FIH WORLD LEAGUE 3 - SCHEDULE
STORRS, Conn. – Melissa Gonzalez, captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team and former UConn field hockey standout, has been selected to compete in the upcoming FIH Hockey World League Semifinals from July 8-23 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Gonzalez had three strong performances in the recent international series against Ireland at Spooky Nook Sports, earning her spot on the U.S. roster under head coach Janneke Schopman.
Otherwise known as World League 3, the tournament provides the Americans a great opportunity to advance to the FIH Hockey World League Finals, as well as solidify a qualification to the 2018 World Cup.
"Playing the games against Ireland provided us as staff with a lot of valuable information for selecting the players as well as our final weeks of preparation for Hockey World League Semifinals," said Schopman.
"Picking the final 18 athletes was tough, the level of some of the players is really close so it made us look at certain details. With this selection, I feel we have a good balance in the team and I’m excited about the journey ahead of us."
World League 3 will take place at Wits Hockey Club. The event is divided into two pools made up of five teams, each of which is a world-ranked caliber program.
The U.S. enters the tournament ranked sixth in the world and will share Pool B with No. 3 Argentina, No. 12 India, No. 13 South Africa and No. 20 Chile. The Americans play their first pool game against Chile on July 8 at 10 a.m. (ET).
Gonzalez will be joined by another UConn alum – Ireland’s Roisin Upton – who just competed against the U.S. a few weeks ago. Upton looks to continue her young and promising international career by helping the Green Army qualify for the World Cup.
Schopman’s team qualified for the tournament due to its FIH Hero World Ranking, while Ireland won the World League 2 title back in January, therefore earning an automatic bid.
Just 12 days following World League 3, the USWNT will be hosting the Pan American Cup at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. from August 4-13.