With the retirement of three-time Olympians Lauren Crandall and Rachel Dawson, announced Thursday by USA Field Hockey, a huge void has been created in terms of manpower and experience.
The duo earned a combined total of 577 caps, with Dawson holding an edge with 298 international matches played to Crandall’s 279. Each won five gold medals in international competition, with Crandall earning five silver medals to Dawson’s four.
“What Rachel and Lauren have achieved with an accumulative 577 caps and becoming three-time Olympians cannot be underestimated,” said Simon Hoskins, executive director of USA Field Hockey. “They are legends within our sport and they continue to make a broader impact on the growth of field hockey and make positive impressions in the lives of many young and aspiring athletes.”
Both are products of Atlantic Coast Conference programs – Crandall from Wake Forest and Dawson from North Carolina. Among the achievements they shared as teammates are back-to-back gold medals at the Guadalajara 2011 and Toronto 2015 Pan American Games after claiming silver at the Rio 2007 Pan Ams; gold at the 2008 Olympic Qualifier Tournament in Kazan, Russia, where Dawson earned Player of the Tournament honors; gold (2014) and silver (2012) at the Champions Challenge; and a bronze medal at the 2016 Champions Trophy.
They were teammates on three Olympic teams: Beijing 2008, where they placed eighth; London 2012, finishing 12th; and, saving their best for last, a fifth-place showing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, where a valiant quarterfinal comeback against Germany came up just one goal short.
“Lauren and Rachel have been international powerhouses for an extended period of time and have given so much to the sport,” said Craig Parnham, women’s national team coach. “I think the game has allowed them to express themselves and will set both up for greatness as they move into their future careers.”
While Crandall is exploring which career path she will take, Dawson is a consultant for DE Turf, a sports complex scheduled to open next spring in Kent County, Delaware.