STORRS, Conn. – The Ireland women’s national field hockey team has not qualified for the World Cup since 2002, but just added a punch to its roster with Roisin Upton – former UConn standout and three-time All-American.
Originally from Limerick, Ireland, Upton is one of 18 players named to the Irish national team to compete in World League 2 – a qualifier for the 2018 World Cup. It will take place in Kuala Lumpur from Jan. 14-22, 2017.
Ireland is hoping for a top-two finish in order to qualify for World League 3, where it could play in Belgium or South Africa depending on the rankings.
Heading into World League 2, Ireland is the second-highest ranked team in the tournament (Italy is ranked 15th, while Ireland is 16th). Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Hong Kong join Ireland in Pool B.
Upton looks to be a crucial part of the Irish team in its quest to climb the world rankings and qualify in the World Cup. She was part of the back-to-back national titles at UConn in 2013 and 2014.
She served as an undergraduate student assistant coach with the Huskies this season, finding a different way to contribute to UConn’s fourth-straight trip to the NCAA Final Four.
A two-time Mideast Region Player of the Year, Upton was also a two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year and a three-time member of the All-Big East First Team.
Head coach Graham Shaw is optimistic after announcing his national team roster on Friday afternoon. “Selection for World League 2 was incredibly competitive, showing how much our full squad has grown and developed over the past year. We are looking forward to getting to Malaysia.”