The UNC field hockey team is set to welcome back three players who have been competing with the U.S. Junior Women's National Team at the Pan American Junior Championship in Guadalajara, Mexico. Junior Marta Malmberg and freshmen Emma Bozek and Emily Wold will return to Chapel Hill Sunday evening after helping the U.S. win a bronze medal and qualify for the 2013 Junior World Cup.
"I can't wait to get our Under-21 National Team players back, just like the others in the country who are missing their players," UNC coach Karen Shelton said. "They qualified for the Junior World Cup, and we're very proud of them for that. Now we're looking forward to integrating them back into our lineup."
Both of UNC's opponents this weekend also were missing players. Duke, which UNC beat 7-3 on Friday, was without a total of six players, four of whom were on the U.S. team and two on the Canadian team. Stanford, which UNC beat 6-2 on Sunday, was missing two players, one with the U.S. team and one who played for silver-medalist Canada.
"I am absolutely delighted with the result," said U.S. Junior Women's National Team head coach Nick Conway, who is a former UNC assistant coach. "This group of players has committed a lot to prepare to be here, missing the most challenging time of year from their collegiate programs. They've worn the jersey with pride, and I am thrilled to pieces with the success that these players have earned this tournament and for all the families and friends who traveled to Guadalajara and followed from home. We've achieved what we came for and for that we will go home delighted."
The U.S. won the bronze with a 2-1 victory against Chile. Argentina took gold and Canada silver. The top five teams in the competition earned Junior World Cup spots.
Wold, who served as the team captain, and Bozek have missed the last five games with UNC. Malmberg has missed three. All three will be back with the Tar Heels for Tuesday's game at Davidson. UNC's next home game is an Atlantic Coast Conference battle with Wake Forest on Saturday at noon.