Six Houston Dash players are heading to Tokyo after being selected on Olympic rosters.
Kristie Mewis will represent Team USA, where she and sister Samantha (North Carolina Courage) make history as the first pair of sisters to represent the U.S. on a world championship roster at the senior Olympic level. Jane Campbell will serve as an alternate for Team USA.
Nichelle Prince and Allysha Chapman will represent Team Canada. Sophie Schmidt will serve as an alternate.
Rachel Daly will represent Team Great Britain.
“It almost really hasn’t even sunk in yet that I’m going to the Olympics,” Mewis told reporters. “It feels weird still just saying it. But this week has been... I’ll probably not ever forget this week because this is just one of the most exciting things that will happen in my career.”
“Obviously in these last couple of weeks, it’s just kind of been on everyone’s shoulders,” Prince said. “It’s just a relief to finally know what the roster is.”
Playing in the Olympics means missing a good chunk of the Dash’s season, which the players say is the only downfall of going.
“I am going to miss a good chunk of games, but I’m going to be living my dream going to the Olympics,” Mewis said. “I know the girls will just take care of business here while I’m gone. I’ll obviously be really excited to get back and join again with them, but I’m going to miss them so much.”
“I think it’s amazing that they’re going to the Olympics - what an achievement,” Dash head coach James Clarkson said. “I’m also very proud of the two alternates that haven’t been selected to the 18 but have taken the responsibility to help that 18 win, and still travel and be part of it. I think that takes a huge amount of courage and dedication. To see our players doing that, I think, is incredible. I kind of hope that our squad players see the sacrifices that these top players are making and hopefully that has a real positive effect on the rest of our group, because when you see a top player, somebody like Sophie Schmidt (that) has played over 200 games for a country still wanting to go as an alternate, knowing that she’s not going to play but guaranteed that she’ll be the hardest one training and every single day, she’ll have the biggest smile on her face.”
It’s round two of the Olympics for Nichelle Prince, who was a part of Team USA in 2016 as a college student at Ohio State.
“Five years ago, I was still in college,” Prince said. “I just think that when I was younger, you know, every single game made me so nervous, like it would be paralyzing. I think I’ve learned to channel my emotions and to really use it to my advantage and to just be confident myself and trust my abilities. I think it’s always a good feeling when you go into a tournament, feeling confident, feeling ready, feeling like you’re prepared. Well, that’s how I’m feeling right now. In these next five weeks, hopefully I can just keep preparing and keep getting better and feel ready for our first game.”
This article has been corrected from an earlier version that omitted Rachel Daly.