Lauren Moyer’s field hockey journey will soon take her to Peru.
The Central York High School graduate has been selected for the 16-member United States women’s field hockey team that will compete in the Pan American Games in Lima from July 29 through Aug. 10.
The event is considered the biggest stage for the sport in the Americas and it’s also an Olympic qualifying event.
The midfielder has scored four goals during her 63 career appearances (known as caps) with the national team, including three scores recently during FIH Pro League action.
International travel is nothing new for the 24-year-old Moyer. The former North Carolina All-American has already competed in events in South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, New Zealand, Chile, England Argentina, Japan and Australia.
Aiming for Tokyo in 2020: If Moyer and her teammates can win the Pan Am gold medal they will automatically qualify for the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.
Winning the gold in Lima, however, will not be easy. Argentina, the third-ranked team in the world, enters as the likely favorite. The U.S. team is next highest-ranked team at the Pan Am Games, coming in at No. 13 in the world. The other teams at the Pan Am Games are No. 15 Chile, No. 18 Canada, No. 25 Uruguay, No. 30 Mexico, No. 38 Peru and No. 63 Cuba.
The U.S. team, which trains at the nearby Spooky Nook Complex in Lancaster County, will start the Pan Am event in Pool B with Chile, Mexico and Peru. The Americans will play Mexico at 3 p.m. Monday, July 29; Chile at 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 31; and Peru at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2. Pool A includes Argentina, Canada, Uruguay and Cuba.
Other team members: The American team that competes in Lima has a definite Pennsylvania flavor, with 10 of the 16 players coming from the state. Other than Moyer, the other Pennsylvania players on the team are: Mackenzie Allessie (Mount Joy), Anna Dessoye (Mountaintop), Danielle Grega (Kingston), Ashley Hoffman (Mohnton), Alyssa Manley (Lititz), Erin Matson (Chadds Ford), Margaux Paolino (Villanova), Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic) and Casey Umstead (Green Lane).
The other members of the national team are Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas), Ali Froede (Burke, Va.), Linnea Gonzales (Bel Air, Md.), Amanda Magadan (Randolph, N.J.), Caitlin Van Sickle (Wilmington, Del.) and Julia Young (Yorktown, Va.).
Two provisional athletes were also selected: Alyssa Parker (Woodbine, Md.) and Kealsie Robles (Yorktown, Va.).
“Picking 16 athletes was extremely difficult this time,” U.S. coach Janneke Schopman said in a news release. “We have a great group of players who work hard to improve as individuals and as a team. In the end I had to make a choice, but I see our team as a group of 27, not just the 16 or 18 players that are going to compete. The next weeks of preparation will be important for us as a group to get the last details right and I am looking forward to see us compete in Lima.”
A return to Olympics? The Americans are hoping to make a return trip to the Olympics, after finishing fifth at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Great Britain won the gold in 2016, Netherlands won the silver and Germany took the bronze. The United States was the top finisher from the Americas.
Even if the U.S. team doesn’t win the Pan Am Games, they can still reach the 2020 Olympics. At the end of October or the beginning of November, the Americans could still get invited to an Olympic qualifying event. The entrants to that event will be based on how other continental qualifiers perform and team rankings.
Reach Steve Heiser at email@example.com.