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The United States Field Hockey National Program announced its 18-woman roster for the Hockey World League Semifinals Tuesday, with former UMass standout goalkeeper Alesha Widdall and current volunteer assistant coach Melissa Gonzalez among those chosen.

Hockey World League Semifinals run from June 10-21 in Valenvia, Spain. With two pools of five teams, Team USA will match up with Germany, Ireland, Uruguay and South Africa. The USWNT is set to play Uruguay in their first pool game on Thursday, June 11 at 7: 00 a.m. EST.

Parnham Solidifies U.S. Roster for Hockey World League Semifinals | Team USA Website

University of Massachusetts field hockey graduate Alesha Widdall (2008-11) and current staff volunteer assistant Melissa Gonzalez provided boosts to Team USA as the national team defeated Ireland, 3-0 for the second consecutive time.

In Tuesday evening's contest, Widdall backstopped the squad with a shutdown performance in the cage while Gonzalez provided a boost on the attack. The duo, alongside U.S. teammate and UMass alumna Hannah Prince (2010-13) have one more exhibition contest against the Irish on Thursday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m. Read a recap and see photos from Tuesday's game below:

Quick Start Leads Team USA over Ireland in Game Two (includes photos) | Team USA Website

University of Massachusetts field hockey alumnae Hannah Prince (2010-13) and Alesha Widdall (2008-11) helped Team USA finished a six-game test series in New Zealand with three wins, two losses and one draw against the host squad. The duo, along with volunteer assistant coach Melissa Gonzalez clinched the series with a 3-1 victory in the final game.

More is available on the series and Team USA here.

USA Field Hockey Begins New Zealand Test Match Tour

University of Massachusetts field hockey alums Alesha Widdall (2008-11) and Hannah Prince (2010-13), as well as volunteer assistant Melissa Gonzalez, made the nearly 9,000 mile trip from the USA Field Hockey training center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to New Zealand where the U.S. National Team is set to play a six-game test series with the hosts.

Take a look behind the scenes of the early days of the trip courtesy of the U.S. National Team.

Matt Weinstein of the Press & Sun Bulletin spoke with University of Massachusetts and Whitney Point (NY) High School graduate Alesha Widdall about being named to the U.S. Field Hockey National Team for the 2014 World Cup.

"As she read the email announcing the United States' World Cup field hockey team last week, Alesha Widdall could not help getting emotional when she saw her name among the roster.

'It's just an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment,' the 2008 Whitney Point graduate said. 'It's been a lifelong dream of mine to be on the national team and finally going to prestigious tournaments, and it's fun to be part of the process.'

"The 18-member American squad departed for the Netherlands on Saturday for the 12-team Women's Hockey World Cup starting on May 31. The Americans are making their first appearance at the event since 2006 after failing to qualify in 2010..."

Read the remainder of Weinstein's story through the Press & Sun Bulletin's website here. More on UMass field hockey is available through

Collegian: UM falls to Temple in A-10 semifinals

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Michael Counos of the Daily Collegian has the recap of Friday's A-10 semifinal loss by the field hockey team to Temple, 4-0 at St. Joe's. It proved to be the final career game for seniors Christine Cutry, Amanda Dietz, Nikki Panciocco, and Alesha Widdall, the 2011 Conference Defensive Player of the Year. The class finishes its career with a 51-33 overall record, a 21-4 conference record, and two A-10 Championships and NCAA Tournaments.

UM falls to Temple in A-10 semifinals - Daily Collegian

Collegian: Minutewomen playing for title, seniors

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Michael Counos of the Daily Collegian previews UMass field hockey's big game on Friday against Richmond. The Minutewomen, 5-0 and alone in first by one game in the Atlantic 10 standings, close out conference play and their home schedule against the Spiders at Garber Field at 1 p.m. Friday will also be Senior Day, with Christine Cutry, Amanda Dietz, Nikki Panciocco, and Alesha Widdall all being honored prior to the game.

"I think this group of seniors is just very resilient, take everything in stride and just always keep competing and understand that nothing comes easy and they have to work for it," said UMass coach Carla Tagliente.

Minutewomen playing for title, seniors - Daily Collegian

Collegian: Minutewomen sit atop A-10 standings

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Michael Counos of the Daily Collegian has a story on the UMass field hockey team's 2-0 weekend that vaulted them alone into first place in the Atlantic 10 standings at 5-0. The Minutewomen defeated La Salle at home 2-0 and then went to previously unbeaten in A-10 play Temple, winning 2-1 in overtime in an impressive come-from-behind win.

