USA Field Hockey Head Coach Craig Parnham has selected a squad with a balance of youth and experience for two upcoming Four Nations tournaments in Auckland, New Zealand April 4-21, featuring Argentina, Korea, New Zealand and the United States, displaying his commitment to develop and implement fresh talent into the senior high performance program. Parnham has included eight athletes with less than 10 caps to the U.S. roster for the tour. Five collegiate athletes, including, Caitlyn Van Sickle (University of North Carolina), Maxine Fluharty(University of Maryland), Nikki Parsley (Northwestern University), Amanda Fleischut (Drexel University) and Emma Bozek (University of North Carolina) will look to make their debut wearing red, white and blue for Team USA.
“This tour will provide us with the opportunity to look at a wider, youthful group of players in a different environment than we normally do and that is important for the future of the squad,” Parnham said. “Our development is in its infancy and we are still having a look at players and seeing what players are out there and available. We are excited about the opportunity to play some of the best teams in the world. It is not often that we get to play against Asian teams such as Korea and it will be a valuable experience for the future development of these younger players.”
Team USA is set to touch down in New Zealand next Friday, providing ample time to adjust to the 20-hour time difference before opening the first half of the tournament against Argentina on April 10. The U.S. will then take on two other top world-ranked opponents, Korea and New Zealand, on April 11 and April 13 and wrap up the first half of the tour on Sunday, April 14. The second Four Nations Tournament will commence on April 17 with the U.S. facing Korea, followed by New Zealand on April 18. Team USA will have a rest day before facing Argentina on April 20 and a “playoff” round on April 21.
“For us, this tournament is about continuing the work we have already started and developing our team, style and structure,” said Parnham. “Some tactical and technical areas will be addressed from the review of World League Round 2 in the first part of the program and as far as results go, it is about taking it game by game, understanding the opposition that we are playing, and learning as we go.”
Joining the large number of first-timers on tour will be a group of seasoned veterans including, two-time Olympians, Lauren Crandall (Doylestown, Pa.), Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.), Katelyn Falgowski (Landenberg, Pa.) and more recent staples on the U.S. Women’s Team, Melissa Gonzalez(Mohegan Lake, N.Y.), Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.C.), Torrie Albini (Escondido, Cali.), Lauren Pfeiffer (Mount Laurel, N.J.), Jackie Kintzer (Robesonia, Pa.) and Shannon Taylor (Midlothian, Va.). The tournament will be the second competition for the United States under new Head Coach Parnham.
Following the Four Nations tournament, past and present collegiate all-stars and members of the current National Squad, Junior National Squad and Development Squad will come together for the Women’s National Championship, held this year at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., May 23-29. Parnham will identify the 2013-14 U.S. Women’s National Team and the core group of players going forward at the conclusion of the selection tournament. The US will also play in the World League Semi Final in June.
The following athletes have been named to the Four Nations Tournament in New Zealand: Jackie Kintzer (Robesonia, Pa.) Alesha Widdall (Whitney Point, N.Y.), Lauren Crandall (Doylestown, Pa.), Megan Dawson (Berlin, N.J.), Meghan Beamesderfer (Iowa City, Iowa), Stefanie Fee (Virginia Beach, Va.), Caitlin Van Sickle (Wilmington, Del.) , Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.), Katelyn Falgowski (Landenberg, Pa.), Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.), Maxine Fluharty (Millsboro, Del.), Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.C.), Nikki Parsley (Milford, Del.), Amanda Fleischut (Doylestown, Pa.), Torrie Albini (Escondido, Cali.), Lauren Pfeiffer (Mt. Laurel, N.J.), Shannon Taylor (Midlothian, Va.), Emma Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.)