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Two Former UConn Field Hockey Standouts Selected to US National Team

Former UConn All-American Rayell Heistand has been selected to the US National Team.

May 30, 2013

NORFOLK, Va.Melissa Gonzalez (’11) and Rayell Heistand (’12) have been selected to the 2013-14 United States Field Hockey National Team as announced by head coach Craig Parnham following a week of evaluation on the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.   

 “This week has afforded me the opportunity to see players and assess them equally,” said Parnham. “It has been great to meet a number of new coaches and we are pleased to have had a thorough look at the players. The selection process has been ongoing throughout the week, including discussions and dialogue with coaches, daily meetings, and assessing and reassessing the players.”

Gonzalez, a two-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, has already been a member of Team USA and competed with the squad in the 2012 London Olympics. Gonzalez scored 27 goals and had 14 assists for 68 points during her career at UConn and led the Huskies to four NCAA Tournaments and advanced to the 2007 National Semifinals and the 2010 Quarterfinal. Connecticut took home the championship hardware from two BIG EAST Tournaments and won the 2007 and 2008 BIG EAST Regular Season Championship. The 2010 Mideast Region Player of the Year, Gonzalez is one of only five Huskies to hear All-Mideast Region status four times.

Heistand, a 2012 graduate of UConn, competed with the USA Field Hockey National Team in Ireland in September after being a member of the US Development Squad since July. Heistand was honored as a Second Team All-America for the second-straight time in 2011. Heistand was an All-BIG EAST First Team selection in each of the last two seasons and was the 2011 Preseason BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year. Heistand was a three-time All-Mideast Region selection.



 “We are pleased to have selected 30 athletes who will make up the Women’s National Squad as we move forward,” said Parnham. “These players will relocate to the Home of Hockey in Lancaster, Pa this fall.  This is a wonderful opportunity for this group of players to learn, develop, grow

The athletes selected to the U.S. Women’s National Squad will report immediately to Rutgers University to begin preparations for the International Hockey Federation’s World League Semi-Final in London, June 22-30. Parnham anticipates selecting the 18-player roster for the World Cup qualifying event the week of June 3.

The 2013-14 U.S. Women’s National Squad
Torrie Albini (Escondido, Cali.), Megan Beamesderfer (Iowa City, Iowa), Teresa Benvenuti (Morristown, N.J.), Michelle Cesan (New Vernon, N.J.), Lauren Crandall (Doylestown, Pa.), Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.), Katelyn Falgowski (Landenburg, Pa.), Stefanie Fee (Virginia Beach, Va.), Laura Gebhart (Mount Joy, Pa.), Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.), Rayell Heistand (Hamburg, Pa.), Natalie Hunter (Seaville, N.J.), Jackie Kintzer (Robesonia, Pa.), Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.C.), Kelsey Kolojejchick (Larksville, Pa.), Ali McEvoy (Gilbertsville, Pa.), Jaime Montgomery (Lewisburg, Pa.), Caroline Nichols (Virginia Beach, Va.), Katie O’Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa.), Lauren Pfeiffer (Mount Laurel, N.J.), Katie Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.), Julia Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) Paige Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.), Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.), Caitlin Van Sickle (Wilmington, Del.), Shannon Taylor (Midlothian, Va.), Michelle Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.), Alesha Widdall (Whitney Point, N.Y.), Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.), Emily Wold (Freehold, N.J)