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USA Field Hockey names Caroline Nelson-Nichols as new head coach for the national team

STAFF REPORT
Caroline Nelson-Nichols

USA Field Hockey has named Caroline Nelson-Nichols as the new U.S. Women’s National Team head coach.

She replaces Janneke Schopman. After failing to make the 2020 Summer Olympics, USA Field Hockey announced the "separation" of Schopman from her leadership role with the national team in November. She had been the national coach for three years.

The national team trains at nearby Spooky Nook in Lancaster County, but there has been speculation that the future of the Spooky Nook-USWNT partnership could be in jeopardy because of reportedly substandard conditions at Spooky Nook.

The national team includes Central York High School graduate Lauren Moyer, a midfielder who has made 72 appearances, or caps, with Team USA.

Nelson-Nichols, a former USWNT athlete and two-time Olympian, has served as the head coach at Columbia University since 2015, totaling 41 wins. She became the fourth head coach in program history after three seasons as an assistant coach. Before Columbia, she was an assistant coach at the University of Iowa in 2010.

Nelson-Nichols is no stranger to USA Field Hockey and its programming having served in several roles over the past decade within the Olympic Development Pathway.

Nelson-Nichols played defender for the USWNT from 2007-14 and totaled 165 international caps. She was also a member of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and London 2012 Olympic Games teams.

She had an outstanding collegiate career at Old Dominion University from 2003-06, where she was a three-time academic All-American (2004-06). In 2006, she was named National Field Hockey Coaches Association first team All-American and was named the Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year and Player of the Year, the first time in conference history an athlete earned both honors in the same season. In 2017, she was inducted into the Old Dominion University Hall of Fame.