Birch to Play for England U21 National Team

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Junior Katie Birch has been selected to play for the England U21 National Team in a series against Ireland in Belfast, Ireland, August 6-12.
A native of York, England, Birch was selected to the national team after participating in a development training camp. As a sophomore, Birch scored a team-leading 14 goals and tallied eight assists to earn first team All-Big Ten recognition and NFHCA third team All-America status.
“The selection shows me that all my hard work is paying off,” Birch said. “Especially having been out of the country for two years, to still be involved in the England selection is amazing. It’s an incredible honor to represent my country. I feel incredibly lucky to be given this opportunity to play against Ireland.”
The international opportunity allows Birch to represent the Iowa field hockey team abroad, which is
something Birch takes great pride in.
“I can’t wait to represent Iowa abroad,” Birch said. “It’s an incredible honor to wear the Black and Gold. I want to show off the program because it is so successful and deserves a lot of credit for getting me where I am now.”
Birch has started every game of her Hawkeye career and has racked up 26 career goals, including three career hat tricks. She continues to improve each year and can’t underestimate the impact of her Hawkeye coaches and teammates.
“The coaches continue to push me to be better and develop skills and tactics I never dreamt of accomplishing,” Birch said. “My teammates are my drive. We all have high aspirations for this upcoming season, and I want to be able to lead by example.”
Head coach Lisa Cellucci could not be happier for one of the many leaders on the Iowa team.
“We are excited for Katie to have the opportunity to represent Iowa and her home country, England, as a member of their U21 National Team,” Cellucci said. “One of her goals is to play at the highest levels of our sport and this is another step towards achieving that goal. She has worked hard to improve all areas of her game and it is awesome she will get the chance to showcase those improvements on this stage.  As a returning All-American, we are looking forward to her return and presence on the field this fall.”
The Hawkeyes open the 2018 season in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, against Wake Forest on Aug. 25.