Rio Claims Gold at U-14 Girls Nexus Championship

by USA Field Hockey


100 photos

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The 2021 Nexus Championship (NXC), presented by Harrow Sports, has officially come to an end today with the U-14 Girls division this afternoon at the Virginia Beach Regional Training Center in Virginia Beach, Va. It took nine rounds of a shootout to name the bronze medalist in Albertville, while Rio claimed gold in a highly competitive final over Lillehammer.

In the bronze medal game, Albertville scored in the 11-minute mark, but Sapporo responded 35 seconds later to tie it up. The match didn't see anymore goals in regulation and needed a double sudden victory shootout and a ninth round goal to give Albertville the win.

In the gold medal game, Lillehammer jumped to an early lead, scoring in the first four minutes. Rio responded by evening the match in the 8th minute and took the lead four minutes later. They extended their lead just before the half in the 23rd minute and notched another in the 33th minute. Less than a 60 seconds later, Lillehammer scored to cut the deficit back to two but Rio went on to add two more in the 44th minute and 50th minutes for the 6-2 victory.

This year's U-14 athletes played across three days of highly competitive matches as they eyed the ultimate prize of being crowned NXC Champion. Hundreds of athletes from around the country showed off their skills in front of selectors, coaches and fans as they competed for evaluation to further opportunities in the women's Olympic Development Pathway. Congratulations to all the athletes for their hard work and dedication the last few days.

USA Field Hockey would like to extend its congratulations to the following teams on their tournament victories:

Head Coach: Ralph Boersma

In Alphabetical Order: Shannon Arber, Makenna Baessler, Erma Grey Bailey, Lindsey Brown, Erin Callahan, Josephine Carollo, Caitlin Connell, Ellen Gallagher, Kingsley Goldman, Cali Hyman, Raleigh Kerst, Leah Larit, Samantha Lee, Evelyn Morris, Jaelen Perez, Catherine Rosser, Gabrielle Santini, Shae Wozniak


Head Coach: Karen Zarchin

In Alphabetical Order: Samantha Arnold, Julia Blair, Ryleigh Cabral, Nicole Conklin, Reese D'Ariano, Mae Dixon, Haley Elliott, Adriana Ensani, Brinkley Eyre, Sophia Lee, Alexa Murphy, Ella Ou, Ava Poliafico, Emilia Rubel, Lauren Sloan, Lilian Soldan, Erin Sutton, Adelyn Watkins


Head Coach: Georgia Holland

In Alphabetical Order: Lillian Chung, Simarpreet Dhillon, Molly DiGiulio, Tallulah Fitzgerald, Gemma Franco, Ella Gandy, Abigail Gerdeman, Abigail Giusto, Hadley Hoffsmith, Katelyn Kearns, Morgan Lala, Lillian Mitchell, Mia Moody, Kathryn Page, Cecilia Pouw, Juliana Racobaldo, Chloe West, Kate Willette


In addition, congratulations to Beijing for winning the Barbara Longstreth Award for Sportsmanship. This award was created to promote good sportsmanship and given to the team that best exemplifies the qualifies of fair play, graciousness in victory and defeat, and respect for opponents and officials. This award is selected by the USA Field Hockey National Futures Championship Umpire and Coaching Staff.


Head Coach: Peter Taylor

In Alphabetical Order: Olivia Anderson, Ella Beach, Kathryn Bock, Danica Caron, Valentina Ganocy Annabel Hollenshead, Soren Izabella Kipphut, Casey Kozelnik, Nora Massella, Reese Miller, Adelaide Minnella, Paige Mogar, Ruby Pearson, Sofia Ruegg, Sadee Short, Opal Sparling, Caroline Valenti, Ryan Whitworth


A member of the U.S. Women's National Team from 1956 to 1964, Longstreth began her field hockey career at Beaver College (now Arcadia University) in the 1950's where she excelled in both field hockey and lacrosse. As a national team member, she competed in the epic 3-3 draw with England in front of 56,000 spectators at Wembley Stadium during the teams 1962 tour to Great Britain and Denmark. In 1963, she was a members of the USA's International Federation of Women's Hockey Association Conference team for an event that would become the precursor to today's FIH World Cup.
Longstreth continued her devotion to the game as a coach and eventually founded Longstreth Sporting Goods in 1977. Beginning the enterprise by selling field hockey sticks from the trunk of her car at tournaments, she established her company in Parkers Ford, Pa. where it has become the country's leader in speciality sports products for women. She announced her retirement from the company in 2007.