Sept. 18, 2012
EASTON, Pa.- Lafayette assistant coach, Rayell Heistand, has been selected to the U.S. National Team development squad for the Electric Ireland Women's Champions Challenge tournament in Dublin, Ireland from Sept. 29-Oct. 7.
The eight-team tournament is the first major International Hockey Federation event following the Olympic Games and features four teams that participated in London with South Africa, USA, Belgium and Australia all part of the field.
"We are thrilled that Rayell will have her first opportunity with the Senior National Team in Ireland," head coach Andrew Griffiths said. "She will be playing alongside many of the USA's London Olympic team members in an important international tournament, so it will be an exciting experience."
Heistand is in her first year on the Lafayette coaching staff after graduating from the University of Connecticut earlier this year, where she competed in the NCAA Field Hockey Final Four last season. She has been vital in helping the Leopards to a 5-1 record this season, notching an impressive upset win over #15 Drexel this past weekend.
"Rayell has brought a tremendous amount to our team in a short time," Griffiths added. "She has helped to improve our backfield ball movement and our defensive toughness. We will miss having her on the sideline for a couple of weeks, but we are happy to have her representing Lafayette over in Ireland. We are confident that the knowledge and experience she will bring back from the tournament will help us later in our season."
To be selected for the squad, Heistand had to be selected to the U.S. National Tournament, which occurs every summer. At the end of the tournament, the U.S. coaches and selectors name the National and Development teams.
"I am very excited about wearing the USA uniform and having the opportunity to represent my country in a big tournament," Heistand said. "It's great to know that all the hard work I have done on and off the field is paying off."
Heistand will miss three games for the Leopards, including Lafayette's Patriot League opener at American on Sept. 29, and home contests against Penn and Colgate on Oct. 3 and Oct. 6.