"Our confidence is pretty high right now, once A-10 play started we had a new mind-set and knew that we needed to play well to move on to the postseason," said senior All-American goalie Alesha Widdall.

The Minutewomen close A-10 play on Friday when they host Richmond on Senior Day at Garber Field at 1 p.m.

Minutewomen sit atop A-10 standings - Daily Collegian

Collegian: Field Hockey's New Defensive Approach

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A lot has been made early in the field hockey season of new head coach Carla Tagliente's attacking style of play that she has brought to the Minutewomen, but as Matt Strong of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian points out in Friday's edition, Tagliente has also brought a new style of play to the defense that the group is beginning to adjust well to. Strong mentions how assistant coach Roz Ellis has been crucial in mentoring the defense and talks to former UMass four-year-starter Jaime Bourazeris, who is helping the team this season.

With the new defensive approach comes a new mindset, which incorporates an offensive attitude. It gives the defense a chance to push the ball up the field, thus creating more shots and scoring opportunities.

"The biggest key as it is with any defensive structure is to communicate and stay organized," said Bourazeris.

Stories On Field Hockey's Win Over Harvard

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The UMass field hockey team played its home opener on Saturday at Garber Field, shutting out Harvard, 3-0. Not only did the team improve to 2-3 on the season as it kicked off a four-game homestand, but prior to the game a ceremony was held honoring the 30th anniversary of the Minutewomen's 1981 National Finalist team. Many players from that '81 squad came back to UMass for the occassion. Check out coverage of Saturday's win below.

  • Daily Collegian: Minutewomen pick up victory on anniversary
  • Harvard Crimson: Harvard Shut Out By UMass, Suffers First Loss
  • Boxscore News: UMass Hands Harvard First Loss Of Season

  • Widdall & Team USA Underway In Europe

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    UMass field hockey junior goalkeeper Alesha Widdall is currently playing in Europe with the US Junior National Team (U-21). USA Field Hockey has posted a schedule for Team USA's games in Ireland yesterday and today, as well as the games in Germany throughout the rest of the week.

    The USA U-21 squad is coached by former UMass player and assistant coach, and current Boston College coach Ainslee Lamb.

    Also, new UMass head coach Carla Tagliente is the head coach of the USA U-19 squad. She is assisted by UMass alum and current Duke head coach Pam Bustin. Stay tuned for updates on what the U-19'ers are up to during their training season.

    Good luck to Alesha as she represents the Red, White, & Blue!

    A quartet of birthdays on Jan. 3. Best wishes to women's track sophomore Christina Chapman, women's swimming freshman Colleen Hespeler, field hockey All-American Alesha Widdall and men's swimming freshman Jake Wingfield.

    Christina Chapman  Colleen Hespeler   Alesha Widdall  Jake Wingfield

    Minutewomen Relying On Widdall

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    Adam Miller of the Daily Collegian has a great column on field hockey goalkeeper Alesha Widdall and how she has led the Minutewomen to two victories over top 10 teams this season (1-0 vs. #4 UConn on Sept. 11 and 2-0 vs. #8 Syracuse on Oct. 3), and how the team will rely on her throughout conference play.

    "She is always outstanding," Head Coach Justine Sowry said following the Minutewomen's 2-0 win over the Orange. "With a quality goalkeeper back there, we can play more aggressive, and having her back there really gives the team great confidence."

    Widdall and the Minutewomen begin A-10 play on Saturday night when they host Saint Louis at 6 p.m. at Garber Field.

    Field Hockey Records Another Win Over A Top 10

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    On Head Coach Justine Sowry's birthday, her UMass field hockey team gave her the gift of a 2-0 shutout victory over No. 8 Syracuse at Garber on Sunday. The win was UMass' second over a top 10 team this season (No. 4 UConn, Sept. 11) and first victory against the Orange since 1998. Below are stories on the win:

    VIDEO: Postgame Interviews
    Minutewomen Shut Out Another Top 10 Team, Daily Collegian
    Alesha Widdall Plays Large Role In Victory, Daily Collegian
    Podcast: Mike Wood & Nick O'Malley Discuss UMass' Win, Daily Collegian
    Orange Shut Out At Garber,
    Minutewomen Shut Out Orange, 2-0, Daily Orange