January 7, 2013

Georgia Holland to Captain Bulldogs in 2013

Junior Elected Bulldogs' 43rd Captain

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – An injury may have sidelined junior midfielder/back Georgia Holland (Stony Brook, N.Y.) for all but three games of the 2012 season, but it did not stop her from being a leader for the Yale field hockey team. That fact was clear when the Bulldogs elected Holland as captain for the 2013 season this past December. Holland, the 43rd captain in Yale history, was selected by a team vote and is expected to be back to full health by the start of next season.

"I am so excited and honored to have been elected captain by my teammates," said Holland. "I hope to follow in the footsteps of the great Yale Field Hockey captains that have come before me. I am confident that with the help from my classmates, we will be able to lead this team to much success in the 2013 season."

Holland's injury, which came just a day before she was set to depart for Guadalajara, Mexico, to play for the United States at the Junior Pan Am Championship, cost her the final 14 games of the 2012 Yale season. But she remained an integral part of the team on the sideline, even though she could no longer contribute on the field.

"Georgia is a natural leader, in particular one that leads by example," said Yale head coach Pam Stuper. "This season she had one of the greatest challenges she has faced in her career just 13 hours before she was headed to the airport for Guadalajara as a key member of the USA Under-21 National Team to compete in the Junior Pan American games, with Junior World Cup qualification on the line for Team USA. With a season-ending injury that also kept her from competing for her country, Georgia could no longer lead on the field. She confronted the challenge of being sidelined by never complaining about her unfortunate circumstance, being incredibly diligent with her rehab, and finding ways to be a vocal leader off the field."

With Holland leading from the sideline, the Bulldogs overcame a mid-season slump and ended the year with two wins in their final three games.

"She helped lead the team with her positive energy and constructive criticism," said Stuper. "She worked hard to help prepare and teach the skills and tactics her teammates needed to improve. She put her team's needs above her own and supported everyone, despite her own adversity. Georgia was a true inspiration to her teammates as a coach and a mentor to them.  As one of her teammates duly noted, she is the true embodiment of selflessness and dedication to get better so she could once again contribute to her team and country."

Holland has been a part of a record-breaking run by the team in the past three years, a run that included the school's first Ivy title since 1980 (2011). Yale went 11-6 overall and 6-1 in the league that year, tying Princeton for first place to earn a share of the Ancient Eight crown. The Bulldogs are 14-7 in the Ivy League in Holland's three seasons (including a first-place finish and a second-place finish). That is the second-most league wins in a three-year span in school history.  

In Holland's last full season, 2011, the Bulldogs set the school records for goals (69), assists (68) and points (206). They tied the school record for wins in Ivy League play with six and reached double digits in overall wins for the third straight season -- the first time in school history that feat has been accomplished.

Holland was named first team All-Ivy League unanimously that year. She also earned Yale's Player of the Year award. She tied for second on the team and tied for sixth in the Ivy League in goals with nine, and tied for third on the team and tied for eighth in the league in points (9-4-22). She led the team and tied for fourth in the league with three defensive saves.

In her freshman season (2010), Holland earned Ivy League Co-Rookie of the Year and second team All-Ivy League honors. She started all 17 games, scoring four goals and adding six assists.

While she was unable to compete due to her injury, Holland's selection to the U.S. roster for the Junior Pan Am Championship culminated years of work in the USA Field Hockey program for her. She competed for the North team at the 2012 USA Field Hockey National Championship and won the Junior National Championship with the Pennsylvania team in June of 2010. In 2010 she was also part of Olympic Development Select and the U-19 National Team, taking part in a tour of Argentina in April. She attended Junior National Camp from 2008-2010 and was part of Futures Elite in 2009. She won National Futures Championships in 2008 and 2009. She also played for Yale associate head coach Tamara Durante, and with current Yale classmate goalie Emily Cain (Laytonsville, Md.), on the Junior Olympic Team in 2008, earning second place.

Holland is part of a junior class at Yale that, in addition to her and Cain, also includes midfielder Erica Borgo (Randolph, N.J.), forward Gabrielle Garcia (Garden City, N.Y.), forward Brooke Gogel (Bronxville, N.Y.) and forward/midfielder Emily Schuckert (Wilmington, Del.).

Holland is a molecular, cellular and developmental biology major and a member of Ezra Stiles College. She is a two-time NFHCA National Academic Squad honoree and hopes to go to medical school, possibly going into orthopedic surgery. In addition to her academic work she has also been active in community service. She volunteers for Big Brothers Big Sisters, where she helps mentor a local child. She also takes part in the Yale Athletics Department's Kiphuth Leadership Academy, which helps student-athletes develop leadership skills, and Yale's Student Athlete Advisory Committee.

Holland is the first Yale field hockey captain from New York since Harriet Thayer '08 in 2007, and the sixth overall from the Empire State. She was first team All-American, Newsday's Long Island Field Hockey Player of the Year and a National Academic Squad selection as a senior in high school at Ward Melville, where she also captained the team. She was all-state and all-county from 2007-09 and all-county honorable mention in 2006. She was named to the Newsday All-Long Island Field Hockey Team from 2007-09. A cellist in the Ward Melville Symphony Orchestra, she was an AP Scholar with Honor and a member of both the National Honor Society and the French Honor Society.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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