#SQUAD Goals: Meet Erin Matson

Sept. 27, 2016, 11:42 a.m. (ET)

USA Field Hockey will be featuring weekly spotlights of U.S. U-21 Women's National Team members selected to represent Team USA at the women's Hockey Junior World Cup 2016 (JWC).

She was a fast pitch softball pitcher for a travel squad for several years. She always has her camera ready to snap at picture, constantly looking to capture memories. Her absolute favorite place to spend downtime is the beach and she has two adorable corgis. Meet U.S. U-21 Women's National Team member Erin Matson.

Although field hockey is her true passion in life, and she dreams of playing the sport at the Olympic Games someday, Erin has not always just played field hockey. She actually started out playing softball and basketball before field hockey and continued to play both travel softball and club field hockey for several years. A small clinic at a park in Delaware first introduced her to field hockey when she was 6 years old. It was then that she fell in love with the sport and never looked back. 

Erin lived in Landenberg, Pa. (same hometown as 3x Olympian Katelyn Falgowski!) for 12 years before moving to Chadds Ford, Pa. in 2012. While growing up in Landenberg, she was only a few miles from the University of Delaware where her and her family spent any free time they had on campus and walking around Main Street. It was there that she even learned to ride a bike for the first time.

Although now Erin mainly focuses on field hockey as her primary sport, she is no different than most 16 year olds and enjoys spending time with her friends and boyfriend. Whether it is dinner in downtown West Chester, Pa. or a Friday night football game, she is always asking her parents to drive her places since she still doesn’t have her driver’s license.

A must in Erin's life is to have good memories to look back on on day, and with that comes her love for pictures. Her mom's email is always blowing up with pictures that need to be printed for a large collage on her bedroom wall. No matter the event, she will always have her camera ready to snap some photos. Just like her large picture collection, she also has a big collection of music across many different playlists. She is constantly looking for new artists and new releases to add to her collection. According to Erin, a song is ‘old’ after just a week or two, although she does have a collection of favorites that never get old.

The beach is Erin's absolute favorite place to visit when she has some down time. Even though it is difficult to squeeze in a lot of trips to the beach, her grandparents' house in Cape May, N.J. is always the go-to relaxation spot. At home, it’s rare if she isn’t playing with her dogs. She has two corgis, and yes, they’re so cute and funny-looking that you can’t help but smile at them. She loves her corgis the most, but any dog puts a smile on her face. Family dinners and movie nights at home are also things she enjoys. There’s nothing like catching up over some good food and spending time together.

Field hockey is always going to be a large part of Erin’s life with so many amazing experiences and incredible memories, but her hobbies, passions and friendships will give her lots of good memories to look back on too.

Quick Facts about Erin
Position: Midfield
Hometown: Chadds Ford, Pa.
Joined Junior High Performance: 2012
High School: Unionville High School
Club Team: WC Eagles
College: Verbally Committed to University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Major: Plans to Major in Business

International Playing Experience: 2012 U-15 China National Youth Championships (Silver Medal, WC Eagles); 2013 & 2014 U.S. Women's National Indoor Team (Germany, Canada and Argentina Tours); 2014 U-18 New Zealand Tour (WC Eagles); 2014 U.S. Women's National Indoor Team, Indoor Pan American Games (Montevideo, Uruguay, Bronze Medal); 2015 U.S. U-19 Women's National Team, Belgium Tour; 2016 U.S. U-21 Women's National Team, Women's Junior Pan American Games (Trinidad & Tobago, Silver Medal)
2014 PanAm Indoor Cup (Montevideo, Uruguay, Canada Series; 2013 Canada Series; 4 International Caps
Field Hockey Awards: 2011, 2012 & 2013 National Hockey Festival Pool Champions; 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015 Disney Showcase Flight Champions; 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016 National Indoor Tournament Champions; 2013, 2014 & 2015 National Club Championship Champions; 2014 Unionville HS Team MVP; 2014 & 2015 First Team All Ches-Mont League, 2014 & 2015 PFHCA First Team All-State; 2014 & 2015 Unionville HS Field Hockey PIAA District 1 AAA Champions, 2015 Unionville HS Team Offensive MVP; 2015 Ches-Mont League Field Hockey Player of the Year; 2015 Harrow Sports/NFHCA High School All-American First Team
Began Playing Field Hockey: 2006
Game Day Routine: Drink a full bottle of water exactly an hour before warm-up, listen to pregame music (loudly!), joke around with teammates and put uniform on in a certain order
Best Words of Advice: "Don't get distracted by what everyone thinks or what everyone else is doing. Focus on your own goals and dreams and what you personally need to do in order to achieve them."
Most Memorable Field Hockey Moment: Tournament/Competition: Scoring her shootout in the Indoor Pan American Games against Uruguay to win bronze. Off-Field: Celebrating with the Argentina and Chile U-21 Women's National Teams at the Women's Junior Pan American Games on last night in Trinidad.

Hidden Talent: Was a fast pitch pitcher, short stop and left hand hitter on travel softball team
Favorite Vacation Sports:  ANY beach
Favorite Past Times: Spending time with teammates, friends and boyfriend; movie nights and going out to dinner with family; playing with two Corgis
Favorite Pump-Up Song: In My Head (feat. Georgia Ku) by Party Favor
Parents: Brian & Jill Matson
Sibling: Sean, younger brother (14 years old)

Consider supporting the U.S U-21 Women's National Team as they prepare to wear the red, white and blue on the world stage November 23 - December 4, 2016 by donating to their  Rally U.S. to the Cup campaign. All funds raised will be used to help supply coverage of travel, meals, medical treatment and more for the U-21 USWNT. Click here to donate. 

Photo Credit: Erin Matson