Parnham Names Nation’s 16 Top Outstanding Athletes to 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Field Hockey Team

July 01, 2016, 11:56 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – July 1, 2016 – Today Craig Parnham, Head Coach of the U.S. Women’s National Field Hockey Team, spotlighted the nation’s finest talent with the announcement of the 16-player roster for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. With unparalleled heart, hustle and American pride Team USA looks to make a statement in Brazil by showing the global hockey scene and elite sporting world their true intentions, a podium finish.

“Selection for the Olympic team has been an ongoing process for many months, evaluation and monitoring are very much part of the program,” said Parnham. “The whole squad has committed so much to the program over the past years, for those selected it is a great moment in their hockey careers.”

Since Parnham’s induction into the USA Field Hockey program in January 2013, a shift in team culture and performance has heightened the team’s overall profile as one of powerhouses in hockey. 

Despite tremendous effort, the London 2012 Olympic Games left a sting of disappointment for the U.S. Olympic Women’s Field Hockey Team, which finished the tournament in 12th place. Landing last, however, inspired a core group from the 2012 team to commit to another 4 years of rigorous training and a chance at redemption. Since 2012, the program has undergone several changes, including new coaching staff 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 from 10th in FIH World Rankings to 8th after the 2014 Rabobank World Cup, and eventually catapulted to fifth, marking a historic milestone for the program; their current placement. Other noteworthy accomplishments include 2014 Champions Challenge gold medal finish, winning a gold medal and Olympic qualification at the 2015 Pan American Games and just last weekend securing a bronze medal at the women’s Hockey Champions Trophy 2016 event in London.

Heading into the Olympic Games competition with a roster that includes nine returning Olympians, U.S. is in a challenging pool made up of No. 2 Argentina, No. 3 Australia, No. 7 Great Britain, No. 10 Japan and No. 13 India. The U.S. will open Pool B play at the Olympic Games with a face-off against Argentina on Sunday, August 6. The U.S. will continue pool play and close the preliminary round with Great Britain on Saturday, August 13. The women’s first semifinal will take place on Wednesday, August 17. The gold-medal round commences on Friday, August 19. More details regarding the team’s event schedule can be found by clicking here.

“It’s an exciting match schedule, opening against our continental neighbors will be a great way to get started,” said Parnham. “The second game against Australia will see us play our only morning game, following this the rest of the pool games will be all evening games. Our approach to the tournament will be to adopt a game-to-game focus and not get concerned about looking too far ahead. The team has made some significant gains in terms of consistency over the past couple of years and we look forward to being able to produce some strong performances in Rio.”

The team will depart for Rio on Friday, July 29. 

The U.S. will begin their final preparation for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the Rio Send-Off Series against India and Canada, at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster County, Pa. Tickets are still available to the public and can be purchased on usafieldhockey.com. 

All nominations to the U.S. Olympic Team are subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee board of directors.

2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Field Hockey Team:

Goalkeeper: 
Jackie Briggs (Robesonia, Pa.)

Defenders: 
Lauren Crandall (2008, 2012 Olympian // Doylestown, Pa.)
Stefanie Fee (Virginia Beach, Va.)
Julia Reinprecht (2012 Olympian // Perkasie, Pa.)
Rachel Dawson (2008, 2012 Olympian // Berlin, N.J.)
Alyssa Manley (Lititz, Pa.)
Caitlin Van Sickle (Wilmington, Del.)

Midfielders: 
Katelyn Falgowski (2008, 2012 Olympian // Landenberg, Pa.)
Melissa Gonzalez (2012 Olympian // Mohegan, N.Y.)
Katie Reinprecht (2012 Olympian // Perkasie, Pa.)
Michelle Vittese (2012 Olympian // Cherry Hill, N.J.)

Strikers: 
Michelle Kasold (2012 Olympian // Chapel Hill, N.C.)
Katie Bam (2012 Olympian // Blue Bell, Pa.)
Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.)
Kat Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.)
Kelsey Kolojejchick (Larksville, Pa.)

Alternates: 
Paige Selenski (2012 Olympian // Shavertown, Pa.) 
Alesha Widdall (Whitney Point, N.Y.)

Follow @USAFieldHockey on Twitter and visit usafieldhockey.com for live updates, match reports and off-field moments with Team USA as they continue Chasing The Dream. #UN1TED