VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Five members of the Virginia field hockey team and one alum recently competed in the USA Field Hockey Women’s National Championship in Virginia Beach, Va. Sophomore midfielder Michelle Vittese, playing on the New Jersey High Performance Center team, won the crown after a 4-1 victory over the South HPC.
Along with Vittese, sophomores Rachel Jennings and Paige Selenski and senior Traci Ragukas played on the Mid Atlantic team while incoming freshman Tara Puffenberger competed as a member of the Pennsylvania/California squad. Former Cavalier Mia Link also played with Mid Atlantic.
In the tournament, Puffenberger, Selenski and Vittese each contributed two goals, while Ragukas scored once. Jennings was the lone Cavalier to play in the backfield.
Held in conjunction with the National Futures Championship, the USA Field Hockey Women’s National Championship is a round-robin tournament featuring the top athletes from USA Field Hockey’s six regional High Performance Centers.
Beginning in the early spring, High Performance Centers serving the New England, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Midwest, South and California regions conduct open trials for college-age and older athletes. Once selected to a High Performance Center, athletes receive elite-level training from some of the nation’s top coaches over the course of the spring.
At the conclusion of the program, each High Performance Center selects a team to represent its region at the National Championships. Athletes competing in the tournament have the opportunity for selection to the U.S. National Squad.
Rosters at the championship included current U.S. National Team stars as well as recent college All-America selections.