The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Amanda Golini ‘17 qualifies for Paris Olympics with U.S. Field Hockey

Amanda Golini ’17 celebrates with the U.S. National Field Hockey team after clinching an Olympic berth. (Photo courtesy of Lafayette College on Linkedin)

Amanda Golini ‘17 and the rest of the United States field hockey national team punched their tickets for the Summer Olympics.

The team earned a silver medal and secured one of three qualifying spots at the FIH Olympic Qualifiers which took place in Ranchi, India last month. The United States beat India, New Zealand, Italy and Japan on the way to the final, but fell to Germany by a score of 2-0 in the gold medal match.

Golini, a standout during her time with the Lafayette field hockey team and current national team co-captain, had a self-described “unorthodox” route to the highest level of the sport. 

Following her freshman year, head coach Jennifer Stone suggested she consider joining the national team pipeline.

“I looked at it as an awesome opportunity to get play in the summer, and also another way to increase my fitness,” Golini said. “And so that was something that I decided to do with her support.”

Golini quickly progressed through the national youth system and was called to the U21 team in 2014. While most of the tournaments took place over the summer, Golini was forced to miss class at times.  

“I think the beauty of a Lafayette student-athlete is that they really do have the ability to manage their time well,” Stone said. “Oftentimes, they’re good communicators and they can speak to the professors and organize themselves and it’s definitely a challenge, but credit to [Golini] and credit to her professors for allowing her to juggle that experience.”

Golini was named to the third-team All-American team in her senior year, in addition to first-team All-Patriot League selections in her junior and senior years.

Four days after graduating in 2017, Golini earned her first international cap in a series against Ireland. She has been a part of the team ever since and is currently the most-capped player on the active roster.

While she identified a “learning curve” involved with playing for the national team, Golini said the support of teammates and staff helped with the adjustment. 

“It’s just a matter of doing everything faster, your decision-making being faster, making quality decisions under fatigue and things like that,” Golini said.

This will be Golini’s first Olympic Games, as the team failed to qualify in 2019.

“That was an experience that was really hard to get through, both as a team and personally just because you train for years for this pinnacle of sport so to speak, and to not accomplish it is very defeating,” Golini said.

Nevertheless, she said that the team “leveraged that experience” during this year’s qualifiers. And, while the occasion was intense, she and her fellow co-captains led through calm composure. 

“Trying to qualify for the Olympics or trying to accomplish any huge feat can be very stressful,” Golini said. “I think having that calming presence and having our teammates, in stressful moments, look at us and we are calm and confident and ready to go and excited was probably something that was pivotal and important in this moment.”

The team will remain in India until mid-February for the FIH Pro-League and then head back to the U.S. to begin Olympic preparations. However, the team has already begun to get ready for Paris. 

“So a lot of the teams that will be in the Olympics and a lot of the teams that are in Pro-League are very similar,” Golini said. “Right now where we stand, we are the lowest-ranked team in the Pro-League, and so I think that really gives us an awesome opportunity as we lead into the Olympics to do some of that scouting, and to also figure out things that work and maybe things that we want to improve or change tactically when we face those teams in the Olympics … I think that the mental component is almost more important than the tactics at that point.”

Stone noted how proud she is of Golini and what she has achieved. At the same time, it didn’t come as a surprise. 

“I mean, she’s just what every coach wants,” Stone said. “She developed so well over the four years, both as a leader and as a field hockey player, as a young adult turning into a woman. To see her on this stage now, no, I can’t say I’m surprised at all.”

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Grace Sanborn, Sports Editor

Comments (0)

If you wish for your response to an article to be submitted as a letter to the editor, please email [email protected].
All Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *