COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - January 23, 2017 - In November 2016, USA Field Hockey along with U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach, Janneke Schopman, announced the introduction of the U.S. Women's National Development Squad. To account for the transitional phase from the U.S. U-21 Women's National Team to the senior USWNT, the squad’s purpose is to nurture the talent of college students who no longer are permitted to be on the U-21 USWNT due to age restrictions but show great promise in hockey. After much evaluation at the 2017 U.S. Women’s National Team Trial which was held Sunday, January 15 to Tuesday, January 17, Schopman and her staff are pleased to announce 16-athletes to the Development Squad.
“The Development Squad or Shadow National Team, as I’d like to call it, completes the pipeline for all athletes in college and therefore will make transition to the National Team easier,” said Schopman. “At the same time it provides an opportunity for players who just fall short of the senior national team to keep playing and practicing, giving them extra time to get ready for the national team. It is something that is needed as we don’t have a good system in place to play after college.”
Congratulations to the following athletes selected to the 2017 U.S. Women's National Development Squad:
Abby Barker (Michigan State, Columbus, Ohio), Carly Celkos (Penn State, Berlin, N.J.), Isabella Delario (UMass, Rehoboth Beach, Del.), Caleigh Foust (Virginia, Bryn Mawr, Pa.), Karlie Heistand (UConn, Hamburg, Pa.), Dani Hemeon (Iowa, Gilroy, Calif.), Kellie Joyce (New Hampshire, South Pomfret, V.T.), Natalie Konerth (American, Huntingtown, Md.), Ainsley McCallister (Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.), Emily McCoy (Boston College, Litiz, Pa.), Eryn McCoy (Boston College, Litiz, Pa.), Erin McCrudden (Louisville, Yorktown Heights, N.Y.), Megan Miller (Richmond, Palymra, Pa.), Kasey Tapman (Maryland, Annapolis, Md.), Sarah Thornhill (Wake Forest, Richmond, Va.), Carissa Vittese (Virginia, Cherry Hill, N.J.)
In addition to the players selected above, three athletes will be offered a trial at the Development Squad's first training camp which will take place at Duke University in Durham, N.C. from Friday, March 17 to Sunday, March 19. Those three athletes are Mary Beth Barham (Yale, Fairfax, Va.), Sam Carlino (UMass, Kennett Square, Pa.) and Sarah Helgeson (Stanford, Landisville, Pa.).
Leading this squad of 16 will be Jun Kentwell, current U.S. Women's National Indoor Team Head Coach who is also assisting with the USWNT on skill development.
The Development Squad will be attending several training camps throughout the year between March and May, where they will train and scrimmage against the U.S. U-21 Women's National Team and college teams. In June, they will compete as a team at the Young Women's National Championship held at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster County, Pa.
Click here to view the 2017 U.S. Women's National Team Olympic Development Pipeline to better understand the implementation of the U.S. Women's National Development Squad. For more updates on the U.S. Women's National Development Squad, visit usafieldhockey.com.