USA FIELD HOCKEY FOUNDATION ALL IN FOR THE USWNT QUALIFYING FOR THE PARIS 2024 OLYMPIC GAMES
Join Us in the Journey to the Olympic Games
Olympic Mission 2024
Here at the USA Field Hockey Foundation, we are driven to do our part in making field hockey a key American sport. Since 2000, we have taken part in a wide range of activities that empower individuals and hockey communities. In 2024, we are taking up the challenge to send the U.S. Women's National Team to the Paris Olympic Games. Against long odds, and the backdrop of not qualifying 4 years ago, the team played a unified game and gave a defensive master-class against higher ranked opponent Japan in the semi-finals, after besting their pool. The USAWNT walked away victors (or jumped for joy if we are being accurate) and qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Now we are gearing up to support them with events and fundraisers. All donations will be used to help the team prepare to compete in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Qualifying, the American Way
Underdog Americans Battle to the Podium
The U.S. sent a core team to Ranchi, India to compete in the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifier. 8,000 miles from their home training turf in Charlotte, N.C., the group of 18 came together to compete for their chance at Olympic glory. Failing to qualify in 2020, the team carried their single minded hopes and dreams, along with the hopes of the nation, to regain an Olympic berth in 2024. Having spent long months as a unit living 'in residency' in Charlotte, the team came with a work ethic second to none, but more importantly unity as a cohesive team.
Ranked below two other teams in their pool, there was hope and confidence in the work they had put in since coming second at the Pan American Games months earlier, which landed them a spot at the Olympic Qualifier. Classic underdogs, the U.S. team faced top ranked opponent and host India in their first match - in a pool they needed to win to have a chance to qualify. To intensify the pressure, India was coached by the former USAWNT head coach Janneke Schopman - who coached some of the current American players. Altogether, it was a tall hill to face. The team of underdogs came out as a tight and disciplined unit and stunned the host nation, defeating them 1-0. It became the theme for this scrappy team - a strong defense unwilling to yield a goal, pelting their opponents with any attack they could muster until one of their forwards could find the opposing net or a veteran could capitalize on a penalty corner. They defeated India 1-0, then lower ranked Italy 2-0, before taking on another higher ranked opponent in New Zealand. In a repeat of their play against India, the USA executed a solid defense anchored by their Goalkeeper Kelsey Bing and a backfield of experienced veterans that was unwilling to yield to anyone. At the end of regulation it was 1-0, claiming them the top spot in their pool and placing them into the semi-final match against Japan. The winner was guaranteed a place in Paris. No pressure? More like nothing but pressure.
Japan came to win, and did what none had yet done when Shimada Amiru scored against the U.S. USWNT on a penalty corner in the third quarter. The U.S. evened off the score when Ashley Hoffman drilled the ball into the back of the goal on a penalty corner in the opening of the fourth quarter. Not known as a 'come from behind' team, the U.S. nonetheless became relentless in attack as the time ticked away, not wanting to have to battle for 3rd, should they lose. Abby Tamer, the young player from Michigan and one of the four women (Ashley Sessa, Maddie Zimmer and Beth Yeager being the others) who gave up a year of college to go in residence with the team, resolved that dilemma when she put one in on a rebound off the Japanese Goalkeeper during a corner, with 5 minutes remaining.
The vaunted American defense then did its thing like it had all tournament, and erected a defense that was omnipresent, calm and controlled. The experience of the American backfield is nothing to overlook - its where the majority of international caps stand and where the furnace of the USA's engine is stoked. Veteran players like Ashley Hoffman, Ally Hammel Jillian Wolgemuth and goalkeeper Kelsey Bing are the foundation that the midfield and forwards rest upon. Led by co-captain Amanda Golini (nee Madagan) the front lines capitalized all tournament on the strength of the defensive line at their back, allowing them to fiercely penetrate other teams' defenses. With the win against Japan in the semifinals, the USWNT punched their ticket to Paris 2024.
Get ready world, the American Women are coming to Paris in July, and they are on a mission.