Bhubaneswar, 31 January: “The Pro League is very important in the lead up to the Paris Olympics, it presents us with a wonderful opportunity to prepare for the Olympics." said US Women's hockey team captain Amanda Gollini soon after the squad arrival at the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar.
Having secured a spot at the Paris Olympics at the recently concluded FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers Ranchi, the United States are now focused on securing a Hockey World Cup 2026 spot through the Pro League 2023/24.
The Pro League (Women) is scheduled to take place at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar from 3rd to 9th of February, before moving to the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela, where the league will continue from the 12th to 18th of February.
Five national teams – India, China, the United States of America, the Netherlands, and Australia – will participate in the India leg of the Pro League, facing each other once in Bhubaneswar and once in Rourkela.
The United States will face the Netherlands in the opening game of the League on 3 February. Their second game will be against Australia on 6 February, followed by a clash with China on 7 February. They will then face India in the last match of the Bhubaneshwar leg on 9 February.
Their previous encounter with India was in the Olympic Qualifiers Ranchi which they won by 1-0. Capitalizing on the early momentum they triumphed against Italy and New Zealand to top Pool B. A 2-1 victory against Japan in the Semi-Final guaranteed their qualification for the Olympics. Their only loss came in the Final where they lost 0-2 to Germany.
Shedding light on the way forward for the team, Captain Amanda Gollini said,” We are looking forward to getting back into it, obviously coming off the Olympic Qualifiers, we got the result that we wanted. Now we’ve set some new goals to prepare for the year ahead. The one thing we want to continue from the last tournament is taking it one game at a time, that helped us succeed and I think that’s something we are looking forward to repeating in the FIH Pro League.”
“The Pro League is very important in the lead up to the it presents us with a wonderful opportunity to prepare for the Olympics. But it is imperative that we trust the process, take it one game at a time, and not get ahead of ourselves,” she elaborated.