Q&A on The Netherlands Series with USWNT Head Coach Janneke Schopman

Dec. 07, 2017, 2:45 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – December 7, 2017 – With the U.S. Women’s National Team's series against FIH Hero World Ranked No. 1 The Netherlands on the horizon, the team has been hard at work since arriving back stateside from the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final in Auckland, New Zealand.

The four-game series at Stanford University is the first segment of a competitive schedule prior to the USWNT’s trip to the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup in London, England in July. USWNT Head Coach Janneke Schopman is primed to welcome the new year on a high note on the West Coast in Palo Alto, Calif. We sat down with Schopman for a little Q&A to ask how she feels about the upcoming series and for the chance to play against her home country.

USA Field Hockey: This series against The Netherlands. How big of an opportunity is this for the team in preparation for the FIH Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup?

Janneke Schopman: We are excited to play the world’s best team in our preparation for the World Cup. The Netherlands provides us with multiple challenges: our individual attack, individual defense and as a team learning how we play well against a team like this in transition and tactically staying close to our DNA.

USA Field Hockey: Talk briefly about the team’s play at the International Festival of Hockey and Hockey World League Final, particularly against The Netherlands. What stood out to you more than anything that you hope to exploit next month? 

JS: We played The Netherlands twice and if you give them space they are deadly. Their individual skill level and comfort on the ball means we have to put pressure on them as a team and attack as a team. In the Hockey World League Final, we showed that the first two quarters and my aim is to build on that and work more on our ball possession and creating more opportunities against them.

USA Field Hockey: In your mind, how much will this series factor in to finalizing the 2018 USWNT roster? 

JS: Not sure, it’s the start of the year. It will be great to see some athletes play there that missed Hockey World League Final because of injuries or college.

USA Field Hockey: Did anyone’s play during the International Festival of Hockey or Hockey World League Final make you raise your eyebrow, or stand out in your mind? 

JS: The Dutch are a very skillful team and you can’t really focus on an individual, for me their forward line is very dangerous and creative and will be a great test for our defense.

USA Field Hockey: Playing on the West Coast means a different fan base than that at Spooky Nook Sports. Does that bring some extra eagerness or emotions to the surface playing in front of an unfamiliar, but home crowd?

JS: On a personal note, I think it’s great we try to broaden our base and being able to give young players and fans the opportunity to see the U.S. Women’s National Team live. I hope that many people find their way to Stanford to see us play and support us, so we can possibly make it a returning event!

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Discounted group tickets will also be available for each game when 10 or more tickets are purchased for the same match. This is a great option for clubs, middle and high school teams, collegiate programs or any group of friends wanting to experience international field hockey competition together. Contact Glen Hollingsworth at ghollingsworth@usafieldhockey.com with any questions or to purchase tickets for your group!

Stay tuned to usafieldhockey.com for more information regarding the USWNT versus The Netherlands series. #UN1TED