LANCASTER, Pa. – Saint Joseph’s field hockey associate head coach Shannon Taylor has been named as an assistant coach with the USA Field Hockey U21 National Team.  The squad consists of some the top collegiate and high school players in the country.

“It is an incredible opportunity to be the assistant coach for the U21s,” Taylor said.  “The group has an incredible amount of natural ability and potential to be successful on the international stage.  I look forward to preparing them for their aspirations to make the Women's National Team and further develop our Olympic pipeline.”

“Shannon offers great exposure to the top youth talent in the country,” Saint Joseph’s head coach Lynn Farquhar said.  “She is an exceptional coach and will be a positive asset to the USA Field Hockey U21 coaching staff.”

Taylor joined the group as the Team Manager for the Junior World Cup in Chile last fall, and stood as the Interim Head Coach during U21 tryouts in January.  She recently completed her first training camp with the squad in Chula Vista, California, and will be on the sidelines for the Young Women’s National Championship in Lancaster in June.

A 2012 Olympian and 2011 Pan Am Games gold medalist, Taylor was a long-time member of the National Team program as a player, beginning with her selection to the U21 squad in 2006.  Since her international retirement, Taylor has stayed active with the USA Field Hockey program, and her expertise was called on to assist with NBC’s coverage of the 2016 Olympic Games.

“I believe working with this group will further my growth and learning as a coach,” she said.  “I am able to experience different training techniques, coaching styles, and opportunities to bring back to Saint Joseph's.  Being consistently exposed to an elite training environment will further my ability to push our Hawks to a higher level and to be able to reach new heights.”

“Starting at the grass-roots developmental Futures Program, Shannon's journey lead her to represent her nation in the London Olympic Games; she is an inspiration for our future hockey stars,” Farquhar said.  “In between those stages, Shannon has challenged herself by living the life of a student-athlete, where she matured as an individual and cultivated what it means to be a member of a team with a greater mission.  Her mentality, hockey insight, and pursuit of excellence is what makes her a great mentor for our Youth National Team and our Hawks!”

Taylor will next work with the U21 team during SJU’s spring break, when the squad gathers for a training camp at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.