MANHEIM — If this really is the final week of Olympic field hockey play for Paige Selenski, she’s sure making the most of it.
So is Team USA.
Selenski set up the lone goal for the United States and nearly scored another during a 2-1 loss to India during the second game of the Rio Send-Off Series at the Spooky Nook Sports field.
“Obviously, it’s not the result you want,” said Team USA starter Kelsey Kolojejchick, a former Wyoming Seminary star who scored the winning goal in Monday’s 3-2 USA victory in the series opener. “I don’t like to lose. But I don’t want anyone having their head down.
“It’s not the Olympics.”
The series may be the only Olympic moments Selenski gets, and could be the final ones.
The Dallas High School graduate and veteran of the 2012 USA Olympic field hockey team overcame surgery to repair a torn hamstring late last year and made this year’s squad as an alternate — which means she won’t have the opportunity to play in the Rio Games next month unless one of her United States teammates is injured. And at the age of 26, she’s not certain she has another Olympic run in her for 2020, when she’ll be 30.
“I haven’t given it too much thought,” Selenski said earlier in the week. “It’s something I’ll probably start thinking about once these games are over.”
Don’t think she’s done just yet.
Selenski lifted a wicked shot that kicked off the tall crossbar, just missing a goal that would have been the game’s first in Wednesday’s first quarter. In the second quarter, Selenski made a drive to the goal and drew a penalty corner that turned into Jill Witmer’s goal for a 1-0 USA lead.
The United States held that score until the closing minute of the third quarter, when India tied the game before scoring the winner with 4:55 to play.
Kolojejchick and former Wyoming Seminary teammate Kat Sharkey played most of the game for Team USA, and Sharkey scored in a regularly-scheduled post-game practice shootout to give the USA a 3-2 victory in that event.
“It’s nothing we can’t fix,” Kolojejchick said of the game result. “We had great opportunities in their circle. If we just put one or two of them away, it would have been a different game. We have to work on some things. But we’re going to do very well.”