Source: Connor Meakin, Field HockeyCanada

Building off a productive summer chalked full of internationalcompetition in Ireland and Germany, the Women’s NationalProgram is eager to return to international competition headinginto the Pan American Cup in September.

The volume of games combined with the positive performances forboth the Senior and U21 Teams made for an arduous selectionprocess.

Coach Ian Rutledge was impressed by the performance ofmany of the girls at the Junior World Cup, with eight U21’s makingselection.

Pan Am CupTeam:

Lauren Logush
Kaitlyn Williams
Jessica Barnett
Danielle Hennig
Shanlee Johnston
Sara McManus
Kaelan Watson
Amanda Woodcroft
Ashley Kristen
Abigail Raye
Maddie Secco
Natalie Sourisseau
Thea Culley
Kate Gillis
Hannah Haughn
Caashia Karringten
Stephanie Norlande
Brienne Stairs

Rutledge is confident in the 18 players, now focusing on thedetails one month out: “We are still a new and young team,attempting to modernize our style of play. Our focus has been aboutperfecting our offensive and defensive structure and system andmove these from the cognitive to the automatic stages.”

The success of the Ireland tour in June confirmed that the programis progressing well. There’s a priority on increasing theteam’s depth and with that, exposing more athletes to thespeed and tempo of international competition. The Pan Am Cup willcertainly accomplish this goal, with top teams vying the covetedspot in the 2014 World Cup in The Hague.

“The final push to the PAC will be about focusing onindividual and system refinements to ensure we are optimallyprepared ahead of the tournament” said Rutledge.

Veteran striker Kate Gillis welcomes the new attacking style ofhockey promoted by Rutledge: “We’ve been focusing on afast attacking game where we put a lot of pressure on theoppositions defence. There’s a lot of up and coming talent onthe squad which makes every training sessioncompetitive.”

Gillis also commented on returning to the tournament atmosphere:“It’s been a year since we competed in World League, sowe’re itching to play a major competition. It’s goingto be a tough tournament with some really talented teams, and Ican’t wait to see how our team measures up against ourcontinental competition.”

The Pan American Cup takes place in Mendoza, Argentina, September21-28. Canada draws Argentina, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago inPool A, and opens their tournament vs. Guyana.