STANDISH, Maine - USA Field Hockey announced the five U.S. Women's Masters Teams to represent the United States at the 2018 FIH Masters World Cup in mid-February and a face quite familiar to Saint Joseph's College has been selected to play on the O-55 Team: Exercise Science Professor and former SJC Field Hockey Head Coach Karen Croteau.
Croteau, who played collegiately at Bridgewater State University (1979-82) and remains as the Bears' all-time leader in goals (82) and points (186), will suit up for the USA in the biennial tournament, which is being held at the Club Egara in Terrassa, Spain from July 27 to August 5.
Croteau helped pioneer the Monks' field hockey program as the team's first head coach in 1995. She served as the SJC skipper for three seasons. Croteau returned to Saint Joseph's in the fall of 2014 to teach Health & Wellness Promotion and Exercise Science courses.
"I'm very happy to have the opportunity to get back into field hockey again on a competitive level," adds Croteau. "It's given me new motivation for training and I'm very much enjoying the social aspect as well. I played competitively in high school, college and at the club level with a Portland group (portlandfieldhockey.com). Playing for the U.S. Masters team at World Cup looks to be a great international experience with a little bit of travel thrown in. Thanks to the Portland group and the Saint Joseph's women's field hockey team for providing opportunities for me to practice and improve my game....even at my age!"
More than 140 national teams expected to compete in age categories from Over-35 to Over-55. Team USA is sending five U.S. Women's Masters National Teams in the O-35, O-40, O-45, O-50 and O-55 age divisions. This marks a significant increase from the previous event held in 2016 in Canberra, Australia where both the women and men fielded two teams each. The squads will be aiming to build on their strong performances at the previous Masters World Cup, where the U.S. Women's O-45 Team brought home a bronze medal.
As with previous events, selection was extremely competitive with six trials held on both the East and West Coasts. Performance at the trials was evaluated, with an alternative video, interview and reference assessment available for those unable to attend any of the trials. Extended squads were named in September 2017 and four additional practices were held in December and January before naming the final team rosters.