USA Field Hockey NEWS Schopman Pulls Hoffm...

Schopman Pulls Hoffman Up to USWNT Program to Become Youngest Rostered Athlete

April 20, 2017, 12:04 p.m. (ET)

Images in Video Courtesy of Ned Dawson/Planet Hockey Magazine and Robert Sanders

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – April 20, 2017 – The words, “after graduation, she hopes to continue to represent the USA in field hockey…” have been part of her online college biography since she was a freshman. Now a sophomore at the University of North Carolina, Ashley Hoffman’s post-graduation goal has come true, only two years sooner than intended.

"Time and sacrifice is what it takes to reach the next level," said Hoffman. "Hours and hours of work past your peers, and many missed social events. It takes a hunger that proves to be relentless toward being the best you can be, but all of that is well worth it when you get to put on a USA jersey for the first time. To play at the senior level alongside such inspiring women, and to represent something that is so much bigger than yourself is the greatest a honor. Being arm in arm singing the national anthem on the pitch in New Zealand was surreal, and I don’t think I will ever get used to it. I feel blessed to be on the team and thank God for this amazing opportunity."

Following her performance at the Vantage Hawke’s Bay Cup, U.S. Women’s National Team’s Head Coach Janneke Schopman welcomes a well-deserving Hoffman the opportunity to join the senior squad.

“Ashley has been part of the U-21 U.S. Women’s National Team since 2014 and has shown continuous improvement in that team throughout the years,” said Schopman. “Her performance for the U-21’s at the Junior World Cup and in Chula Vista made me believe she was ready for an opportunity with the U.S. Women’s National Team in New Zealand. There, she convinced me and the rest of the staff that she is ready for the international level of competition and therefore I have added her to the squad. We will work closely together with her college to make sure that both academically and on the field she will thrive.”

Wearing the red, white and blue is somewhat of a tradition in Hoffman’s family. Her mother, Brenda, was a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team. Brenda is a Los Angeles 1984 Olympian and was part of the U.S. Olympic Field Hockey squad that won the bronze medal. Hoffman also claims her mother to be the athlete she admires the most, having coached her a majority of her life.

"My mother's success in field hockey when she was my age has always been inspiration for me," commented Hoffman. "She taught me young to be competitive and never think any goal is too big to work toward, so naturally I am just trying to be better than she was. When I first started playing, she gave me space and allowed me to develop my own passion for the game, and since then it will always be something special that we share. As I begun competing more seriously, at each new level she would always remind me that confidence is important but I can never become complacent, and that there is always someone out there that is working just as hard or harder. It is this grounding on top of her unconditional support that has truly made me into the player I am today."

Hoffman also accredits her father's unwavering support and for being her constant rock. She said, she wouldn't have been able to get where she is today without him.

A Mohnton, Pa. native, Hoffman first started playing field hockey in 2nd grade. A quick learner, Hoffman’s poised presence, knowledge of the game and solid defensive tactics became noticeable in her early childhood when she played with her high school Twin Valley and with club team, X-Calibur.

She climbed ranks through the Olympic Development Pipeline and in 2012, she landed a spot on the U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team and 2013 she was named to the U.S. U-19 Women’s National Team. A year later, she joined the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team and has been with the squad ever since.

Hoffman and the U-21 USWNT had a busy 2016, as they prepared for the Junior Women's Pan American Championship in March in Tacarigua, Trinidad & Tobago, the qualifying opportunity for the women's Hockey Junior World Cup (JWC). To prepare, the U-21 USWNT hosted Great Britain in early January and competed in two separate training camp weekends in February and early March where they scrimmaged college teams. After earning silver at the Junior Women's Pan American Championship, the team punched their ticket to the JWC. In late June, the team also competed together at the Young Women's National Championship and took gold.

At the women's Hockey Junior World Cup in Santiago, Chile, the 16 best women's junior teams came together and competed to make their mark on the international stage. Team USA finished the event in 8th place after playing some of the best junior international teams while gaining valuable competition. 

At the beginning of March, Schopman announced the 19-athlete roster that would travel to New Zealand for the Vantage Hawke’s Bay Cup and among those listed was Hoffman. On March 25, 2017 in a scrimmage against New Zealand, she earned her first international cap and career goal for the red, white and blue. She would go on to complete in another scrimmage against the Black Stick and in the remaining seven matches of the Cup.

With two years of college remaining, Hoffman will join the USWNT’s centralized training program at the Home of Hockey at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster County, Pa. when her schedule allows.

Ashley Hoffman
Hometown: Mohnton, Pa.
College: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Position: Midfielder

Previous accomplishments: Hoffman was first named to the U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team in 2012 and the U.S. U-19 Women’s National Team in 2013. In 2014, she was named to the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team and contended and won silver at the 2016 women's Junior Pan American Championship in Trinidad & Tobago and competed at the 2016 women's Junior World Cup in Santiago, Chile. On March 25, 2017 in a scrimmage against New Zealand, Hoffman earned her first international cap for the red, white and blue.

She has also accomplished a handful of accolades while at the University of North Carolina. In 2015, she was named All-South Region Second-Team and was the recipient of the team’s Ken and Cheryl Williams Rookie of the Year award. In 2016, she was named to the All-South Region First-Team, All-ACC Tournament Team and the ACC Defensive Player of the Week on October 4.

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Ashley Hoffman