Holland Earns Spot on USA’s Junior World Cup Team

Georgia Holland. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Georgia Holland. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale Captain to Play for U.S. at Tournament in Germany

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Rising senior midfielder/back Georgia Holland (Stony Brook, N.Y.) has been chosen to represent her country in one of the most prestigious international competitions for players her age. Following Junior National Camp this past week, on Friday Holland was one of 18 players selected to the U.S. roster for the Junior World Cup.

The Junior World Cup tournament, which occurs every four years and features the top players 21 and younger from 16 countries, takes place in Mönchengladbach, Germany, July 27 to Aug. 4. The 16 countries at the Junior World Cup are divided into four pools. The U.S. opens pool play on July 27 at 11:30 a.m. vs. Korea, then plays the Netherlands July 28 and Ghana July 30. Quarterfinals and placement matches (for the bottom eight teams) begin on Aug. 1 at 9:00 a.m., and the gold medal match is Aug. 4 at 4:00 p.m.

For a young field hockey player, selection to the Junior World Cup roster can be a major stepping stone. Seven athletes from the U.S. roster at the previous Junior World Cup (in 2009) went on to represent the U.S. in the 2012 Olympics. That group included Melissa Gonzalez, who was an assistant coach for Yale last season.

The selection process for the Junior World Cup team spanned four USA Field Hockey events, including the Women's National Championship, U-21 Women's National Championship, Futures Elite Championship and National Futures Championship. From the four events, 34 players were selected to attend Junior National Camp. The final roster included 18 players plus three replacements.  

Holland has been a rising star in the USA Field Hockey system for years. In addition to competing for the Under-21 team at the 2013 National Championship this past May, she competed for the North team at the 2012 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, the captain of the Yale field hockey team, is coming back from an injury that cost her the final 14 games of the 2012 Yale season -- an injury that 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. The U.S. team finished third at that event, earning a spot in the 2013 Junior World Cup in the process.

Holland has been a part of a record-breaking run by Yale in the past three years, a span that included the school's first Ivy title since 1980 (2011). In her 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.

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.

Holland is a molecular, cellular and developmental biology major and a member of Ezra Stiles College. She is a three-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. Prior to Yale she attended Ward Melville.

This is the sixth Junior World Cup; the Netherlands won the last one (2009 in Boston). The best finish by the United States was seventh (2005 in Santiago, Chile).

Further information about the Junior World Cup is available at http://www.fih.ch/en/competitions-187-hockey-junior-world-cup-women-junior-world

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