Princeton alumna Jen Hoy '13 has been included on the U.S. Under-23 National Team roster for a trio of international matches in Spain next month.
Hoy was one of six forwards named to the team, which will face Japan on March 1, Sweden on March 3 and Norway on March 5 in La Manga, Spain, as part of the Six Nations Tournament.
Hoy, who was the 2012 Ivy League Player of the Year, an NSCAA second-team All-America and first-team All-Mid-Atlantic, and graduated as Princeton's fourth-leading goal scorer and point scorer over her career, completed her first season in the National Women's Soccer League with the Chicago Red Stars in August.
Hoy is one of two Princeton alumnae in the NWSL, as all-time career assists leader Diana Matheson '08 plays with the Washington Spirit.
For the full U.S. Soccer release on the U-23 team's roster for the tournament in Spain, click here.
Below, Hoy recently answered some questions for GoPrincetonTigers.com about her experience in the professional league and a previous visit to Spain.
On her experience in the NWSL...
My experience in the new league was absolutely wonderful. I was fortunate to be drafted by a team and organization with incredibly supportive teammates, coaches and administrative staff, so they helped make the transition from college to the professional league an easy one. The level of play is competitive and intense, and my coaches and teammates continue to push me to improve and develop beyond my comfort zone. Like the players who have come before me, being a professional soccer player in the NWSL has provided me with the opportunity to positively influence young players, and I love this! There are many areas of my game that I will continue to develop over the course of the upcoming season, specifically technically and tactically, but this offseason I focused my training primarily on technical work with the soccer ball. I am looking forward to the start of the preseason. We have an exciting roster filled with top-notch players and I can't wait to see how we will compete with the rest of the league.
On her time off the field...
Off the field I received the opportunity to speak to local players who belong to the Deep Run Soccer Club where I started my career almost 17 years ago. It was such an honor to give a speech and answer questions at their annual banquet, especially since it feels like just yesterday that I was in their shoes as a young player with so many different paths that my life could take. After the NWSL season ended, I went on an incredible backpacking trip with my dad out in Glacier National Park in Montana. My dad and I love the outdoors, so we had a blast backpacking through the wilderness, avoiding bears and stumbling upon the most beautiful waterfalls and lakes that I have ever seen. We ended up hiking about 65 miles in seven days! I firmly believe that it is important to make time to pursue your passions while spending time with the people that you care about. For two months of the offseason, I traveled to Barcelona to play soccer and teach English to the host family that I lived with. I was fortunate to be able to attend some FC Barcelona gmaes with my host family while I was there, and the energy inside Camp Nou was unlike anything I have ever experienced. Coincidentally, my host family lives in a small town located right outside of Barcelona called Sant Feliu de Llobregat, the same town where FC Barcelona has their training facilities. At times it was difficult to find opportunities to play while I was in Barcelona, but fortunately both my host mom's uncle and brother played on teams that competed in the town's local soccer leagues. Playing pick-up with them became the highlight of my week, and we played on small turf fields located right next to FC Barcelona's training complex. It was just too cool.
On being with the U-23 national team...
There is no better feeling than representing your country, so this has been a special experience and I am both thankful and honored to have been invited back into camp. The atmosphere on the field is incredibly focused and practices are very player-driven. Ultimately, every one of us wants to leave camp having developed ourselves more than when we arrived. I am hoping that during my short time with the U-23 team in Spain I can improve tactically, specifically in terms of my movement off the ball, combining with my teammates and getting myself into more dangerous positions in the final third of the field.
On her Princeton experience...
My four years at Princeton encompass some of the best moments of my life. Although my time as an undergraduate is complete, I continue to be impressed by the passion and strength of the Princeton alumni community. There is nothing else like it. During my time at Princeton, I was surrounded by professors, teammates, coaches, university staff and fellow undergraduates who demanded a lot of me and pushed me toward becoming a better version of myself, both in the classroom and on the soccer field. These people were an integral part of my experience because they helped shape me into the person that I am today, and I couldn't be more thankful for all of their continued support and love.