COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Craig Parnham today announced the 18-player roster that will travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the International Hockey Federation’s World League Round 2 tournament, March 4-10. Among the group of selected players are nine 2012 U.S. Olympians, including, Lauren Crandall (Doylestown, Pa.), Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.), Katelyn Falgowski (Landenberg, Pa.), Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.), Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.C.), Claire Laubach (Centreville, Va.), Katie O’Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa.), Julia Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) and sister Katie Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.).
Parnham, who was appointed head coach of the U.S. Women’s Field Hockey Team in January, will be coaching in his first tournament with Team USA. Over the last several weeks, Parnham reviewed and evaluated the majority of athletes in the national program at two training camps held at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Cali. and the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. The training camp on the east coast, held late last week, afforded players with college commitments the opportunity to meet and train under Parnham prior to selection.
“I made a deliberate and conscious effort to see all the players in the program, and now that process is complete, I believe we have selected the right squad to represent the U.S. at World League Round 2,” said Parnham.
As the No. 10 ranked team in the world, the U.S. received an automatic entry into World League Round 2. The top two teams from World League Round 2 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will automatically advance to World League Round 3 and become one step closer to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
The six team round robin tournament features No. 18 Chile, No. 19 Scotland, No. 27 Trinidad & Tobago, No. 50 Uruguay and No. 55 Brazil. As the top ranked team, the U.S. could consider themselves positioned as favorites to advance to World League 3. However, Parnham is aware that in a tournament environment nothing is guaranteed and that performance will need to precede results. Team USA will face host nation Brazil in the opening match on March 4, followed by Uruguay. Next up the U.S. will face Scotland and Chile before closing out the tournament against Trinidad and Tobago on March 10.
“Brazil is a little bit of an unknown to us, but they have recently invested in coaching to position themselves for Olympic participation in 2016,” Parnham said. “Uruguay has had good results and close matches against Argentina in recent months which would suggest their playing style allows them to compete with some of the best teams in the world. Trinidad and Tobago have some talented players and Chile and Scotland are both experienced teams who will come in to the tournament with a good amount of preparation. Each team will provide challenges in different areas.”
Two athletes, Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.) and Emily Wold (Freehold, N.J.), will look to earn their first cap with the national team, while two-time Olympian and national team veteran, Dawson, hopes to record her 200th cap, a milestone achieved by only a handful of U.S. field hockey athletes.
The goal is to qualify for the next stage of the World League tournament – Round 3 to be held in June 2013. Team USA’s world ranking would suggest advancement to World League Round 3, however, Parnham, in his infancy with Team USA, recognizes there will be kinks to work out and challenges to overcome.
“It would be a nice start for us to get up and running quickly and come away from Brazil having had a successful tournament and qualified for the next stage. However, should it not work out, there will be other opportunities for us to qualify for the World Cup,” Parnham said.
For more information on USA's participation in World League Round 2, including schedule, results, news and more, visit the World League Round 2 event page on usafieldhockey.com. Join the conversation @USAFieldHockey #World_League2.
U.S. Women’s World League Round 2 roster: Torrie Albini (Escondido, Cali.), Megan Beamesderfer, Lauren Crandall (Doylestown, Pa.), Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.), Katelyn Falgowski (Landenberg, Pa.), Stefanie Fee (Virginia Beach, Va.), Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.), Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.C.), Jackie Kintzer (Robesonia, Pa.), Kelsey Kolojejchick (Larksville, Pa.), Claire Laubach (Centreville, Va.), Katie O’Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa.), Lauren Pfeiffer (Mt. Laurel, N.J.), Julia Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.), Katie Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.), Alesha Widdal (Whitney Point, N.Y.), Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.), Emily Wold (Freehold, N.J.)
USFHA media release
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