The team, coached by Janneke Schopman since 2017, made its first international appearance in 1920 when a touring team visited England, coached by Constance M.K. Applebee. The team made several international appearances in the early 20th Century, leading to the United States hosting the eighth International Federation of Women's Hockey Associations Tournament in 1963. Once the IFWHA merged with its counterpart on the men's side, the United States' first appearance at an FIH-sanctioned tournament was the 1983 Women's Hockey World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where the Americans ended up in sixth place. They have won bronze at the Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympics and bronze at the 1994 World Cup.
During the 1984 Summer Olympics, the team won their first international prize, a bronze medal. This happened after The Netherlands defeated Australia (2–0) in the final match of the round-robin tournament and Australia and the United States were left tied for third place with identical records: two wins, two losses, one draw, and nine goals scored and seven goals conceded. Following the Holland-Australia match, the United States players came down from the stands and competed with the Australians in a penalty shoot-out to decide the bronze medal. The US won the shootout (10–5) to claim America's first Olympic medal in women's field hockey.
The USWNT qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Games after defeating Argentina 4-2 at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. The U.S. had high hopes of finishing their rocky 2012 Olympic campaign on a high note. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen for Team USA as the final match at Riverbank Arena in London’s Olympic Park ended with a disappointing 2-1 loss to Belgium, leaving the U.S. with a last place finish in the tournament.
In similar fashion to qualifying for the London 2012 Olympic Games, the USWNT defeated Argentina at the Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada to punch their ticket to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In pool play the USWNT toppled both global hockey powerhouses Argentina (2nd FIH World Ranked) and Australia (3rd FIH World Ranked) with the same score of 2-1. Continuing in their preliminary schedule the USA rose above Japan 6-1 as well as India with a score of 3-0. Great Britain was USA’s final pool play competitor who defeated the USWNT dashing their near spotless record with a 2-1 win. In quartefinal play, Germany was able to grab one more goal than the USWNT to develop a 2-1 score, bringing USA's Olympic Games campaign to a close. The team finished in fifth place overall.