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News for 25 May 2017

All the news for Thursday 25 May 2017

Ireland V USA

Ireland played World Ranked No 6 USA in the first of their three match series In Spooky Nook in Lancaster this evening.  Ireland had the first opportunity of the game when a PS was awarded after a foul on Evans but Matthews hit the post.  Ireland took the lead in the 9m from PC rebound Emily Beatty was on hand to scoop over the keeper for a fine finish. USA equalised from PS duly dispatched by Vitesse in the 17m and went into lead minutes later, following strike by Gonzalez, which was deflected to the net by WItmer. Ireland were unlucky not to equalise before the end of the quarter after good work by O Flanagan saw Evans attempt cleared off the line by US defender Van Sickle.

The 3rd quarter was scoreless with Irish keeper Mcferran called into action to make a series of fine saves to keep Ireland in the game. In the final quarter Ireland had two great chance to reduce the lead the first was a crash call into the circle by Wilson which Russell got her stick but it went over the cross bar and the second fell to Mullan. USA extended their lead in the 53m from PC strike converted by Julia Young. Ireland finished the game with a penalty corner on the hooter after Duke was fouled but Tice strike was cleared.

After the game Irish Coach Shaw said "We are pleased with our performance but disappointed with the result. We played very well in phases and created many good goal scoring opportunities. We must concentrate in turning these chances into goals and defend our 25 and circle better.  USA were just better in the circle.  We are really looking forward to the challenge in the next game"

The sides will meet again at 11.30pm (Irish time) on Friday 26th May at the Nook as both teams continue their preparation for World League 3 in Johannesburg in July

USA 3 (Vitesse, Wilmer, Young) Ireland 1 (Beatty)

Ireland: Starting XI A McFerran, K Mullan, S McCay, L Tice, G. PInder, S. Loughran,R. Upton, N. Daly, H Matthews, E Russell, A O Flanagan Subs: Y O Byrne, N. Evans, E Beatty, C Watkins, Z Wilson, D Duke

Irish Hockey Association media release

Olympic champions face new challenges

Argentina will look to build on their Rio success in London Photo: FIH/Getty Images

The head coaches of Argentina men and England women face a welcome dilemma going into the Hockey World League Semi-Finals. Both Carlos Retegui (Argentina) and Danny Kerry (Great Britain/England) are gold medal winning coaches who won at the Rio 2016 Olympics, but how do they set about motivating a group of players who have won recently on the biggest stage of all?

We caught up with Danny Kerry who led Great Britain women to gold and now takes England women to the Hockey World League Semi-Finals in Johannesburg in July.

“The first thing is that the Olympic win is all in the past,. It was all a long time ago now and we can’t spend time looking back. Everyone else might want to talk about it but we want to talk about the future.”

Kerry is also reluctant to view his side as the second best team in the world – which is where England/Great Britain currently sit in the FIH Hero World Rankings. “There are other teams that are better than us right now. We have a number of people with gold medals around their necks but we also have a lot of new members in the squad and it will be about a year before they are where they need to be in order to challenge for medals.”

For Kerry, one of the teams that are looking strong at the moment is Germany. “The German team has a lot of players who have been in the squad for a long time now and have continued on from Rio. They have a lot of experienced players, so they will be strong going into the Semi-Finals.”

For both England and Argentina, the important factor is to build upon the momentum that success can bring.

Argentina has been building a winning mentality since the 2014 Hockey World Cup. At that event, they arrived in The Hague ranked 11th in the world. Over the course of the event, the team beat Germany, New Zealand and Korea to reach the semi-finals. They emerged with an unexpected bronze, after beating England. The interceding three years have seen Los Leones rise up the rankings, following a win at the Pan-Am Games and good performances at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals and Finals in 2015.

By the time Rio 2016 came around, players such as Gonzalo Peillat, Joaquin Menini and Juan Gilardi were fully-matured internationals with experience of winning. They come to London with a squad that is a great combination of experience and new faces, eager to press home their world number one status and gain automatic qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

For Kerry too, the momentum created by winning can help speed the transition period for new squad members: “We are able to use the experience of 12 years of doing this, and by understanding how you get athletes to where they need to be means we can accelerate the athletes’ journey and get them to where they need to be in a short space of time.”

