June 24, 2007
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (June 24, 2007) – USA Field Hockey has announced the 16-member women’s team to compete for the United States at the XV Pan American Games, July 15-29, in Rio de Janeiro. Selections to the team are subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).
The announcement of the team capped a week of play at the USA Field Hockey National Championships and also included the selection of the 2007-08 national squad.
“We selected the team we thought could bring home the (Pan Am Games) win,” said U.S. coach Lee Bodimeade on the selection of a team that combines veteran experience with the talents of some promising young players. “We’ve had a good build up with our trip to Holland, the tournament we won in Chile and the Champions Challenge in Azerbaijan. Using the National Championships to finalize some of the final spots has been great and I think we’ve put together a really good team.”
The young USA team features just five athletes with previous Pan Am Games experience. Team captain Kate Barber (West Chester, Pa.) will be appearing in her third Pan Am Games after earning silver medals with the USA in Winnipeg in 1999 and Santo Domingo in 2003. She will be joined by 2003 Pan Am teammates Carrie Lingo (Rehoboth Beach, Del.), Dina Rizzo (Walpole, Mass.), Keli Smith (Selsinsgrove, Pa.) and 2006 WorldHockey All-Star goalkeeper Amy Tran (Grantville, Pa.) who will be making their second Pan Am Games appearances.
The team also includes 2006 World Cup alumnae Kayla Bashore (Shoemakersville, Pa.), Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.), Kelly Doton (Greenfield, Mass.), Katelyn Falgowski (Landenberg, Pa.), Melissa Leonetti (Erdenheim, Pa.), Angie Loy (Loysville, Pa.), Lauren Powley (Mountaintop, Pa.) and Tiffany Snow (Escondido, Calif.) who joined Barber, Lingo, Rizzo, Smith and Tran as members of the U.S. team that placed 6th at the World Cup last October. Recent 2006 collegiate All-American’s Lauren Crandall (Doyelstown, Pa./Wake Forest), Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.C./Wake Forest) and Dana Sensenig (Denver, Pa./Old Dominion) round out the USA’s 16-member team.
The USA enters the Pan American Games as the No. 2 seed and will begin play in Pool B with Canada, Cuba and the Netherlands Antilles. Pool A features defending champion Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and host Brazil. The USA women open play on July 17 against Netherlands Antilles.
The USA women have won medals in each Pan Am Games since the women’s tournament was added to the quadrennial event in 1987. The U.S. women won silver medals in 1987, 1995, 1999 and 2003 and a bronze medal in 1991. Argentina has won all five previous women’s Pan Am Games tournaments.
The winner of the Pan Am Games earns the continent’s automatic berth in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. In addition, teams placing 2-6 in the women’s tournament will earn spots in one of three Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in early 2008. The winners of the three qualifying tournaments will earn the final three berths in the 2008 Olympic Games.
Although officially wintertime in Rio, the USA Field Hockey Pan Am Games team will be practicing Sun Safe Play in the Brazilian sunshine at the Games while promoting sun safety and the prevention of melanoma and skin cancer.
Sun Safe Play!: USA Field Hockey and the USA National Team promote healthy and sun-smart decisions through their sun safety program, Sun Safe Play. Dedicated to the memory of former field hockey coach and USA team member Maria Whitehead and in partnership with the Melanoma International Foundation, Sun Safe Play seeks to educate young athletes on the prevention and detection of melanoma and skin cancer. Whitehead died of cancer in November 2006 at the age of 25.