The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

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A donation of $40 or more includes a subscription to the 2023-24 print issues of The Harbinger. We will mail a copy of our fall, winter, spring and graduation issues to the recipient of your choice. Your donation supports the student journalists of Algonquin Regional High School and allows our extracurricular publication to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Titan to Team USA: Brown selected for National Field Hockey Team

Lindsey+Brown+defends+the+ball+from+the+Franklin+player+at+the+field+hockey+game+on+Oct.+18%2C+2021.
Katy O’Connell
Lindsey Brown defends the ball from the Franklin player at the field hockey game on Oct. 18, 2021.

With stellar ability and personality, junior Lindsey Brown was selected for the 2024 U.S. U-18 Women’s National Field Hockey Team roster this year.

After a rigorous selection process, which began in March 2023, along with years of training on many teams including the Algonquin field hockey team and the Cape Ann Field Hockey Club team, Brown was chosen along with 43 other athletes from across the country to become a National Team member. 

Brown, a defensive player for Team USA, completed a training camp – a mixed practice and evaluation camp – with the National Team from March 8 to March 10 to decide her placement onto either a domestic team or an international team that travels to Belgium in late March to compete in The Four Nations Tournament. Here, she would compete against either Belgium, Ireland and Spain or Belgium, France and Poland​​, depending on team placement.

Brown’s journey to Team USA was not an easy one, beginning with years of hard work and preparation. 

Brown played ice hockey for four years before switching to the field in sixth grade at her mother’s suggestion, but Brown found making the switch between two seemingly similar sports difficult.

Junior Lindsey Brown looks for a pass during a field hockey game. (Submitted Lindsey Brown)

“I actually was going to quit field hockey within the first two weeks,” Brown said. “I was like, ‘I hate this. I can’t use both sides of the stick,’ but I stuck with it.”

Despite early frustrations, Brown continued to play field hockey and grew to love the sport and its intricacies. 

“I love how many rules there are because then you figure out how to interpret them with loopholes,” Brown said. “When you find ways to exploit them it’s really fun…For instance, you can’t use your feet, but if you dribble the ball into this circle you can hit the ball into other people’s feet and get a free shot.”

Brown’s friends and teammates, including freshman Courtney Shifrin, were overjoyed to learn Brown had made the National Team.

“I almost started crying, and she was so happy, and I was so happy for her because she’s one of the hardest working people you’ll ever see, even off the field,” Shifrin said. “Seeing it all pay off was really great.”

Brown’s co-captain senior Sylvia Zelnick is proud of her friend’s hard work and accomplishments.

“She’s just grown so much and I’m really excited to see where she heads,” Zelnick said. “From how she was her freshman year when I met her until now, her confidence has gone up so much. She’s not only such a good captain; she’s also a really good friend and has always been there for me, so I’m really excited to see what she does in the future.” 

Algonquin field hockey coach Dan Welty says Brown is a team player.

“She gives 100% at practices and leads by example to push her teammates to improve each and every day,” Welty said via email.

Brown’s journey to the national level came through a multi-level process of selection. Known as the “Olympic Pathway,” Brown had a similar path to many other athletes across America through the massively complex tournament system, Nexus.

She gives 100% at practices and leads by example to push her teammates to improve each and every day.

— Algonquin field hockey coach Dan Welty

“A lot of girls enter Nexus not thinking they’re going to make these tryouts,” Brown said. “They enter Nexus just for the skills.”

Beginning with an open call regional tryout at College of the Holy Cross, one of the five Massachusetts sites, she was selected to move on to a New England and New York tryout. From there, athletes like Brown are selected and randomly placed on one of twelve Nexus teams.

“It’s all of these girls from all of these different clubs from all over the country, and they’re on these giant teams playing in front of all of these college coaches in Virginia Beach,” Brown said.

At Virginia Beach, the intensity of the selections only increases with evaluators sitting on the sidelines, each assigned to a single player following them for the entire tournament. The scores of those evaluators go on to decide who will compete at a final round of National Team selection camps. This year, there was only one such camp, but last year, there were three selection camps at this level before a final roster was announced.

“Once you make a team, you aren’t guaranteed a spot on the team next year so I’m going to have to do all of those tryouts again,” Brown said.

Brown’s endeavors with the sport span outside of Team USA as well, as she has committed to play field hockey at Division I powerhouse Northwestern University. One of the Northwestern University coaches was her evaluator at one of the Nexus camps, and she became connected to the school during her tryouts for the National Team. 

Her commitment displays how Brown has worked to overcome the difficulties that come with starting the sport later than most other competitive players.

Junior Lindsey Brown dribbles the ball away from her opponents. (Submitted Lindsey Brown)

“It’s been hard because all of these girls have skills they’ve been practicing since kindergarten,” Brown said. “I’m considered as starting super late for field hockey, so I think there are some gaps where I’m lacking polished skills that these girls all have, but it just makes me want to work harder.”

Brown is excited to play at the next level and continue to improve with both Team USA and the Northwestern team, who were National Champions in 2021.

“If I’ve gotten this good in a short period of time, and these girls have been playing forever…I want to catch up with them,” Brown said.

Brown also displays her dedication to the sport more locally, through her commitment to Cape Ann Field Hockey Club as both a player and coach.

Lindsey is a once-in-10-year player for us and our area, so I want to make sure she gets proper support where she needs it,” her club coach Chris Pothier said via email.

However, Brown’s athletic abilities are not her only assets in the sport, as according to Shifrin, her personality shines both on and off the field.

“She’s the most humble, kindest girl you’ll ever meet,” Shifrin said. “[She] always wants to make sure everyone feels included and happy and so nice to everyone.”

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Donate to THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER
$1541
$2000
Contributed
Our Goal

A donation of $40 or more includes a subscription to the 2023-24 print issues of The Harbinger. We will mail a copy of our fall, winter, spring and graduation issues to the recipient of your choice. Your donation supports the student journalists of Algonquin Regional High School and allows our extracurricular publication to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

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About the Contributors
Maggie Haven
Maggie Haven, A&E Editor
Maggie began writing for the Harbinger her freshman year after taking the journalism course. She has always loved a wide variety of writing, and is thrilled to continue working on the newspaper as an A&E Editor. Aside from writing, Maggie enjoys running track and cross country, reading, watching her favorite TV shows and listening to music.
Jax Jackson
Jax Jackson, Sports Editor
Jax has been involved with the Harbinger since his freshman year as a graphic designer, but taking Journalism as a junior got him truly excited about journalism. He has discovered a passion for storytelling, advocating through his work and sharing news, recently becoming an Editor-in-Chief. In his free time, Jax enjoys playing tennis, ceramics and performing music.
Katy O’Connell
Katy O’Connell, Print Photo Editor
Katy O’Connell started taking photos for the Harbinger in her freshman year photojournalism class. She found herself loving photojournalism as a photography style and was impressed by the publication as a whole. Katy is currently Co-Photo Editor with Priya Maraliga, the two have been working together on various photo projects since Katy’s freshman year. Outside of photography, Katy participates in volleyball, basketball and track. She also enjoys reading and listening to music in her free time. Katy is excited to work to make the Harbinger the best it can be this year.
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