for goals in game and points and goal in season.

“Sharkey being the leading goal scorer at the Women’s National Championships proves she can play at the senior level. She has been training with the squad in Chula Vista since the completion of Women’s National Championships and is pushing for selection for the Olympic Games, said Bodimeade.”

Athletes that will not be in attendance on this tour include veterans, Carrie Lingo, Claire Laubach, Caroline Nichols, Michelle Kasold and Keli Smith. Stalwarts Laubach, Kasold and Nichols will receive a well earned rest.

“Carrie is still recovering from a knee injury and it is too soon to take her on tour to Germany and Belgium,” said Bodimeade. “Keli is expecting a baby within the next month and that is the most important thing for her right now.”

Although, a second child is on the way, Smith remains committed to the National Team and training. At the five month mark, she gradually cut back on high impact running and resorted to getting her cardio on an elliptical or through walking, a workout regiment she upholds four to five days of the week.

“If you drop the stick for nine months it’s more difficult,” Smith says. “Being out there shooting on the goalie a couple times a week, playing around with the ball helped me with my first pregnancy.” 

USA is currently ranked thirteenth in the world and continues to develop their reputation as a team that can have a presence at the highest level heading into the 2012 Olympic year. USA will compete in one more test series in Chula Vista, CA against New Zealand in September before heading to Guadalajara, Mexico in October for the Pan American Games and USA’s first opportunity for Olympic qualification.

The following athletes have been named to the European Tour travel squad: Kayla Bashore (Shoemakersville, PA), Michelle Cesan (New Vernon, NJ), Lauren Crandall (Doylestown, PA), Rachel Dawson (Berlin, NJ) Katie Evans (Newtown Square, PA), Katelyn Falgowski (Ladenberg, PA), Maren Ford (Ann Arbor, MI), Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, NY), Jaclyn Kintzer (Chapel Hill, NC), Katie O’Donnell (Blue Bell, PA), Lauren Pfeiffer (Mt. Laurel, NJ), Julia Reinprecht (Perkasie, PA), Katie Reinprecht (Perkasie, PA), Paige Selenski (Shavertown, PA), Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, PA), Amy Swensen (Norfolk, VA), Shannon Taylor (La Mesa, CA), Michelle Vittese (Woodbury, NJ)

The schedule of matches is as follows. Visit for up-to-date results, video blogs and news on the Women’s National Team in Europe.

USA vs Germany in Moenchengladbach, Germany

August 4 @ 4:00pm
August 6 @ 3:00pm
August 7 @ 12:00pm

USA vs Belgium in Antwerp, Belgium

August 10 @ 4:00pm
August 11 @ 4:00pm
August 13 @ 4:00pm
August 14  @ 4:00pm