Nichols and Taylor Announce National Team Retirement

June 27, 2014, 10:41 a.m. (ET)

Nichols and Taylor Announce National Team Retirement
USA Field Hockey commends two National Team athletes for their tenure

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – June 27, 2014 – USA Field Hockey celebrates the careers of U.S. Women’s National Team athletes Caroline Nichols (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Shannon Taylor (Midlothian, Va.) as they announce their decision to retire from the program. 


A pivotal piece of Team USA’s backfield and a two-time Olympic Games veteran, Nichols will transition away from the squad  with a total of 165 impressive caps to her name. A solid force on penalty corners and penalty strokes, Nichols’ skillset was greatly utilized most recently at the 2014 Champions Challenge and Hockey World Cup where the United States made impressive finishes. Nichols is a 2007 Old Dominion University graduate and became part of the National Team that same year.

“Caroline has had a terrific international career having competed on the world stage,” said U.S. Head Coach Craig Parnham. “Her diligence to training is evident and Caroline’s career was capped by her final tournament at the World Cup in Holland during which she had an outstanding series of matches. Like many other players on the Women’s National Team, Caroline will have inspired many younger players to take up the game. As Caroline moves on to a new phase in her life, we wish her every success.”

Nichols extends her sincere thanks to USA Field Hockey for creating a second family and a second home during her time with the National Team by noting it has been truly amazing to work with a top-caliber coaching staff and to share the field with so many talented and dedicated teammates. “I will forever miss wearing the red, white and blue and representing my country as a player, but look forward to supporting and cheering for Team USA at every possible opportunity,” said Nichols.  

She continued on to say USA Field Hockey has helped shape the person she is today and looks forward to sharing all of the experiences she has been so lucky to have. Nichols gives her gratitude to USA Field Hockey, the dedicated fans, friends and family, Dad, Mom, Chris and Elke for their never ending support.

Following her retirement, Nichols will  be pursuing her Masters degree in Applied Physiology at Columbia University and puts on the coaching hat for the Columbia Lions. Nichols leaves fellow athletes and fans from across the country with words of positive self-discovery as she begins her next chapter. “Never forget, ‘find out who you are and do it on purpose!’”


An esteemed 2012 Olympian, the 2008 Syracuse University graduate joined the National Team in 2010. In 2011, Taylor was part of the squad that led the USA to a Pan American Cup victory in Guadalajara, Mexico. Prior to her National Team career, the standout striker collected a myriad of awards including being named as a finalist for the Honda Sports Award and her selection to the Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-American First Team. Taylor rounds out her National Team journey with a remarkable total of 111 caps. 

“It has been a great pleasure to work with Shannon over the last 18 months,” said Parnham. “Shannon has competed at the highest level and represented USA at the London Olympics in 2012. Shannon has always had a professional attitude to training and has proven a committed and highly valuable member of the women’s national squad. We all wish her the greatest success in her new career."

“I would like to say a special thank you to my family for supporting me and my journey with the National Team since day one,” said Taylor. “They have been there for me through the good times and bad and I will forever be grateful for them.”

Taylor also expressed her gratitude to her teammates stating that the team is a close knit family and she will continue to stay in touch and be their number one fan. Acknowledging the hockey community for all of their support throughout the years, Taylor says it is amazing to feel the appreciation and love for the game through the community. “It is truly a driving force for all of us players representing you in the world stage,” said Taylor.

Taylor will now be coaching for the University of Massachusetts alongside of Head Coach Carla Tagliente.

She explains that she’ll always remember her time with USA Field Hockey and cherish the memories and experiences that were made throughout her career. Being an Olympian and a Pan American Gold Medalist are times Taylor holds close to her heart and can only thank USA Field Hockey for giving her the chance to contend at the highest level of play.

USA Field Hockey would like to wish these tremendous athletes the very best going forward on their desired paths and thank them for their service to the team.