SMCHS Alumna Annie Pankowski ‘13 of Laguna Hills was recently named to the U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team. The team will work and train together through a series of games in build-up to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia from February 7-23, 2014. Pankowski was selected as one of 25 players to make the team at the end of a seven day selection camp in Lake Placid, NY. Pankowski was one of 13 forwards selected to the National team and is the lone Californian on the roster, and the second youngest player on the team. The selection camp included a total of 41 players vying for the 25 sports.
Of the 25 players on the roster, 12 have previously represented the U.S. in the Olympic Winter Games, including three-time Olympian Julie Chu (Fairfield, Conn.). Members of the team range in age from 16-31, with Jincy Dunne (O’Fallon, Mo.) the youngest player and Chu the oldest. In total, the rostered players have represented the U.S. in 1,384 games in international competitions between 1999 and 2013.
The U.S. Women’s National Team will enter a residency program in early September and will primarily train at The Edge Sports Center in Bedford, Massachusetts. The final 2014 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team, which will include 18 forwards/defensemen and three goaltenders, will be announced in late December of 2013.
Since women’s ice hockey was instituted in the Olympic Games in 1998, the U.S. team has made the medal stand each trip, earning gold in the inaugural games of 1998, silver in 2002, bronze in 2006, and silver in 2010 to amass an overall record of 18-3.
While in High School, Pankowski is a two-time member of the U.S. women’s under-18 select squad and represented Team USA at the 2012 world championships, winning a silver medal. Heading to the University of Wisconsin next year, Pankowski will have the opportunity to play with 4 fellow Badgers on the U.S. National team.
Pankowski’s recent accomplishment on the ice magnifies SMCHS’ already nationally recognized ice hockey program. This past school year, our boys’ ice hockey team claimed the USA Hockey National High School Championship on March 24th after defeating the defending national champions, Regis Jesuit Raiders, 4-3 in overtime in Coral Spring, Fl. In the hockey programs short existence, the Eagles have already sent on 12 athletes to play at the next level, including Pankowski’s recent national promotion.