USA Bandy Announces Roster for First-Ever University Olympics Team
On March 1, 2019, a team of American women bandy players will take the big ice at the beautiful brand-new Yenisei Stadium in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, to kick off the 2019 Winter Universiade. For those who don't know, the Universiade is essentially a college version of the Olympics that has been taking place biannually since 1959. This 2019 inception of the event will certainly be one for the ages, as Russia has worked incredibly hard to put together what will truly be a world-class spectacle. Over 3,000 athletes will compete for 76 sets of awards in 11 sports, including bandy, which will be making an appearance in the Games for the first time, ever. Bandy’s inclusion in this prestigious international multi-sport event will be a wonderful opportunity to help efforts to get the sport added to the program in future Winter Olympic Games. The 2019 Universiade will be broadcast on Eurosport to over 56 countries worldwide.
Team USA features an impressive collection of athletes, and the squad has high hopes of bringing home a medal from this historic event. Leading the charge for this goal will be veteran bandy player, Mikayla Rogers – a former Division-I women’s ice hockey player for the University of Maine – who has competed in two Women’s Bandy World Championships (2012 in Russia, and 2014 in Finland). Rogers is not the only player on Team USA with international bandy experience; she is joined by Siri Hanson, Lucy Kiernat, Finn Larson, Erica Lieske, and Lizzie Mewes, all of whom competed in the 2015 Under-17 Bandy World Championship in Roseville, Minnesota. Joining these veterans are several talented college ice hockey players who will be making their international bandy debut. This group includes Katie Calliguri (Sacred Heart University), Abbie Canton (Concordia College), Amber Galles (Arizona State University), and Emily Goff (Concordia College). Ellie Cardinal – a former college ice hockey and track standout at The College of St. Catherine – will make the unique transition from international bandy referee to player. And rounding out the US roster is goalie, Natalie Baker, who excelled at ice hockey at the high school level and currently attends Minnesota State University, Mankato. Longtime US Women’s National Team manager, Katie Swor will make her coaching debut at the tournament. Joining Swor on the sidelines will be veteran US Women’s National Team goalie and co-captain, Sarah Ahlquist-Schneider. USA Bandy general manager and American Bandy Association Hall-of-Famer Magnus Sköld will serve as the manager for this historic team.
The American Bandy Association’s mission is to sustain and improve the quality of bandy in the United States and is excited to provide this opportunity for young women. The John Rose Guidant MN Oval, home of USA Bandy and the only regulation rink in North America, features games that are typically played in front of few spectators, whereas there will likely be 5,000 fans watching the bandy matches at the 2019 Winter Universiade. Team USA will play in a field that features teams from Norway, Sweden, and host Russia. More information about the tournament can be found on the host website https://krsk2019.ru/en.