Angela Ruggiero retires from Team USA

Updated: December 29, 2011, 12:35 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Four-time Olympian Angela Ruggiero announced her retirement from the U.S. women's national hockey team Wednesday after 16 years with the program.

Ruggiero, who helped the Americans win gold at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, played more games than any other Team USA player (256) and finished with 67 goals and 141 assists for 208 career points.

"I feel honored and privileged to have represented the USA program over the past 16 years," said the 31-year-old defenseman. "USA Hockey will always be a part of me and I will cherish the experiences and memories with this team.

Ruggiero said she's looking forward to her next career, as well as representing athletes through her roles on the International Olympic Committee and the United States Olympic Committee.

Ruggiero led Team USA to silver Olympic medals in 2002 and 2010 and a bronze medal in 2006. She played in 10 world championships, winning four gold medals and six silver medals.

A Harvard graduate, she won the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, given to the top player in NCAA Division I women's hockey, in 2004.