The biggest number to me during the last two games was the average number of caps….US 35 vs 110 for India.
After winning a hard fought game against China on Sunday, hopes were high about FIH games Tuesday and Wednesday against India. It was the India match last year that knocked out the US Team from contention for the World Cup. The high scoring two day affair, last fall, saw the US fail to qualify by one goal. Ironically, Janneke Schopmann the then US Coach is now the Indian coach.
This week’s contests saw a reconstituted US Squad depleted by retirements and in a rebuilding mode. The Indian squad will move on to the World Cup and the US will return home after a weekend match with Belgium to continue reworking and improving the squad.
Experience is a key factor in international hockey and as of last week Captain Amanda Magadan was the only player with over 100 caps. That is to say this team is not without spirit and talent. But after 3 years of pandemic and an NCAA structure that inhibited new, talented players to make a commitment to the National team, the opportunities for young women are finally becoming available.
The NCAA made it possible for college players to extend their careers an extra year and delayed a normal transition the national team. Many players decided decided to retire as well, adding to the task of rebuilding. USA Field Hockey has realized the need for retention and recently moved to increase incentives to stay.
Patriot League now has three players on the team…Amanda. Ally Hammel from BU, and Natalie Konerth from American.
Soon the cycle will begin again, after the World Cup games, competition begins for the Paris Olympics. For Lafayette fans Audrey Sawers is a member of the Canadian National Team who will play in the World Cup next week.
Meanwhile at Lafayette, camp and clinics will be in full swing in July getting ready for August preseason. The first preseason game is August 17 against Monmouth!!