There are also new coaching staff to be integrated into the team, and Kerry is pleased that his staff team contains a mixture of experience and new ideas. “We have fresh blood, we have experience and, much like the athletes, that means we hit the new cycle up and running. When we started the London 2012 cycle after Beijing 2008, we were starting from a very different place and that journey took a lot longer as a result.”

While Argentina men will be looking for the dual prize of a place at the Hockey World League Finals later this year as well as qualification for the Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup, Bhubaneswar 2018, England women have an automatic spot at the World Cup as hosts.

For Kerry, the target in Johannesburg is a place at the Hockey World League Finals, because this will give his new look side a great opportunity to experience top level competition in a major event.

Argentina men will be competing in London from 15-25 June. England women will be competing in Johannesburg from 8-23 July.

FIH site

130 Teams to Compete at the 46th California Cup International Field Hockey Tournament on Memorial Day Weekend in Moorpark

By Jawwad Qamar

The 2017 California Cup International Hockey Tournament begins on Friday morning with the start of competition in the super divisions at Moorpark College where both men and women will be competing for the winner take all $7,500 prize.

130 teams from six nations will participate at the 2016 California Cup International Field Hockey Tournament starting on May 26th, at Moorpark College. The 46th edition of one of the oldest and largest field hockey tournaments in the world, more popularly known as the Cal Cup, will feature teams from Argentina, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Taiwan and the USA, consisting of over 2,200 athletes competing in 14 divisions ranging from Mixed Under-8 to Men/Women Super Divisions. Competition will take place at Moorpark College, Arroyo Vista Community Park, and Moorpark High School from May 26 through May 29.

This year the Cal Cup gets a big boost by the appearance of a number of players from down under. Notably among them are the Australian great Jamie Dwyer and Gemma McCaw of the Black Sticks. Dwyer will be making his Cal Cup debut playing for the JDH Montauk Sharks on Friday at 5pm while McCaw will help women’s defending champions Jolie Pitts start the tournament at 8am.

Cal Cup is the premier field hockey tournament held annually in the United States under the auspices of the Field Hockey Federation and California Cup Organizing Committee.

In addition to $7,500 top prize in each Super Division, all players in the top three teams of each division will receive Gold, Silver, or Bronze medals.

For schedule and directions to the venues, please visit www.calcup.com.

Fieldhockey.com Exclusive

Gemma McCaw arrives in Los Angeles to play in California Cup hockey tournament


New Zealand's Gemma McCaw hasn't played international hockey since the Rio Olympics. PHOTOSPORT

Former Black Stick Gemma McCaw has swapped the cold Christchurch autumn for the sunshine of California.

The three times Olympian has arrived in LA for the California Cup, an invitational hockey tournament filled with super stars such as former Australian captain five-time world player of the year Jamie Dwyer.

McCaw posted an instagram on Tuesday saying "Beautiful evening here in LA ⯑ Looking forward to playing in the Cal Cup this Friday #california."

New Zealand's Gemma McCaw makes a break against Great Britain in the Olympic semifinal last year. John Cowpland

The two-day tournament begins on Friday and will also feature Black Sticks Krystal Forgesson, Charlotte Harrison and men's Black Stick Steve Edwards.

McCaw hasn't played international hockey since last year's Olympic Games campaign when the team came up short of bronze, losing to Germany in the third and fourth playoff in Rio de Janeiro.

However, she was looking at returning to international hockey for the Hockey World Cup and Commonwealth Games in 2018.

McCaw has been playing club hockey for Carlton Redcliffs in the Christchurch competition this season and will later play in the National Hockey League.

During her Black Sticks career McCaw has won silver and bronze medals at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games medal, a 2011 Champions Trophy bronze and a 2009 Champions Challenge gold.


UWHA lifts 5th Chief Minister Gold Cup

United Women Hockey Academy defeated Punjab Whites 2-0 in the final of the 5th Chief Minister Women Gold Cup Hockey Tournament  at the National Hockey Stadium, Lahore.

