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STORRS, Conn. – Coming off her first big international tournament in Malaysia as a member of the Irish National Field Hockey Team, former UConn standout Roisin Upton is wearing green and living her dream.
Since Upton started playing hockey in her hometown of Limerick, it has been her fullest intention to one day play for the Green Army – and she is doing it with flying colors.
Ireland recently won World League 2 in January, earning its spot in World League 3 and inching closer to a bid in the 2018 World Cup. With Upton onboard, the team is ready to make a run.
“It’s a great feeling getting to put on a green jersey,” said Upton. “I got a warm welcome into the speed and intensity of the international game in January and it was a great start to a huge year for us as a squad.”
Upton scored a hat trick against Singapore in the World League 2 quarterfinals, as part of a 10-0 win for Ireland. She also scored a goal against Hong Kong in pool play, her first international goal.
It’s a busy stretch coming up for the Irish team, as World League 3 looms in July. Until then, Upton will be able to gain more international playing experience.
“We’re gearing up for World League 3 in South Africa in July, but we also have a couple of series in the coming weeks in England, Germany – and in May, the U.S. – in preparation for the World Cup qualifier,” said Upton.
Upton’s club team, Cork Harlequins, is also nearing the end of its season with each team looking for a spot in the final four weekend. A two-time First Team All-American at UConn, Upton is used to a hectic playing schedule.
“UConn gave me an incredibly unique experience. At UConn, you’re treated as close to a professional athlete as a hockey player will ever be,” said Upton. “Nancy, Paul and Cheri enhanced my work ethic and understanding of the game. I left UConn having gained so much.”
During her time at UConn, Upton helped the Huskies win national championships in 2013 and 2014 – the third and fourth in program history (also 1981 ad 1985).
UConn also helped prepare the two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year for life off the field, which she is planning out carefully.
“Hockey in Ireland is not full-time, so at the moment, I’m working for my brother with his Analytic Design company. I’ll be applying for Master’s programs in the coming months,” said Upton. “All of the girls on the squad juggle some mix of full-time jobs, college work and hockey.”
With a full plate of hockey, work and school applications, Upton has a busy spring and summer schedule coming up – and she wouldn’t have it any other way, as she continues to reach her goals.