The women’s field hockey season may have ended in November, but two of its players continued their success over winter break.
Goaltender Krissy Nesburg ’04 and midfielder Sarah Driscoll ’05 both traveled to Chula Vista, Calif., Dec. 27-30 to attend the tryouts for the U.S. Junior National teams, known as A Camp.
Nesburg, who was an alternate on last year’s under-21 national team, was selected to this year’s under-23 team after her performance at A Camp.
“I had no doubt that she would make it,” Driscoll said of her Eli teammate. “She is incredible, and from what I saw she definitely stood out and was very well-prepared.”
The team will represent the United States at the Pan American Hockey Federation Indoor Championship in March, where it hopes to qualify for the FIH Indoor World Cup. In addition, all junior national team members must compete in the United Airlines League during the summer.
Nesburg, who was required to play last summer as an alternate, recorded 129 saves for Yale this season along with a 2.07 goals against average and a .777 save percentage. She also tallied three shutouts.
For her efforts, Nesburg earned All-Ivy Honorable Mention and honored as a second-team Mid East Region All-American.
As a newcomer to the Bulldogs this season, Driscoll made an immediate impact. She scored five goals and had a team-leading 10 assists as she started every game for the Bulldogs.
Driscoll was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week three times and earned a spot on the All-Ivy second team. She will also play lacrosse for Yale in the spring.
“I was really impressed that she wasn’t intimidated by the next level of play,” Nesburg said. “She showed a fearless attitude, and I thought she was really effective at midfield.”
Nesburg and Driscoll were among 58 collegiate athletes and 26 high school players who were invited to attend A Camp after noteworthy performances at B Camp this summer.
The players were divided into under-19 and under-23 age groups, although players in the younger group were still eligible to make the older team.
They underwent morning skills sessions during which they were broken into groups and, according to Nesburg, often pulled aside and given tips from coaches. In the afternoons, the players competed in full-field games.
One of the morning sessions was a fitness test in which the players had to do various sprint and stickwork routines.
Due to a lack of lighting on the fields, the team played less field hockey than at B Camp, which was held during the summer and featured three daily sessions.
Nesburg said that the atmosphere at the Olympic Training Center and the high quality of all the competing players helped raise her own level of play.
“When you’re in an environment that’s really isolated like it is, there’s not much to think about except hockey,” she said.
Driscoll agreed that she benefited from those around her, and added that A Camp consisted of a good amount of playing time.
“There wasn’t so much field hockey that I got burned out, so it meant that when we did play it was really intense,” she said. “The coaches were top-notch, and I got to watch some people and learn new things.”
Nesburg will be joined on the Under-23 team by four University of North Carolina and four Princeton players, in addition to other top collegiate talent.
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