Born Margaux Louise Paolino July 1, 1997 in Philadelphia Margaux is a new young striker for Team USA. Despite the national team’s failure to qualify for the Olympic games in Tokyo 2020, the rise of the young striker, Margaux Paolino is seen as one of the positive points of a new generation of Team USA players.
- Name: Margaux Paolino
- Sport: Field Hockey
- Position: Striker
- DOB: 7/1/1997
- Hometown: Villanova, Pa.’
- High School: Episcopal Academy
- College: Duke University (’20)
- Team/Club: Xcalibur FHC
Paolino became involved in hockey through encouragement from her family. Paolino and her twin brother, Matthew, who attends The Haverford School, have an older sister, Emily, who is a graduate of Villanova University, and a younger brother, Thomas, an eighth-grade soccer player at St. Aloysius Academy.
“My older sister had played field hockey,” Paolino said. “When I got the chance to play, I really loved it.”
“She’s a natural forward,” said Buggy, who was a field hockey and lacrosse All-American at Ursinus College and a member of the United States hockey team that was bronze medalist in the 1984 Olympic Games. “But our team
needed her skill in the midfield, and from that position she still scored, assisted and dominated in the midfield. She added:
“Margaux is one of the most-talented high school players I have seen in 30 years. Her stick skills and advanced passing, receiving and shooting skills far exceed the high school level.”
It’s no surprising then that Dukes describe her as a midfielder/striker.
A Villanova native, Paolino said it was important for her that Duke embodied the values that her family had already taught her. The familiar values and local geography made it the place where she felt most at home.
Paolino definitely appears comfortable at Duke. Going into her final college season, she is a two-time all-American and two-time member of the ACC academic honor roll.
To future recruits, Paolino said it was important to keep the experience “fun.” she added:
“You should enjoy it and embrace everything that comes your way,” she said.
The American 21 year old is not actually a rookie despite her young age. Paolino has already earned 27 national caps and counting. After being named in the national team last fall, she finished the spring semester at Duke, known as the Blue Devils and was called straight up into the FIH Pro League, one of 25 players on the United States squad.
This guaranteed she was up against the world’s elite pros in a season that ran from January to June.
Paolino, a three-time All-Delco at EA and the 2015 Daily Times Field Hockey Player of the Year, chalked up
eight appearances in 2019. The U.S. finished last out of nine elite nations with a 1-12-3 record.
The grueling itinery is not lost on the budding superstar. She said:
It’s definitely hard but there’s a lot of open communication between my national team coaches as well
as my college coaches, so they’re constantly in touch,” she said last week. “We have multiple calendars
to go through everything together and sit down and have meetings. So that’s definitely hard.”
The U.S. went in a pool to play at the Pan Am Games and zoomed past Cuba, 9-0, in the quarterfinal.
TeamUSA lost, 2-0, to Canada in the semis, achieving bronze with a 5-1 respectable result over Chile.
The 16-player roster featured a lot of locals Paolino knows well. 10 players hailed from Pennsylvania,
with one each from Delaware and New Jersey. With established stars like Kat Sharkey, Paolino was teammates with players she grew up idolizing.
On Nov. 1 and 2, in Bhubaneswar, India, Team USA split a two-game series with the host nation.
But because India scored one more aggregate goal, 6-5, India and not the U.S. earned the last of 12 spots in the women’s field game for Tokyo.
Like the rest of the team Paolino felt great disappointment in missing out to India in reaching the Olympics to be held in Japan in 2020 despite Margaux putting USA ahead with a well taken goal. However she was humble about even being picked for the national team: she said
I’m really excited, especially being the process to qualifying for the Olympics, the Olympics itself carries such heavy weight with it,” she added. “So I think for me, I’ve been so lucky through a lot of this process and I’ve continued to grow as a player and I’m excited and humbled to know that my coaches have recognized and see that and they believe in me. It’s definitely unique and special, for sure.”
The whole of Team USA is now looking to the future. Margaux said:
“We have a fairly new, younger squad, but they’re just as talented as any other previous season,
so being a senior, I’m excited,” she said. “It’s great to be back with them, and I have high expectations and
I’m pretty sure I could say the same for most of my teammates.