COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Terrapins Jill Witmer and Katie O'Donnell and all of the U.S. Senior National Team earned a bid to the 2014 Rabobank World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands after last week's performance in the Pan American Games. Witmer was the lone collegiate player on the squad in Argentina at last week's World Cup qualifier.
This will mark Witmer's first appearance in a major senior international tournament. O'Donnell, who is Maryland's all-time leading scorer, has earned 128 caps in her career on the U.S. National Team and has played in six major tournaments, beginning in her time in College Park in 2007-10.
The news comes following the completion of the women’s continental championships that have been taking place in Pan America (Mendoza, Argentina) and Asia (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) where Japan also earned placement. The U.S. earned the silver medal in the Pan American Games to host Argentina.
Like all of the continental championships, the big prize on offer both at the Pan American and Asian Cups was direct qualification for next year’s showpiece event at The Hague’s hugely impressive 15,000-seat Kyocera Stadium. The 2014 World Cup will be played next May-June.
Maryland assistant coach/technical director Joppe de Vries, coached for over 10 years in the highest ranks in the Netherlands.
"It's always great to have a big tournament in your home country," de Vries said. "Field hockey in Holland is very popular. The venue will be spectacular. It is a soccer stadium that is located close to the beach. I would invite all U.S. hockey fans to come over and enjoy great field hockey and a beautiful country."
"It's exciting. The Dutch are such remarkable leaders in the international game of field hockey," Terps head coach Missy Meharg said. "They've vowed this to be the extravaganza of all hockey events ever. They're really putting in a tremendous amount of marketing and global visibility to really make this a showcase. Looking forward to it for the Maryland coaching staff as well in having the opportunity to grow our knowledge of the game and go over. Hopefully, a few Terrapins will be on the squad, but more importantly, we'll be there to support Team USA. It'll be nice to go to Joppe's home and where he and his family are from. We're looking forward to it and we wish Team USA all the best."
Japan and Team USA become the ninth and tenth women’s teams to qualify the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup, with two more places up for grabs at the Oceania and African continental championships.
For more on Team USA's big, log on to www.USAFieldHockey.com.
Witmer returned to College Park early this week after missing three of the Terrapins' games over the last 10 days.