May 22, 2013
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Twelve University of Maryland alums and current student-athletes are preparing to compete in USA Field Hockey's annual High Performance National Championship in Norfolk, Va. The event will begin Thursday at Old Dominion's Powhatan Sports Complex.
Ali McEvoy and 2012 Olympian Katie O'Donnell will compete on the Pennsylvania team. Maxine Fluharty, Katie Gerzabek and Anna Dessoye are on the Under-21 team for the competition. That team will be coached by Steve Jennings, current head coach at American, who is a Maryland graduate, Olympian and has worked alongside head coach Missy Meharg. Jill Witmer, Alyssa Parker and Natalie Hunter will be on the Mid-Atlantic/South team, while alums Melissa Vassalotti, a Georgetown assistant, and Meredith Long, head coach at Rutgers, are on the New Jersey team. Maryland field hockey alum and UMass head coach Carla Tagliente, will coach the New England/North team.
The athletes playing will compete for a spot on the U.S. National Team, with some contending to play with the Under-21 team in the Junior World Cup later this summer. Fluharty, Gerzabek, McEvoy and Witmer are currently on the Under-21 squad. Fluharty played with the Senior National Team in New Zealand this spring and Witmer, a member of the developmental squad, played with the Senior National Team in Brazil in March.
"The Women's National Championship is the first opportunity for me to see all of the players in one place and that is really quite exciting," said U.S. Senior National Team coach Craig Parnham. "It is very important for me to have a good look at every player at the tournament."
The Women's National Championship will be played Thursday, May 23-Wednesday, May 29.
"I am really looking forward to this year's tournament," Gerzabek said. "Playing with the best players in the country only makes us better as athletes and prepares us for representing USA on the international hockey stage. At Maryland, we strive to be the best of the best, playing hard and giving it all you have every time you step on the field. Having that mentality always helps us at tournaments like this."
For the full schedule and results, log on to http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Field-Hockey/EVENTS/2013/May/23/Womens-National-Championship.aspx.