It’s been a time of change for USA women’s field hockey, with the announcements of new team rosters for the 2018-19 season, key retirements, and international competition for the under 21 and development teams.
At the beginning of May, the USA national indoor team head coach, Jun Kentwell, announced the junior and senior squads for the 2018-19 teams. These teams will compete in a new four-year Pan American and World Cup cycle. Featured on the squad lists were eleven athletes from the Philadelphia area: six to the senior side and five at the junior level. Two Drexel University field hockey alumni also made the cut: Jessica Mccarthy, who graduated from the team in 2017 and Allyson Fuller, who, after graduating in 2015, is now assistant Coach with the Villanova University field hockey program.
If you’re wondering how indoor field hockey differs from outdoor, one of the main differences is that the court indoors is much smaller and surrounded by rebound boards that can be used in play. Other key rules include that the ball cannot be lifted during play, and only five players plus the goalkeeper take the court at once. For outdoor field hockey, there are 10 players plus a goalkeeper.
With the addition of these new athletes to the program came the news of the retirement of a USA field hockey great. Boasting one of the most decorated playing careers in national team history, three-time Olympian Katelyn (Falgowski) Ginolfi from Lewes, Delaware, retired from the program after competing in 261 international matches for Team USA.
After joining the USWNT in 2005 at just 15 years old, Ginolfi has been respected as one of the best in the game at the national level. As a four-year starter and two-time captain at the University of North Carolina, she was first named to an Olympic side at age 17. More recently, her experience played a key role in helping the U.S. secure the gold medal at the FIH Hockey World League Semifinals in Johannesburg. Other monumental successes in Ginolfi’s career include the squad’s fourth-place finish at the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup and fifth-place finish at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
“There were legends before me on the National Team, who paved the way, who inspired me and taught me how to conduct myself and play the game,” GiInolfi said to a writer for Team USA, talking about her experiences with the USWNT. “I can only hope that I have inspired the next generation, just as they inspired me.”
The Women’s National Development Side are currently in Santiago, Chile, competing in a four-game test series against the Chilean national team at the Club Manquehue. The U.S. side have had success in the two games they have completed so far, winning the first game 1-0 and the second 3-0.
The first competition saw a whistle-to-whistle fight with multiple opportunities for both teams May 19. The U.S. side broke the deadlock midway through the second quarter via a penalty corner opportunity in the 26th minute. Despite countless close calls for either side, and a scoring opportunity for the U.S. in the last two minutes, the game concluded with just one goal on the board.
Heading into the second match with confidence from the opening win, the National Development Squad wasted no time in establishing dominance in Round 2. Despite being tested in the opening minutes, the U.S. women were the first on the scoreboard shortly before the end of the first period, from a skillful goal in open play. The second goal came in the 28th minute, when a baseline play was deflected through the legs of the Chilean keeper. The third quarter saw messy play result in four defensive penalty corners for the U.S., but all were defended to hold the Chile offense at bay. The game was put away in the 48th minute with a well-executed penalty corner from a backhand deflection at near post.
If you’re interested in finding out more about USA Field Hockey, visit https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Field-Hockey.