Punjab Minister for Sports & Youth Affairs, Jahangir Khanzada was the chief guest. He was received by the Secretary General PHF, Shahbaz Ahmad.

It was an interesting duel and the UWHA avenged their only loss in the league phase against the Punjab Whites; interestingly by the similar scoreline.

UWHA were quick off the blocks and forced two penalty corners in the first 10 minutes. Aqeela Nasim converted the second with a carpet shot.

The advantage was doubled in the 19th minute through Afsheen Naureen.

After the double jolt, the Punjab Whites who had won all the six matches in the league without conceding a goal, recovered well. They dominated for large periods earning as many as 10 penalty corners without availing any.

Some of the PCs were poorly executed and a few were well defended by the UWHA defence.

UWHA, who were good on turn overs, also had a few chances in the open play but failed to add to the tally.

Earlier in the third position match, Islamabad sprang a surprise.

The capital side had finished fourth in the league. But today they defeated the 3rd placed Punjab Colours 3-0.

It is worth mentioning that Punjab Colours had beaten Islamabad 1-0 during the league phase.

Saba, Saira Cheema and Sahil Malik were the scorers.

Individual Awards:
Best Player: Maira Sabir (UWHA) and Hamra Latif (Punjab Whites) were named joint winners
Top Scorer: Ishrat Abbas (Punjab Whites)
Best Goal Keeper: Saba (UWHA)
Best Defender: Kalsoom Munir (UWHA)
Best Forward: Amna Ghaffar (Punjab Whites)
Best Emerging Player: Aqsa Idrees Mughal (Sindh)
Most Promising Young Player: Rukhsar (Balochistan)

Sports Minister Jahangir Khanzada distributed prizes and assured PHF of government's full support in regaining Pakistan's lost glory in hockey.

PHF Media release

Hundred not out for Lillian

One of the most experienced players included in the South African National Women’s Hockey team is Lillian Du Plessis, who earlier this year played her 100th match for her country.

When and against who did you make your debut?

I made my debut in 2012 in Ireland against Ireland at the Champions Challenge tournament.

Name three highlights from your career:

I have so many highlights from my five years in the national team but if I had to choose my top 3 they would be: Finishing in the Top 8 at the u21 World Cup in Germany in 2013; Going to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014; Going to World Cup in The Hague.

Did you ever expected to reach 100 games?

It’s been a rollercoaster ride. There have been so many highs and lows along the way, the highs definitely outweighing the lows. If I had been asked after my first cap if I would ever expect to reach 100 games, I probably would have said no but I'm so honoured and overwhelmed to have reached this milestone and I hope to continue on as far as my body will let me.

What are you still looking forward to as a player?

There is so much to look forward to and the hockey calendar for the next two years looks extremely exciting, I hope to be a part of all the events such as World League Round 3 in Johannesburg (my home town) in July and also the World Cup and Commonwealth Games tournaments next year. I just want to keep getting better as a player to a point where I can say I have reached the goals that I have aspired to reach.

Can you describe the pride/emotion you feel when playing for your country?

I love playing for my country. Singing the national anthem and standing next to my teammates is an emotion that is difficult to describe. I feel proud and excited every time I step on the field whether it is in training or a national match. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that I’m living my dream.

SA Hockey Association media release

Evans back with national men’s team

After more than 10 years former national player Steve Evans is back with the South African national men’s hockey team as part of the management.

SA Hockey sat down and asked the legend a few questions.

When was your last game for South Africa?

I retired after the Athens Olympics in 2004 having been involved in the squad since 1994. My first match was in 1996 and I played 96 games for SA.

When was your last involvement with the national setup before the 2017 Summer Series?

I haven't been involved in the National Set-up subsequent to my retirement, so is fantastic to be able to add value and share my experiences of competing internationally, and having spent five years living abroad and playing in various leagues and competitions in Australia, England, Germany and Egypt. 

What is your current role?

