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LANCASTER, Pa. – When the U.S. Women’s National Field Hockey Team scrimmages the Irish National Team this week at Spooky Nook Sports, the UConn field hockey team will be represented by distinguished graduates Melissa Gonzalez and Roisin Upton.
Gonzalez, a UConn graduate of 2011, and Upton, a member of the Class of 2016, will be squaring off for the first time in their professional careers when the U.S. hosts Ireland in three international matches.
The U.S. and Ireland series is presented by Citi, with games scheduled for Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. (ET). It is the first time the U.S. National Team is competing on its home soil since its fifth-place finish in the Rio Games.
A captain for Team USA, Gonzalez has made two Olympic appearances in the past five years (London 2012 and Rio 2016) – only the second Husky to ever compete in multiple Olympics (Tracey Fuchs).
As for Upton, she helped lead the Green Army to a World League 2 title back in January as part of her first major international tournament. Ireland will compete in World League 3 this summer as an opportunity to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in London.
Both Gonzalez and Upton enjoyed remarkable careers at UConn, accounting for a cumulative seven nominations to All-Big East Teams, four selections as Big East Defensive Player of the Year and six All-American nods.
UConn won back-to-back national championships in 2013 and 2014 with Upton serving as the defensive stronghold, while Gonzalez helped the Huskies achieve a 72-16 record in her four seasons in Storrs.
As two of the most prolific UConn field hockey alumni prepare to compete against each other this week, the program led by Hall of Fame coach Nancy Stevens continues to have a footprint in the international game.
Rising senior Karlie Heistand, a member of the U.S. Developmental Team, scrimmaged Ireland on Monday. The U.S. beat the Irish team, 2-1.
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