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Field hockey's Hailey Couch selected for Young Women's National Championship



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Freshman forward Hailey Couch keeps the ball away from senior back Baily Higgins. The game took place Oct. 5 at the field hockey complex. Anna Tiplick Buy Photos

USA Field Hockey announced Monday afternoon its selections for the 2019 Young Women’s National Championship, and IU field hockey sophomore Hailey Couch was on the list.

The YWNC is an annual event featuring 144 athletes. Over the spring, select athletes tried out and trained at USA Field Hockey High-Performance Centers throughout the country for an opportunity to earn a spot in the tournament.

Teams will compete for a national championship, as well as an opportunity to be selected to the 2020 U.S. U-21 Women's National Team and U.S. Women's National Development Team, or a trial for the U.S. Women's National Team.

The event will take place in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, which is the home state of Couch, who lives in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Before coming to college, Couch played for four years in the USA Field Hockey pipeline, competing in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, as well as internationally in Canada and the Netherlands.

She had success in high school and at the club level with X-Calibur, one of the most dominant club programs in the country, where she won four national club titles.

After watching Couch at the high school and club levels, the director of the U.S. National Indoor Program, Jun Kentwell, gave Couch a call. Even after the first tryout, which Couch called the worst of her career, she would eventually get her shot. Couch was a part of the U-19 Squad that traveled to the Netherlands, falling short of a title to the host nation.

“It was truly amazing, and I’m so thankful for the experience,” Couch said in an IDS article published Sept. 27, 2018. “Being exposed to college-level girls was truly phenomenal. They just push you to be better and taught you how to not just do things but mentally take things.”

In her freshman season at IU, Couch played in 17 games for the Hoosiers, starting 14. She also tallied one assist and had nine shots on goal.

Now before her sophomore campaign begins, Couch will once again play in the USA Field Hockey pipeline. The YWNC will take place June 14-18 at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster.

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