USFHA: The USA women's team will continue its preparations for next year's World Cup Qualifier when it takes on Canada in a six game Test series from 28 August-4 September at the USA Field Hockey National Training Center in Virginia Beach.
Head coach Lee Bodimeade will get a good look at his squad in the team's first international action since a fifth-place finish at the Rabobank Champions Challenge in July.
'I was happy with the team's development, but I believe we also let ourselves down in a few areas that could have paid good dividends if we executed properly,' said Bodimeade on his team's performance at the Champions Challenge.
'The most encouraging thing to come out of the performance was how competitive we were with such a limited preparation.'
Members of the Champions Challenge team expected to compete in the Canada series include Kate Barber, Sarah Dawson, Kelly Doton, Kristi Gannon, Kristen Holmes-Winn, Melissa Leonetti, Angie Loy, Katie O'Donnell, Dina Rizzo, Sara Silvetti, Tiffany Snow and goalkeepers Amy Tran and Barbara Weinberg.
'Playing at home was a tremendous boost,' added Bodimeade on the team's return for a second straight international competition in Virginia Beach.
'For eighty percent of our team, the Champions Challenge was their first high profile tournament, and to play it in front of your home crowd is a real thrill.
It was made more special by the way that people got in and supported their national team, I know it really lifted the whole group throughout the tournament.'
The Virginia Beach series with Canada will also provide the first home international experience for national team members Kelly Dostal, Kelsey Keeran, Claire Laubach, Diane Nelson and Angie North.
In addition to players currently on the US squad, Bodimeade will have an eye on some of the USA's top athletes from the centralised training program. National team hopefuls will be competing on the USA squad during the series in their attempts to earn spots on the team.
The group includes former U.S. under 21 team members Kayla Bashore, Alexis Martirosian and high school sophomore Katelyn Falgowski.
We still have our eyes firmly focused on the World Cup Qualifiers in Rome next year,' said Bodemeade.
'We are trying to expose players to international competition and develop these players so that we have a very strong and wide base of players to chose from for that tournament.'
The pool of prospective athletes is not without international experience however, as former US team members April Fronzoni, Tracey Larson and Keli Smith are also expected to compete in the series.
Match 1: Sunday 28 August, 16:00
Match 2: Monday 29 August, 19:00
Match 3: Wednesday 31 August, 19:00
Match 4: Thursday 1 September, 19:00
Match 5: Saturday 3 September, 16:00
Match 6: Sunday 4 September, 12:00
All games are open to the public and there is no charge for admission.
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