Today, USA Field Hockey and the U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach, Janneke Schopman announced the introduction of the U.S. Women’s National Developmental Squad and the names of the 16-woman squad. The squad’s purpose is to elevate the talent of athletes who have aged out of the U-21 USWNT but show great promise and have earned future consideration for the National Team.
“The Developmental Squad or Shadow National Team, as I’d like to call it, completes the pipeline for all athletes in college and therefore will make transition to the National Team easier,” said Schopman in a USA Field Hockey press release. “At the same time it provides an opportunity for players who just fall short of the senior national team to keep playing and practicing, giving them extra time to get ready for the national team. It is something that is needed as we don’t have a good system in place to play after college.”
Leading the squad is Jun Kentwell, current U.S. Women’s National Indoor Team Head Coach who is also assisting with the USWNT on skill development. Kenwell is also the Director of Coaching, WC Eagles Field Hockey Club.
Congratulations to the three athletes with Phila-area roots who were named to the U.S. Women’s National Developmental Squad: Isabella Delario (UMass, WC Eagles), Caleigh Foust (Virginia, Harriton HS, WC Eagles) and Karlie Heistand (UConn, XCalibur).
The balance of the roster includes: Abby Barker (Michigan State, Columbus, Ohio), Carly Celkos (Penn State, Berlin, N.J.), Dani Hemeon (Iowa, Gilroy, Calif.), Kellie Joyce (New Hampshire, South Pomfret, N.Y.), Natalie Konerth (American, Huntingtown, Md.), Ainsley McCallister (Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.), Emily McCoy (Boston College, Litiz, Pa.), Eryn McCoy (Boston College, Litiz, Pa.), Erin McCrudden (Louisville, Yorktown Heights, N.Y.), Megan Miller (Richmond, Palymra, Pa.), Kasey Tapman (Maryland, Annapolis, Md.), Sarah Thornhill (Wake Forest, Richmond, Va.) and Carissa Vittese (Virginia, Cherry Hill, N.J.).
In addition, Phila-area player, Sam Carlino (UMass, Unionville, WC Eagles), Mary Beth Barham (Yale, Fairfax, Va.), and Sarah Helgeson (Stanford, Landisville, Pa.) were offered a trial at the Developmental Squad’s first training camp at Duke University in March.
Between March and May, the Developmental Squad will take part in training camps, scrimmage against the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team and college teams. In June, they will compete as a team at the Young Women’s National Championship held at Spooky Nook Sports.
photos l to r / top to bottom: Kentwell, Delario, Foust, Heistand
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