Field Hockey Duo Selected To U.S. U-21 National Team
June 28, 2013
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - UMass field hockey senior defender Hannah Prince and sophomore goalkeeper Sam Carlino were selected by U.S. U-21 National Team Head Coach Steve Jennings to compete with the program in the upcoming Junior World Cup, set to be hosted in Germany from July 27-Aug. 4. Carlino and Prince were chosen for the 18-player squad following participation in the U.S. U-21 Women's National Championship, held from June 20-26.
"Making the U.S. U-21 National Team is such an honor," said Carlino. "Being able to compete against the best junior talent in the U.S. and now being selected to play against the best in the world is unbelievable. Hannah and I have worked so hard and to have this opportunity to play in a Junior World Cup is incredible. I am truly honored to represent my country."
Prince provided clutch performances on offense and defense for the Minutewomen as a junior in 2012, earning a pair of game-winning goals to go with four defensive saves. Carlino backstopped the Minutewomen as a true-freshman, providing a 1.65 goals-against average in the cage while shutting out three opponents en route to 14 victories on the season.
"I am beyond excited to be selected to represent the United States at the 2013 Junior World Cup," said Prince. "Playing for the U-21 National Team is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I am thrilled that I get to share the experience with Sam and the rest of the team."
The U.S. qualified for the Junior World Cup by finishing third at the 2012 Pan American Junior Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico. The Junior World Cup features 16 teams split evenly into four pods. Following pool play, teams will either move into a placement round for the bottom eight finishers or advance to the quarterfinal, semifinal and final round.
"What a great opportunity for Hannah and Sam to represent their country and compete with the top junior players in the world," UMass head coach Carla Tagliente said. "It has been amazing watching them develop over the past few months and seeing them persist through the selection process. I am not sure either of them thought this was a reality back in May, prior to the Women's National Championships, but that really didn't matter to either of them.
"That's what is great about both of these young women," Tagliente continued. "Both are so unassuming, play because they love the game and are resilient competitors. They had strong odds against them, having not been in the U.S. system for the past year, so for them to break into the Junior World Cup Team this late in the game is really amazing and a testament to both of them - their persistence, character and performance. Proud would be an understatement for how I feel right now. They both deserve this and I am excited for what lies ahead."
The U.S. will depart on July 17 for the Netherlands for final preparations before the tournament commences in Germany. The U.S. will play against the Dutch team twice before heading over the border to Monchengladbach. Once in Germany, the U.S. will have a friendly match against New Zealand before opening pool play on July 27.
"We have selected a very talented squad and are excited to see their potential unfold over the coming weeks," Jennings told the TeamUSA.org official website. "It will be a big challenge but the skill, speed and unity of our team will represent us in great fashion."
Team USA, assigned to Pool A during the initial round, opens competition against Korea on July 27 before facing the Netherlands on July 28 and Ghana two days later. UMass is joined by Maryland, Duke and North Carolina as the only collegiate squads with multiple student-athletes selected for the U.S. U-21 National Team.
Pool B includes Argentina, China, South Africa and Canada. Pool C is made up of New Zealand, Australia, India and Russia and Pool D features England, Germany, Belgium and Spain.
Carlino and Prince will return to Amherst to help UMass when it opens the 2013 season at the University of Maine Invitational with a contest against the host-school on Aug. 30 at 1 p.m. The team's first home game of the year will be against UMass-Lowell on Sept. 3 at 6 p.m., as the River Hawks enter their first year as an NCAA Division-I field hockey program.