I've been appointed as an assistant coach and have been tasked by Fabian Gregory (head coach) to focus on developing our defensive connections and understanding of various defensive structures, and in particular giving real time input during matches. This is of course not in isolation, and I’m working closely with Jason Mulder and Cheslin Gie who are also focused on various specific aspects of the teams play.

What are your impressions thus far of the team's performances?

We have made significant progress as a unit, understanding what we are trying to achieve offensively and defensively in terms of developing a game style that best suits us as South Africans, rather than trying to play like another (aspirational) country. 

What about South African hockey makes you excited for the future?

With out doubt, the appointment of a commercial entity to help SA Hockey package and sell sponsorships, and the introduction of government support for the launch of the Premier Hockey League has given us as South African hockey players and fans a future vision to 2022 Commonwealth Games that is both exciting and compelling! I look forward to adding value in whichever small way that I can to help our players and aspiring future superstars achieve their dreams of competing internationally, and for SA Hockey to reclaim its ranking within the Top 10 nations in the world.

SA Hockey Association media release

Great Britain and England's men announce landmark captaincy structure

Pinner, Roper and Sloan

Great Britain and England Hockey have today announced a new captaincy structure for the men’s international teams, naming a three-man captaincy group of George Pinner, Phil Roper and Ian Sloan.

With all-time leading cap holder Barry Middleton making the personal decision to step aside from captaincy after the best part of a decade at the helm, Pinner, Roper and Sloan were voted in by their fellow internationals.

Head Coach Bobby Crutchley is evolving the performance environment with a completely revised leadership and captaincy structure, and there was a strong desire across the players and staff to have greater levels of player accountability, responsibility and shared ownership. As a result, Crutchley and the player group decided to name three captains instead of one.

The new structure has already been successful when put in place for the Sultan Azlan Shah Trophy in Malaysia, when Crutchley’s GB team became the first British side to win the trophy in 23 years, defeating Australia in the final.

With the Men’s Hockey World League Semi Final in London next month, the England squad’s first challenge is a significant one - to qualify for the World Cup. The tournament from 15 to 25 June takes place at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, and features England, Scotland, Olympic champions Argentina, Holland, India & Pakistan to name a few. World Cup qualification is a key goal and the athletes will be looking to perform at their best in front of London crowds.

Head Coach Bobby Crutchley said, “We have named a captaincy group that represents the shared responsibility, accountability and ownership of the full squad. These three players were voted in as a result of their different qualities and have the full backing of the squad, the staff and myself. Irrespective of the captaincy group, we share common goals and accountability, and everyone will play their part.

“I would like to wish George, Phil and Ian the very best of luck and of course I would also like to thank Barry Middleton for his leadership and captaincy over the years. We are very fortunate to have him with us as one of the best players in the world, and I know his leadership qualities will be as prevalent as ever.”

Performance Director Ed Barney added, “We are constantly looking to evolve, and with more than 30 players in our central programme, we believe there is huge value in thinking creatively about how we maximise the strengths that lie within the squad. The concept of a single figurehead who takes responsibility for everything is hugely dated in this day and age – this revised model will allow us to maximise and leverage the shared strengths across the squad.

“This structure will see us through the rest of our major events in 2017 and we will look to keep evolving it beyond then. It underpins what we are trying to achieve as a squad, and the culture we are looking to engender. So far in 2017 England have performed well in South Africa, and Great Britain were successful in Malaysia, so there are positive signs and we now look to build upon those.”

Goalkeeper Pinner hails from Ipswich, and has 118 caps to his name for both England and Great Britain. He was a reserve for the 2012 Olympic games in London, and then played in every fixture in last year’s Rio games. The 30-year-old Holcombe player has four senior medals to his name, including bronze in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Chester-born Roper, 25, is widely regarded as one of England and GB’s most skilful players, and he has 59 caps to his name, with 12 goals. He helped Wimbledon to national league titles in both 2015 and 2016, and has played for England in both World League Finals and Commonwealth Games, winning bronze in Glasgow in 2014.

At 23, Sloan is the youngest of the group but has great experience for his age. A native of Northern Ireland, he is part of a huge hockey family, with his mother and father both playing for Ireland. He was the youngest player in the GB squad in Rio, and he has three goals for the nation from his 36 caps. Has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the sport, and has played in the World League Final, Champions Trophy as well as Olympic Games.

Pinner, Roper and Sloan are now aiming to be a key part of the England squad that takes part in the Hockey World League Semi Final in London from 15 to 25 June at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. World Cup qualification is at stake, and with England & Scotland both taking on some of the world’s best teams, it’s certain to be another memorable event at the home of hockey.

England Hockey Board Media release

Slough Hockey hosting European junior tournament

Following the 2016 Junior tour to the Netherlands, Slough Hockey Club will play host to junior teams from across Europe.

Netherlands clubs, HV Weert, HVZ Zevenaar and MHC Westerduiven and German club, MTV Celle will be playing. This exciting tournament is the final event of the year for the junior academy, ending a very of a successful season for Slough Hockey club.

The junior academy at SHC has developed over the last few years into one of the best in the area and are keen to expand further. The chance for junior members to play with teams from two of the most prominent countries in the Hockey world, will allow them to experience different styles of Hockey, encourage and motivate them to develop their skills and most importantly have the chance to make some lifelong international friends!

The tournament will take place at Slough Hockey Club and a second pitch at Eton with food stalls and entertainment available throughout the weekend. Matches will start at 9:00am on Saturday 3rd June and will end 3:30pm on Sunday 4th June.

We want to wish the Slough juniors the best of luck for the tournament! 

England Hockey Board Media release

Hockey national camp for junior men, women begins in Bengaluru

NEW DELHI: Based on their performances in the recently-concluded national championships, Hockey India (HI) has named 53 men and 37 women for the national camp for junior players.

The recently-concluded 7th Junior National hockey championships (men and women) witnessed some outstanding performances and on the basis of that HI picked the players for the camp, which commenced today at SAI, Bengaluru.

During the five-week long camp, which will focus on basics, strength & conditioning and team building activities, HI will further prune down the list to form a core group of players who can represent the country in the junior category at the upcoming international tournaments.

With their vision set on the 2020 Junior World Cup (men and women), HI vies to create a strong pool of players for the prestigious event where the Junior men's team will defend the coveted title.

"After overwhelming performances by players from across various states in the country, Hockey India's selection committee has named the probables who would be further pruned down to form a core group of 33 junior men and women players respectively," said Md. Mushtaque Ahmad, Secretary General, Hockey India.

Core Group Probables (Junior Men):

Goalkeepers: Pankaj Kumar Rajak (Steel Plant Sports Board), Kamalbir Singh (Hockey Punjab), Tanuj Gulia (Hockey Haryana), Prashant Kumar Chauhan (Uttar Pradesh Hockey), Karanjot Singh Mann (Hockey Rajasthan), AS. Sentamizh Arasu (Services Sports Control Board).

Defenders: Suman Beck (Hockey Odisha), Harmanjit Singh (Hockey Punjab), Manish Sharma (Sports Authority of India), Mandeep Mor (Hockey Haryana), Mohd. Faraz (Uttar Pradesh Hockey), Kishore Arya (Hockey Delhi), Mandeep (Hockey Chandigarh), Harshdeep Kapoor (Hockey Bhopal), Rahul Shinde (Hockey Maharashtra), Prince (Punjab & Sind Bank), Mohammad Tanveer (Assam Hockey), Pratap Lakra (Hockey Gangpur-Odisha).

Midfielders: Innocent Munda (Steel Plant Sports Board), Varinder Singh (Hockey Punjab), Sunny Malik (Hockey Haryana), Vishal Antil (Hockey Haryana), Yashdeep Siwach (Hockey Haryana), Vishal Singh (Uttar Pradesh Hockey), Vivek Sagar Prasad (Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy), Akshay Avasthi (Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy), Sukhjeet Singh (Hockey Chandigarh), Rabichandra Singh (Manipur Hockey), Harish Mutagar (Hockey Karnataka), Lokesh Bora (Hockey Uttarakhand), Dinachandra Singh (Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy).

