For Lafayette alumnus Amanda Magadan ,and the US National Field Hockey Team, the quest for Olympic glory begins today in a stadium in Lima Peru. The opening ceremony is over for the Pan Am games and the US team gets down to work, defending their previous gold medal. Another Pan Am gold in 2019 punches their ticket to the Tokyo Olympic games. This young hard working team has been reconfigured by Janneke Schopmann and has spent the past year sharpening their skills in the World Professional field hockey league where they played with the best. Amanda, in the past several years has earned over 69 caps in her time on the Junior and Senior squads. She is one of the final 16 established athletes selected for this effort.
The games will run through early August. The team currently ranked 13 in the world and is assigned to Pool B which includes Mexico, Chile, and host country Peru. Pool A includes the ever dangerous Argentina who is currently ranked number 3. So a repeat championship game with Argentina looks likely. However Coach Schopman cautions that Canada and Chile, in particular, have made great strides in recent months. We all know the game, and the ball can take funny bounces, but the team seems ready!!
Today the team will kick of off play at 3pm against Mexico. Mexico is currently ranked 30th in the world and finished 6th in a recent tournament in Japan. The last time the two met it ended in a 6-0 win for the US, with team captain Kathleen Sharkey scoring a hat trick in the process.
Don’t think for a moment that the team is taking this game for granted. Unfortunately this game will not be live streamed but I will try to cover the result, and action in a timely manner. Hopefully the semi-final and final will be telecast on ESPN 2.
Meanwhile, the Lafayette Field Hockey team begins a quest of their own in several weeks.with their first scrimmage set in a mere three weeks.