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Long Islanders make junior national team

GEORGIA HOLLAND Ward Melville, Midfielder, Senior Holland was

GEORGIA HOLLAND
Ward Melville, Midfielder, Senior
Holland was second in Long Island in with 29 points and second in Suffolk with 11 assists. She led the Island in total points and assists as a junior. She was named a first-team All-American this year and is one of 14 girls on the under-19 U.S. Olympic Development team. The Yale-bound star also led Ward Melville to three straight Long Island titles. (Credit: Photo by Joseph D. Sullivan)

This just in… Georgia Holland, Abby Beltrani and Katie Trombetta are really good at field hockey.

Well, not quite breaking news, but what we’ve got here is further confirmation of their abilities.

The three Long Islanders were selected for USA Field Hockey’s junior national teams after tryouts last month at UMass. Holland and Beltrani, former Ward Melville teammates, qualified for the Under-21 team and Trombetta, an incoming junior at Sachem East, made the Under-17 squad.

Holland and Beltrani were among 30 players from around the country chosen for the U-21 group, which is a level below the national team. Those players will participate in training camp from Aug. 16-22 and from there, USA Field Hockey will determine the final roster for the Pan American Championship, which runs Sept. 10-23 in Mexico. Team USA will face Brazil in the opening match.

For Holland, an incoming junior at Yale, this selection was redemption and a lesson in sticktoitiveness. She had tried out for the U-21 team last year but was cut.

“It was nice to see that if I kept working hard, I’d be able to meet that goal,” said Holland, who was Newsday’s 2009 Player of the Year, and a first-team All-Ivy League selection last year. “It’s a pretty exciting step.”

Holland, who made the U-17 and U-19 teams in years past, said that after being passed over last year, she gave serious thought to giving up her national team pursuit and focusing solely on Yale. “But I thought that this was my last year to be eligible,” the 20-year-old said, “and knowing that the Junior Pan-Am games are coming up, I was like, ‘What the heck?’”

See, kids? Perseverance triumphs once more.

Holland said that in the last year, she was has improved most as a defender. She was a midfielder in high school and, in college, is a midfielder and plays backer on defense. For Team USA, though, she plays defense almost exclusively.

After leading Yale to a co-Ivy League title (and being named team MVP), she now gets to reunite with Beltrani, with whom she won a Class A state championship in 2008. “We get to connect again on the field,” Holland said. “It’s always fun being able to play with her again… We each have a good sense of how the other plays.”

Beltrani, who is entering her sophomore year at Duke, was Newsday’s 2010 Player of the Year and a two-time All-American in high school. She was a member of the U-17 team that won bronze in the 2010 Pan American games, and competed on the U-19 last year in Chile. The midfielder will also be joined on the Under-21 team by college teammates Lauren Blazing and Aileen Johnson.

Trombetta recently finished competing in the AAU Junior Olympics in Houston, which ran from July 30-Aug. 4. As a sophomore last year, she scored 28 points (14 assists) and led Sachem East to its first ever Class A state championship. The 2011 All-American and two-time Newsday All-Long Island honoree is poised for another big season with the Flaming Arrows. She was also recently named one of MSG Varsity's 30 Players to Watch for the 2012-13 year.

Tags: Georgia Holland , Abby Beltrani , Katie Trombetta , Ward Melville , Sachem East , Team USA , junior national team

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