VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Later this month, 16 players will don the Red, White and Blue to represent the United States on the field hockey field at 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.
All of those players came up through the USA Field Hockey system and were part of the Futures program that provided them with some of the best coaching in the country.
At the next Olympics games, we could be talking about some of those 16 players being coached by current VCU assistants Laura Baker and Lauren Van de Kamp, who recently earned gold medals on the sidelines at the U-14 Futures Tournament in Virginia Beach.
In late June, the country's top U-14 field hockey players gathered in Virginia Beach and were split into eight squads. Baker and Van de Kamp were in charge of the Lake Placid squad. After pool play, the Ram assistants had their squad sitting in second and ready for the playoffs.
Lake Placid took on Calgary in the semifinal, which was one of the top teams all week long. Baker and Van de Kamp's squad were able to get two quick counter attack goals and ultimately held off Calgary's pressure to move to the finals, where they would face St. Louis.
It was a back-and-forth battle, but Lake Placid was able to get the goals they need to take home the gold medal.
"Throughout the tournament, our girls worked extremely hard to play as a team. They really played outstanding all week and thoroughly deserved the accolade of winning the tournament," Baker said. "It was great to have Lauren by my side the whole time, she was a terrific addition to our team."