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Courtesy: Stuart Smith
Three Blue Devils Set for International Competition
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 01/15/2013
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SYDNEY, Australia - Three members of the Duke field hockey team will represent the United States in the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival on January 16-20 in Sydney, Australia.  Sophomore Abby Beltrani, redshirt freshman Lauren Blazing and true freshman Aileen Johnson are members of the United States U21 National Team set to compete in the four team international tournament.

"I am extremely proud of our US U21 team, particularly our Blue Devil representatives: Lauren Blazing, Abby Beltrani, and Aileen Johnson, as they prepare for what should be an extremely competitive and valuable Australian Youth Olympic Tournament," Duke field hockey head coach Pam Bustin commented. 

Goalkeeper Blazing started and played in 13 games during the 2012 season.  She was credited with 51 saves on the season and a goals against average of 1.99. 

A midfielder and forward, Beltrani also played in 13 games during the season, earning five points on the year with one goal and three assists.

In her rookie season, midfielder Johnson played in 13 games, starting 12.  The Oceanport, N.J., native scored her first career goal and earned her first assist in the Blue Devils 11-2 victory over Kent State. 

All three women missed five games during the season to participate in the 2012 Junior Pan American Games resulting in the U.S. squad qualifying for the Junior World Cup. 

The other teams represented are Great Britain, China and host Australia.  All games will be played in Hockey Centre at Sydney Olympic Park, the site of the 2000 Olympic Games.  For more information about the event, click here.

"China, Great Britain, and Australia continue to rank amongst the World's best women field hockey nations. This wonderful experience is exactly the preparation our US U21 team needs in these months leading up to the 2013 Junior World Cup to be played in July. As Lauren, Abby, and Aileen face such high competition, and compete in the coveted Hockey Centre at Sydney Olympic Park (home of the 2000 Olympics), their level of respect for the game and appetite for a high level of game execution should absolutely benefit our Duke program upon their return."

The squad began 2013 competition with a four-game test series against New Zealand January 8-12 coming away with three victories in four matches.  For complete results of the competition, click here.    

A recap of the trip will be available at the conclusion of the tournament.