Schopman Promotes Three Athletes to USWNT Roster

May 31, 2019, 5:30 p.m. (ET)

LANCASTER, Pa. – May 31, 2019 – U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Janneke Schopman has announced the promotion of three athletes from the U.S. Women’s National Development Team to the senior team with Virginia Bramley (Elizabathtown, Pa.) Alexandra Hammel (Duxbury, Mass) and Kelly Marks (Elverson, Pa.) later this year. 

All three athletes recently were part of the U.S. Women’s National Development Team’s tour of The Netherlands in April where the team competed against Scotland’s senior squad, the Belgium U-21 team and the Stichtsche Cricket en Hockeyclub (SCHC) team. They are expected to formally join the USWNT in August.

"It’s always exciting to add talented and enthusiastic players to the team," said Schopman. "As a staff we watched the Development Team games in Europe and all three players convinced us they are ready for the next step. I’m looking forward to having them join the team!"

Bramley, a midfielder, began field hockey with the East Coast Field Hockey Club in Harrisburg, Pa. In high school she learned the importance of loving the game she played while having fun at the same time. That passion led her to Penn State where she played all four years from 2015-19. As a sophomore, Bramley earned All-Big Ten Tournament Team and MVP honors before being invited to try out for the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team. She then traveled with the team getting her first international experience in England. Bramley also played with the U-21 USWNT on their Argentina tour in 2018. In her senior season, she was called up to the U.S. Women's National Development Team.

“I feel extremely grateful and honored to have this opportunity of being named to the USWNT senior squad and being able to represent my country,” said Bramley. “I am looking forward to growing my game and playing with some of the best field hockey players in the world.”

“She is a very skillful player,” added Marc Hardy, U.S. Women’s National Development Team Head Coach. “Her performances on the recent tour to Holland were exceptional and proved she has the ability to play at the highest level. Gini is very calm on the pitch and is comfortable operating in possession in tight areas.  She has shown the ability to raise her game to whatever environment she is in and I am sure she will once again be able to do this with the USWNT.”

Hammel, a back, was introduced to field hockey by her mother, Jennifer, who played collegiately and started the Chix with Stix field hockey club before merging with HTC field hockey. Hammel followed suit, attending her first USA Field Hockey Sanctioned Event at the Disney Field Hockey Showcase, as well as multiple National Indoor Tournaments and National Club Championships. She attended Duxbury High School and The Loomis Chaffe School before moving on to Boston University in 2015. She was named first team All-American year junior and senior seasons and was also named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year. In 2016, she participated in the Young Women’s National Championship (YWNC) where she was selected for the Junior National Camp before ultimately being invited to join the U-21 USWNT. The following year she once again attended the YWNC and Junior National Camp before being selected to the U.S. Women’s National Development Team. She traveled with the team in 2018 for their tour of Chile for her first international experience.

“Hammel has been a member of the Devo Team for three years now and has grown year on year,” continued Hardy. “She is very comfortable in possession, reads the game well and works very hard. She has been a key cultural architect with the squad over that time. Her progression to the USWNT is down to her dedication to her own self-improvement and I look forward to seeing her flourish in the senior program.”

“I am so excited to be joining the [USWNT] senior squad,” commented Hammel. “I am thankful for the tremendous support and opportunities the Development Team has provided for me. It has always been a dream of mine to represent my country, and I cannot wait to begin the journey!”

Marks, a defender, picked up field hockey in middle school when her neighbor invited her to play. By her freshman year at Owen J Roberts High School, she was hooked and began playing indoor with Xcalibur FHC.  She then committed to Old Dominion University helping claim Colonial Athletic Association conference titles in 2010 and 2011 before transferring to the University of Albany. Marks then helped the Great Danes to two America East championships in 2012 and 2014, as well as a Final Four appearance her senior year.

Marks’ USA Field Hockey career began in 2011 when she was named to the U-21 USWNT. She joined the U.S. Women’s National Development Team in 2017 and has been a leader of the team and in the backfield ever since.

“Marks was worked extremely hard to improve her game in the last 12-18 months,” said Hardy. “She has developed into a commanding defender. Kelly is calm in possession and offers a genuine threat with her short corner striking. It’s great to see her efforts and sacrifices rewarded with her call up to the USWNT.”