Five current and former Harvard women’s hockey players edged another step closer to the Olympics as USA Hockey announced its 25-player U.S. Women’s National Team in a press conference Monday morning. Rising seniors Lyndsey Fry and Josephine Pucci and rising junior Michelle Picard will join Crimson alumnae Kate Buesser ’11 and Julie Chu ’06-’07 as members of the squad that will begin a residency training program in September based at The Edge Sports Center in Bedford, Mass.
Harvard and Minnesota were the top-represented NCAA schools on the roster, each with five players named to the team. The squad will train under Katey Stone, the head coach of both the Harvard team and Team USA. This season, Stone coached the Crimson to her 402nd career win and led this past year’s National Team to a gold medal at the 2013 World Championships.
“I think we’re going to be fast,” Stone said at the press conference. “I think we’re going to play a very up-tempo puck possession game. We’re going to play great defense, and that’s where we’re going to start. We’ve got a lot of threatening players, so we’re going to make it very difficult to play against in all three zones.”
Fry and Picard were instrumental to this year’s Crimson team, which earned its first NCAA tournament slot since 2010. Fry, the team’s second leading scorer with 16 goals and 20 assists, will join Chu and Buesser at forward. Chu, the oldest member of the squad, is a three-time Olympian with two silvers and a bronze to her name. Picard, who helped the Crimson rank first in penalty killing percentage in its conference, will team up with Pucci, who took this past year off due to injury, as defensemen.
The squad was chosen after a weeklong selection camp that included 41 top American players in Lake Placid, N.Y. Jillian Dempsey ’13 was invited to try out but did not make the final team. The team, which currently numbers 25, will be pared down to a 21-player Olympic roster by late December 2013 and look for gold in Sochi, Russia, in February 2014.