St. John’s School field hockey players took The United States of America Field Hockey by storm this summer with a record six players selected to play at the national level. Five players are returning members of Varsity while one player is a rising Freshman. When the tournaments were done, all six players made their mark on the national field hockey scene. These standout players - Paige Albert, Kelsey Bing, Libby Manela, Carson Peacock, Jennifer Trieschman and Reese Vogel-- were among only 680 players selected and represent the top 13 percent of field hockey players in the nation.
Varsity players Paige Albert, Libby Manela, Carson Peacock and Jennifer Trieschman were all selected for the USA Field Hockey National Futures Championship, while Varsity goalie Kelsey Bing was chosen to play in the USA Field Hockey Futures Elite Championship. Rising Freshman Reese Vogel was tapped to play in the U-14 Division of the National Futures Championship.
Sophomore goalie Kelsey Bing, a member of the 2012-2013 USAFH National U-17 Team, played in the Futures Elite Tournament, that ran during the same time period as the National Futures Championship in late June. Bing, a Futures Elite player, was goalie for the North team. “I had a great time at the Futures Elite Championships this summer,” says Bing. “The North girls really came together and played well as a team, leading us to win the Championship.”
Based on her high level of play during the tournament, Bing was chosen for the second year in a row to participate in the USAFH Junior National Camp, a select camp where players are trained and observed by members of the USAFH coaching staff, that selects players for the USA Field Hockey Olympic Development pipeline.
St. John’s Varsity Field Hockey carries two goalies, Bing and Junior goalie Libby Manela. Based on Manela’s superior play in the U-16 National Futures Championship, she was also selected for the USAFH Junior National Camp. This was Manela’s first time to play at the National Futures Championship. “NFCs was really great and it was really fun to play with and against people from all over the country,” notes Manela. “I was shocked to be selected to the Junior National Camp and even more shocked to be selected to the U17 National Team. It was amazing to play with the top 35 players in the nation, and I’m so excited to now be a part of the top 22, especially alongside Kelsey, a fellow Texan and Houstonian!”
On July 1, both Bing and Manela were selected to be on the USAFH Junior National Team -- a team so select that there are only 22 member players. Bing and Manela are not only the only players from Texas, they are the only players that represent any state west of Illinois. Additionally, Bing and Manela were selected to play at the AAU Junior Olympics for Field Hockey, which will take place July 31- August 3 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
“It was an honor to participate in the Junior National Camp and be named to the U17 Junior National Team again this year,” states Bing. “It was even more special having Libby there with me.”
Bing and Manela both anchor the cage for a strong, close-knit St. John’s Varsity squad. Senior Captains Paige Albert and Carson Peacock, both field players, played in the U-19 Division of the National Futures Championship. Forward/Midfielder Paige Albert played on Team Moscow, and contributed two goals and one assist across the span of the four-day tournament. It was Albert’s fourth consecutive year to be tapped to play in the Championship. “I am so happy to have been in Virginia Beach with five other St. John’s players,” says Albert. “It is so amazing that we are getting representation at the national level. This shows a lot about St. John’s and our field hockey program that six of our players made it and also that both of our goalies made the Unite States U-17 National Team!”
Midfield/Defender Carson Peacock played for the U-19 Team Berlin, which finished the tournament in sixth place. “It was a great experience,” said Peacock, who was playing for her third straight year at the NFCs. “It is always great to play at such a high level, but also to have so many girls from Houston attend made me really proud of Texas and the development of field hockey in Houston.”
Second-time selectee Jennifer Trieschman could not agree more. The Sophomore Varsity defender played for the U-16 Team Grenoble. “It’s always really fun meeting girls from around the country who love playing the sport like I do. And, the level of competition was so high at the tournament and I find that playing at that challenging level helps me learn so much and come back to Texas and help St. John’s more.”
Rising Freshman Reese Vogel was selected for the first time to the National Futures Championship where she played on the U-14 Team St. Louis. “The atmosphere was fun but also intense,” says Vogel. “It was amazing to see all of the college coaches there scouting all of the games. It really meant a lot to me to be there with so many SJS girls. It was fun to cheer each other on and experience it together.”
Trieschman echoes that sentiment. “It was fun to come off the field and see Libby right there cheering for me,” says Trieschman. “Experiencing Nationals with my teammates from St. John’s and having that support system on the sidelines made it all more meaningful. I know we are all returning back from Nationals to the 2013 field hockey season with an increased level of play and we will be an even stronger unit together.”