Forwards: Shilanand Lakra (Steel Plant Sports Board), Rajat Minz (Steel Plant Sports Board), Jai Prakash Patel (Steel Plant Sports Board), Dilpreet Singh (Hockey Punjab), Mohd. Saif Khan (Sports Authority of India), Roshan Kumar ( Sports Authority of India), Abhishek (Hockey Haryana), Iktidar Ishrat (Uttar Pradesh Hockey), Shivam Anand (Uttar Pradesh Hockey), Rahul Kumar Rajbhar (Uttar Pradesh Hockey), Rajendra M (Hockey Karnataka), Mohd Alishan (Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy), Sanjay (Hockey Chandigarh), Maninder Singh (Hockey Chandigarh), K. Ibungo Singh (Manipur Hockey), T. Kiron Kumar Singh (Manipur Hockey), Venkatesh Kenche (Hockey Maharashtra), Rahul (Services Sports Control Board), Anand Kumar Bara (Hockey Bihar), Gurshahzad Singh (Hockey Patiala), Ranjit Chand Bhawani (Telangana Hockey), Ramandeep Singh (Hockey Jammu & Kashmir).

Junior Women:

Goalkeepers: Khushboo (Hockey Bhopal), Varjinder Kaur (Hockey Him), Bichu Devi Kharibam (Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy), Chanchal (Hockey Chandigarh).

Defenders: Priyanka (Hockey Haryana), Asmita Barla (Hockey Odisha), Gagandeep Kaur (Hockey Haryana), Manisha Chauhan (Hockey Uttarakhand), Supriya Mundu (Hockey Jharkhand), Mahima Chaudhary (Hockey Haryana), Umra (Hockey Him), Antim (Hockey Him), Ishika Choudhary (Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy), M.E. Dhruthi (Hockey Karnataka), Alka Dung (Sports Authority of India).

Midfielders: Suman Devi Thoudam (Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy), Salima Tete (Hockey Jharkhand), Sunita Yadav (Uttar Pradesh Hockey), Mariana Kujur (Hockey Odisha), Priyanka Ekka (Hockey Odisha), Manju Chorsiya (Hockey Him), Baljeet Kaur (Hockey Punjab), Jyoti (Association of Indian Universities), Jiwan Kishori Toppo (Hockey Gangpur-Odisha), Sadhna Senger (Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy), Primanjali Toppo (Hockey Gangpur-Odisha).

Forwards: Reet (Hockey Haryana), Sangita Kumari (Hockey Jharkhand), Deepika Soreng (Hockey Jharkhand), Remsiami (Sports Authority of India), Lalrindiki (Hockey Mizoram), Navneet Kaur (Hockey Haryana), Amrinder Kaur (Hockey Haryana), Mumtaz Khan (Uttar Pradesh Hockey), Amritpal Kaur (Hockey Chandigarh), Janhabi Pradhan (Hockey Gangpur Odisha), Yogita Bora (Uttar Pradesh Hockey).

The Times of India

Dynamic USA Forward Selenski Retires from USWNT Program

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Olympian and U.S. Women’s National Team veteran, Paige Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.) announces her decision to leave the international pitch after seven years on Team USA's roster. The 5’7 feisty forward collected a total of 142 international caps, along with the global recognition as one sharpest shooters for the red, white and blue.

Selenski is not only known for her pitch prowess, but also as a pioneer within the field hockey world, using her talent as tool to empower young women to be confident and strong. Keeping that message constant throughout her career, Selenski was also part of ESPN magazine 2015 Body Issue, a yearly feature that showcases the build and training behind some of the top names in sport within the United States. Selenski used this piece to explain and share the unique strength field hockey player, something she fully embraces and encourages other athletes to do the same.

