ACC Players Lead USA Field Hockey to Pan American Gold

Oct. 29, 2011

Current Virginia field hockey players Paige Selenski and Michelle Vittese and former Maryland player Katie O'Donnell helped Team USA defeat world No. 1 Argentina 4-2 on Friday in the Pan American gold medal game. The win for the 13th-ranked U.S. women's team clinches a spot in the London Olympic Games next summer.

Argentina, who won last year's world title, was undefeated in Pan American play since 1987 when the sport was first included.

Of the 16 players on the American roster, 10 are from ACC schools. In addition to the three goal scorers, the conference is represented by Lauren Crandall, Michelle Kasold, and Claire Laubach from Wake Forest, and Rachel Dawson, Katelyn Falgowski, Jesse Gey, and Jackie Kinzter from North Carolina.

Selenski, who is redshirting this year and will return to Virginia in 2012 for her senior season, got the Americans on the board 12 minutes into the game. Vittese, also a redshirt junior at Virginia, scored the team's fourth goal in the 66th minute to clinch the gold medal.

"We couldn't be more excited for the USA hockey team," Virginia head coach Michele Madison said. "Paige's goal in the opening minutes provided an early lead and Michelle's goal to secure the win was just fantastic."

Former Maryland Terrapin Katie O'Donnell, the 2010-11 ACC Female Athlete of the year, scored as time expired in the first half to give the United States a 3-1 lead.

"We have made history today by getting a bid to the Olympics," said O'Donnell. "I don't think anyone on this field thought that we would ever lose this match and that was the most important thing we had going for us. We had so much trust in each other and knew we would come out on top."