Team USA announced today that Cayla Barnes would be taking time off from Boston College and joining the US women’s national team as they prepare for the 2018 Olympics.
Barnes is a three-time gold-medalist for the US U-18 squad and the only US player to win three consecutive gold medals at the U-18 level.
She had just started her freshman year at Boston College before she was called up to the national team. It would not appear that she burned through her freshman eligibility; per the Boston College press release:
"She has withdrawn from Boston College and will return in August 2018 to re-start her freshman year, both academically and athletically. So far this season, Barnes appeared in all five of BC’s games."
Barnes is no stranger to Team USA. Though she’s young, she’s the future of USA’s blue line and has played on multiple U18 select teams and was also on USA’s roster during the two-game December series against Team Canada this past winter. All in all, she’s recorded 14 points in 23 games at varying levels for Team USA.
“It was a quick 48 hours but I’m obviously really excited," Barnes said in a video released by Boston College. “After camp in April, they basically said ‘You had a great camp, you’re right there with all the girls selected for this team, but be ready. We’re going to be watching you and just be prepared to be called up at any time during this whole process leading up to the Olympics.’”
Barnes is young, but she’s a great pick for this team even if she is the youngest one on the squad now; fans should get used to seeing her in the red, white and blue in the foreseeable future. The question now is why was Barnes plucked from Boston College in the middle of her first season there and dropped into the middle of Team USA’s centralization.
USA’s press release said that the team is increasing the number of player’s on the roster from 23 to 24 to accommodate Barnes, so as of right now, it doesn’t appear that she’s replacing anyone who’s hurt. But this now mean’s that Team USA is going to have to cut a player before they travel to PyeongChang.
It goes almost without saying that the lead-up to the Olympics just got a lot more interesting.