Rio 2016 venue: Olympic Hockey Center (Deodoro Zone)
Competition dates: Aug. 7-20
Medal events:2 (men’s and women’s team)
Olympic introduction: 1908 (London, England)

The U.S. women’s field hockey team has had a busy schedule to help prepare for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The competitive experience and exposure playing against top-tier countries has helped the U.S. rise in the standings, and as a result, the team is now marked as a substantial, international threat on the pitch. Team USA holds a No. 5 FIH World Ranking after ending a 20-year-medal drought by taking bronze at the FIH sanctioned 2016 Champions Trophy, further displaying a tremendous shift in power in the hockey sphere. 

The U.S. women have established a veteran team featuring 10 returning Olympians from the London 2012 Olympic Games. The veterans are supported by an experienced coaching staff, led by Craig Parnham, a two-time Olympian who guided the Great Britain Women’s National Team to the bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics. Parnham is assisted by two-time Olympic medalist Janneke Schopman, who aided The Netherlands to the 2006 Women’s Hockey World Cup title and 2007 Champions Trophy title. Parnham’s staff is rounded out by Dave Hamilton, director of performance science, who has implemented various technologies and systems to give Team USA insight on opponents and the squad’s progression.

With a world-class training facility, members of the U.S. Women’s National Team are able to train year-round in a centralized training program in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. These trainings are backed behind the dynamic and knowledgeable coaching and support staff who continually find physical advantages and coaching tactics to better the team. 

Athletes To Watch
Lauren Crandall 
As the team captain, Crandall is a seasoned leader who provides a wealth of experience and remains calm under pressure. The Rio 2016 Games will mark the third Olympics for Crandall, who represented Team USA at the last two Olympic Games in 2008 and 2012.

Katelyn Falgowski
Falgowski’s resume is packed with accomplishments, highlighted by two Olympic Games appearances. She holds the screen position, directing the majority of Team USA’s play on the pitch.

Melissa Gonzalez
Gonzalez is fast, dynamic and very skilled. Armed with the ability to unlock tight defenses, she is brave and committed on the pitch, and her teammates look to her for confidence. She is one of the 10 returning 2012 Olympians for Team USA.

Kat Sharkey
As an excellent and reliable goal scorer for Team USA, Sharkey is a threat to opponents’ defensive lines in attacking half of the pitch. She will look to make her Olympic debut in Rio. 

Michelle Vittese
With her tremendous speed and stick work, Vittese excels in one-on-one situations. The 2012 Olympian is known for her dangerous offensive attack and has perfected a fierce shot.


  • Despite tremendous effort, the London 2012 Olympic Games left a sting of disappointment for the U.S. women’s field hockey team, which finished the tournament last in 12th place. The finish however, inspired a core group from the 2012 team to commit to another four years of rigorous training and a chance at redemption. Since 2012, the program as undergone several changes, including new coaching leadership, the implementation of cutting-edge technology and a cross-country move from the west to east coast. During this short duration, the team climbed two spots in the FIH World Rankings to eighth after the 2014 Rabobank World Cup, and eventually catapulted to fifth, marking a historic milestone for the program.
  • The change in high performance coaching staff brought an important and experienced advantage to the U.S. Women’s National Team. Dave Hamilton, the United States Olympic Committee’s 2014 National “Doc” Counsilman Science and Technology Award recipient, has a great understanding of sports science and technology. He has integrated his vast knowledge of physiology to effectively implement training technology and systems, including the Catapult System, which monitors an athlete in both training and competition. The system tracks individual player loads, session volume, work rate and player fatigue, and establishes trends to better make results-driven decisions. Polar heart rate technologies are also utilized to further validate player work load and effort.
  • The U.S. team trains at the Home of Hockey at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. With the availability of an all-weather dome arena, Team USA’s centralized training program doesn’t miss a beat. Trainings are driven by a veteran leadership core, which has been with the program for 10 years. Accumulating more than 700 international caps and looking to participate in their third Olympic Games, veterans Lauren Crandall, Rachel Dawson and Katelyn Falgowski will look to continue their undivided leadership and help the U.S. to the Olympic podium in Rio.