ATHENS, Ohio -- Ohio field hockey rising senior Kendall Ballard (Charlottesville, Va.) has been selected to compete for the U.S. U-21 Women's National Team's travel roster for a June trip Argentina. Ballard was one of 17 current college players selected by U-21 USWNT Head Coach Phil Edwards to represent their country in Tucuman, Argentina from June 10-18 and compete in a three-game test series against the country's U-21 team.
"I am just honored to be given the opportunity to represent my country on an international stage," said Ballard. "The training camps with the U21 have been one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had as a field hockey player. I believe I have grown in so many ways and been challenged both mentally and physically every time I step on the pitch with the U21 team. Being surrounded by so much talent has been amazing and has helped to push me to the next level. I have had so much support from my family, friends, and everyone at Ohio, which has made this experience that much more rewarding. I can't wait to put on the red, white, and blue with my fellow teammates and see where we match up against Argentina."
Ballard's road to making the roster began with training blocks that took place between January and early April before the inaugural Technical Camp, which was held earlier this month. The emphasis of the final camp was twofold: to build on the work done in earlier camps on principles of play while also having the opportunity to work closely with athletes and coaches from throughout the Junior High Performance pathway on the technical aspects of the game.
Ballard will be joined on the U.S. U-21 Women's National Team's travel roster by Kelsey Bing (Stanford, Houston, Texas), Virginia Bramley (Penn State, Elizabethtown, Pa.), Katrina Carter (Cal Berkeley, Gilroy, Calif.), Brooke Deberdine (Maryland, Millersville, Pa.), Linnea Gonzales (Maryland, Bel Air, Md.), Kelee Lepage (Maryland, Honey Brook, Pa.), Madison Maguire (Maryland, Rumson, N.J.), Mikayla Michals (Providence, Needham, Mass.), Kealsie Robles (ODU, Seaford, Va.), Taylor Stone (Louisville, Herndon, Va.), Cassie Sumfest (UNC, Lewisburg, Pa.), Sophia Tornetta (Princeton, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.), Christie Van de Kamp (William & Mary, Midlothian, Va.), Jillian Wolgemuth (Duke, Mount Joy, Pa.), Elise Wong (Princeton, Perth Amboy, N.J.) and Corinne Zanolli (Stanford, Newtown Square, Pa.).
Ballard is coming off a 2017 junior campaign at Ohio in which she earned Longstreth/NFHCA Division I West All-Region Second Team honors and First Team All-Mid-American Conference honors for the second year in a row. She led the Bobcats in goals (8), total points (21) and shots (45) and finished fifth in the MAC in both shots and goals. She also tallied five assists, which tied for the team lead and ranked seventh in the conference.
"We are extremely proud of Kendall and her selection to the Argentina tour where she will be representing the USA," said Ali Johnstone, who will be entering her first season as the Ohio head coach in 2018. "She has worked incredibly hard and has gone above and beyond the call of duty to represent the USA and Ohio University. She is a wonderful advocate for the sport and is always giving back by coaching the next generation. We could not be more excited for her and this tremendous honor to play for her country."
The U-21 USWNT's tour to Argentina will be in conjunction with that of the U.S. Women's National Team. Their game days will coincide, with the two sides playing back-to-back.
U-21 USWNT vs. Argentina Series Schedule:
Thursday, June 14 - 5 p.m. ET
Saturday, June 16 - 5 p.m. ET
Sunday, June 17 -5 p.m. ET