Capitalizing on her turbo like speed and the strength of her stick skills in the attacking circle, the 2013 University of Virginia alum became a tremendous threat on the international scene. The connection between Selenski and a hockey ball was somewhat magnetic. More than likely that means hitting the hard, plastic ball into the backboard, but there are have been a few occasions when Selenski has been on the receiving end, earning some shiners. Perhaps the collection of five battle scars, acts as warning signals to her opponents that she’s an all-out, without-hesitation aggressive attacker that won’t stop for anything until the goal whistle blows. When looking back on her favorite on-field moments, these black and blues were indeed acknowledged.

“Oddly enough, a few of the many times I’ve been hit in the head with the ball make the list,” said Selenski.

When reflecting back of her career from another perspective, Selenski highlights the historical 2011 Pan American Games win against Argentina in Guadalajara, Mexico, the 2014 World Cup in The Hague, The Netherlands, specifically her 100th cap against Great Britain, as memories she’ll cherish for a lifetime.

But the cherished reel of career spotlights doesn’t end there for Selenski. She recalls the fond off-field times of living in the “birds nest” in Coronado, Calif. with teammates, a team retreat to Breckenridge, Colo. in 2011 and the London 2012 Olympic Games and Rio 2016 Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies.

As a 2012 Olympian, participating in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games was a goal for Selenski even despite a medical setback. Selenski was able to push through  the adversity to earn one of the two alternate openings on Team USA’s Rio roster.

“I had a tough year and a half leading into Rio, in terms of injuries, and was honored and thankful to be part of the group in Rio as an alternate,” said Selenksi. “Before the start of the Olympic Games, Craig Parnham [previous USWNT Head Coach] had us go around in a circle and talk about what the person sitting to left and the person sitting to the right of us brought to the team. Jackie Briggs and Rachel Dawson spoke about me, and I will never forget it for as long as I live.”

“Paige was a player with great speed and a fantastic backhand shot,” said Janneke Schopman, USWNT Head Coach. “At first, seeing her play for the USA she just seemed like a nice girl to me, but below the surface there was this determined player, not always knowing how to do it, but with a willingness to make it happen. A testament to her grit for me was her ability to play in Holland just before the Champions Trophy and making the Olympic selection as a P accredited [alternate] athlete after more than 9 months of injuries.” 

Field hockey has engrained qualities in Selenski that are now cornerstones for her life, one of them being resiliency. Losing her mother at an early age to ovarian cancer, field hockey became a physical and emotional outlet.

“My success in the sport was a means of making her proud and living out opportunities she likely never even considered reachable,” said Selenski. “Sometimes I question whether I would have made it as far in the sport if I hadn’t gone through such a traumatic experience. It ignited a fire in me as 13-years-old and that fire still burns with me today.” 

Selenski would like to share a special thanks to her family, friends, coaches and teammates for their unwavering support throughout her career. Specifically, she would like to thank her dad, who is, and will always be, her hero.

“Growing up, he displayed an overarching strength and work ethic that I’ve come to admire and adopt throughout the course of my life,” commented Selenski. “Reflecting back, I think he saw something special inside of me that I didn’t always see in myself, and in turn, challenged and supported me to be the best version of myself."

Selenski currently resides in Philadelphia, Pa. where she’ll be attending Thomas Jefferson University's Pre-Medical Post-Baccalaureate program this fall and is looking to pursue a career in the medical field. She also recently started volunteering for a number of ovarian and breast cancer foundations and is mentor the young women and the mothers of young women considering genetic testing for the BRCA gene. She is also a new member of the junior committee for the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation in Philadelphia.

USA Field Hockey wishes Selenski the best of luck and success in all her future endeavors.

Images are courtesy of ESPN and Jeff Lipsky

USFHA media release

Bryanston-based Brescia House School’s first hockey team wins festival

Brescia House School first team members.

Brescia House School in Bryanston recently came out tops in the annual Catholic Schools Hockey Festival which was held at the Randurg Astro.

The school’s first team got off to a superb start and won all four matches played on the Friday as well as all the matches played at the semi-final on the Saturday.

The first team then came up against Holy Rosary in the final. The match ended in a draw which led to a nail-biting penalty shootout. After five shots each, both teams were still tied.

The game went into sudden death and it took another five more penalties before Brescia House School took the victory.

Sandton Chronicle

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