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June 11, 1998

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The United States Field Hockey Association annouced the formation of six elite teams that will compete throughout the summer of 1998. This system, modeled after the leagues used by 1996 Olympic Champion and 1998 World Cup Champion Australia, will provide great competition opportunities for both veterans and up-and-coming players.

Missi Sanders, the head field hockey coach at the University of Virginia and the 1997 National Coach of the Year, was selected as the coach of the Yellow team. The ACC Coach of the Year will mentor a number of ACC athletes, including three Cavaliers. Lori Mastropietro (Richboro, Pa./Council Rock), fresh off her appearance with the national team at the 1998 World Cup in the Netherlands, was named to the Yellow team. She will be joined by Julia Richardson (Chevy Chase, Md./Stone Ridge). In goal for the Yellow team will be Ellen Wiese (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock), who was a part of the vaunted Virginia goalie tandem that led the nation in scoring defense.

Michelle Vizzuso (Fairfield, N.J./Wesst Essex), who was Mastropietro’s teammate on the United States National team, was named to the White team. The first-team All-American will be reunited with her Cavalier teammate Liz Lopez (Bernville, Pa./Tulpehocken).

Two members of other United States national teams were selected to the Blue team. Meredith Elwell (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown), a member of the US Under-23 team and a member of the Virginia lacrosse team, the 1998 national runners-up, was named to the Blue team along with Becky Worthington (Fairview Village, Pa./Methacton). Worthington, who, along with Wiese, was a member of the top-ranked goalie tandem at the University of Virginia, is also a member of the United States Under-19 team.

Amy Broadwater (Elizabethtown, Pa./Lower Dauphin) is the sole Cavalier representative on the USFHA Purple team, while Frances West (Alexandria, Va./T. C. Williams) is the lone Cavalier on the Green team. West is a member of the United States Under-23 team along with Elwell. Laura Lindsay, also a member of the United States Under-23 team, will represent the Cavalier squad on the Red team.

The first weekend of competition for these Elite teams will take place at Southern Connecticut University this Saturday and Sunday, June 13-14. Teams will complete the round robin regular season the next weekend, June 20-21 at the College of New Jersey. The semifinals and finals will take place on Saturday, July 4 at the University of Maryland.

The University of Virginia finished the 1997 regular season ranked number one in the country and advanced to the NCAA Semifinals for the first time in school history. The Cavaliers also led the nation in scoring defense, allowing less than a goal per game, and in shutouts, recording 11. Virginia opens up the 1998 season at the ACC-Big 10 Challenge in St. Louis on September 5 against the Ohio State University. The Cavaliers will return home on Thursday, September 10 to face the Northeastern University Wildcats. The coach of the Wildcats, Cheryl Murtagh, is also the coach of the USFHA Elite Red team.

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