STORRS, Conn. – Out of 67 athletes that participated in the U-21 Junior and Development Squad National Camp last week at Spooky Nook Sports, all four players representing UConn field hockey found a roster spot in the U.S. Women’s National Team pipeline.
Rising seniors Karlie Heistand and Casey Umstead were selected for the U.S. Women’s National Development Squad, while rising juniors Amanda Collins and Amelia Iacobucci found a home with the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team.
Four days of intense training and practice sessions, following the conclusion of the Young Women’s National Championship, gave each member of the UConn foursome an opportunity to compete in the USWNT program for the coming year.
Umstead, a former member of the U-21 team, will now join Heistand on the Development Squad, which was introduced in November of 2016 as a way to nurture the talent of collegiate players who cannot play on the junior team due to age restrictions.
Iacobucci earned her first chance to compete with the USWNT program, teaming up with Collins, who spent the last year with the U-21 team.
“I was pleased with the level of play at last week’s Young Women’s National Championship and the Junior National Camp only built on that,” said Phil Edwards, U-21 USWNT head coach. “The athletes in both groups worked hard throughout and showed an ability to adapt and learn, which is critical to our success moving forward.”
19 athletes were chosen for the U-21 team and 17 for the Development Squad, with 11 athletes being offered a trial at the conclusion of their collegiate season for a chance to earn a roster spot.
Each of the four players were instrumental in taking UConn to its fourth-consecutive NCAA semifinals in 2016, with Umstead highlighting the group as a Third Team All-American. Collins and Heistand were both named All-Mideast Region Second Team.