Wednesday, 15 January 2020 08:36

App State Field Hockey's Gaines Named to U.S. Women's National Development Team

Rachel Gaines is one of five goalkeepers on the developmental squad, and one of 23 total Rachel Gaines is one of five goalkeepers on the developmental squad, and one of 23 total Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State field hockey senior Rachel Gaines has earned one of just 23 spots on the 2020 U.S. Women's National Development Team, USA Field Hockey announced on Tuesday.

Gaines, a two-time MAC Field Hockey Defensive Player of the Week award winner in 2019, will be just one of five goalkeepers on the developmental squad. The 2019 All-MAC Second Team recipient joins Ohio's Kendall Ballard as one of only two players from the Mid-American Conference to make the team.

"I'm extremely proud and excited for Rachel," head coach Meghan Dawson said. "She has put in countless hours to reach where she's at, and I cannot wait to see her progress throughout this journey."

After competing at the Young Women's National Championship in June, Gaines earned a chance to participate in the USA Field Hockey Women's Development Team Selection Camp in December. Gaines then competed at the U.S. Women's National Team Trial from Jan. 6-8 in Lancaster, Pa., which is where all 23 athletes earned their spots on the Development Team.

The Development Team will participate in two training camps across the country before touring Scotland in April for their first international competition of 2020.

"It's an honor and a privilege to be selected to the U.S. Development Team," Gaines said. "During High Performance practices, the Young Women's National Championship and the selection camp, I have trained and played alongside the best hockey players in the country. It has been nothing short of incredible, and I am looking forward to this opportunity."

Gaines concluded her App State career with seven shutouts, 113 saves and a .774 save percentage in 2019. After posting five shutouts in her first six games this past season, she became the first App State player to win two MAC Field Hockey Player of the Week awards in the same season. The Kettering, Ohio native ranks sixth in App State history with 468 career saves.

"I have been privileged over the past few years to have been at Appalachian," Gaines said. "My coaches, teammates and the staff around us have been phenomenal. I am deeply grateful for their continued support as I begin this new chapter."

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