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Field Hockey star Erin Matson denied a tryout for 2024 Olympic team

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Maryland chapter.

At the age of 24, Erin Matson has an incredibly impressive resume

 Nicknamed the ‘Michael Jordan of Field Hockey,’  Matson won four national titles in five seasons as a player at The University of North Carolina. The following season, as UNC’s head coach, she led the Tar Heels to ACC and NCAA titles, becoming the youngest championship-winning head coach in Division I history. With the 2024 Paris Olympics around the corner, it would seem like Matson is an obvious choice for Team USA. However, that will not be added to her resume.  

On April 4, Matson released a statement saying she was denied the opportunity to try out for the team despite meeting all eligibility requirements. It is worth noting that she has been a part of Team USA since the age of 17. 

The federation defended its decision in a statement a few days after Matson’s. They claimed that because Matson has not recently participated in a national or international game necessary for an evaluation, she does not meet the criteria for an invitation. However, like many sports, it’s quite common for field hockey athletes to take a year off in the Olympic cycle. 

“Why is US Field Hockey denying the greatest American player in history a chance to compete for a spot on the Olympic team?” The UNC Board of Trustees chair John Preyer said,.“Erin meets all the criteria and is willing, able, and ready to be in Charlotte on Sunday with the full support of her colleagues and team at Carolina.”

Team USA invited Matson to discuss playing for the 2026 and 2028 teams, but she has declined stating that she did not want to take time and attention away from those participating this summer. 

The U.S. The Women’s Field Hockey team has not competed in the Olympics since 2016 and has not medaled since 1984. It would be wise for the committee to focus on selecting the strongest possible roster, rather than just players fresh off the pitch. Only then can the sport of field hockey reach American headlines for their success, rather than their controversy. 

Libby Devlin

Maryland '27

Libby is a freshman from Doylestown PA, studying English at the University of Maryland. She is super excited to be joining HerCampus and can't wait to get started.