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Danielle Duseau named to US Junior National U-17 field hockey

  • Danielle Duseau
  • Danielle Duseau, left, of Smith Academy, has been named to the U.S. Junior National under-17 field hockey team and will compete internationally this spring.

Danielle Duseau has already displayed her field hockey abilities on a local and national level.

Now she’ll have the chance to play on the international stage.

USA Field Hockey announced Monday night that the Smith Academy junior was among 18 players selected to the U.S. Women’s Junior National under-17 travel squad set to tour the globe this spring.

As of Tuesday, no specific details about tour dates or locations have been released. Duseau said she’s expecting to be notified within the next week.

Duseau was one of 24 players named to the initial U-17 Junior National roster last summer. She recently completed training camp with the team in California and survived six roster cuts.

“When we went to California there were 24 of us and now there are just 18, so it’s super exciting,” she said. “This is something I’ve dreamed about, and it was definitely my biggest goal this year. I’m really glad it came true.”

The selection process began last May with a USA Futures regional tournament at the University of New Hampshire, then the national tournament in Virginia Beach, Va.

The top players moved on to the Junior National Camp last July at the University of Massachusetts.

“The coaching has been incredible and has really helped me as a player,” Duseau said. “It’s been a long process but it’s so much fun, and my teammates are all really good friends now after we went through these camps together.”

After learning of her selection last summer, Duseau enjoyed an outstanding fourth varsity season for the Falcons with 22 goals and five assists. She earned all-region honors.

As an offensive-minded midfielder in high school, she anticipates a more defensive role on the national team.

“I’ll be playing more defense than I’m used to, but I think it will be a good thing to learn that side of the game,” she said. “The transition was a little difficult at first, but it will be an asset to my overall game. It’s certainly a different mindset.”

A challenge for Duseau and her teammates will be to balance schoolwork and field hockey while also enjoying this opportunity.

“It’s been difficult but totally worth it,” she said. “It will be a good learning experience because that’s what it will be like in college, traveling around to play while still needing to get work done. It might be good to get used to it now.”

Duseau is looking to play at a Division I college, and has already started the search process.

But over the next few months, the Hatfield native will showcase the sport she loves as one of the best in her age group.

“I’m most excited about the opportunity to get to play in different countries and see different cultures,” said Duseau. “That should be a lot of fun. It’s a great chance to keep improving my game to be the absolute best player I can be.”

Michael Wilkinson can be reached at mwilkinson@gazettenet.com.

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