COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - January 10, 2017 - Following several tremendous years of performing on the international stage for the U.S. Women’s National Team, two-time Olympians and standout-star sisters Katie Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) and Julia Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) have announced their retirements from the squad.
Achieving a total of 166 international caps, K. Reinprecht collected four gold medal world championship titles during her career including the 2014 Champions Challenge in Glasgow, Scotland and 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada. Adding to her accomplishments, she also earned four silver medals. However, K. Reinprecht leaves the international pitch with more than just impressive hardware.
“Katie will have left an impression on many hockey followers both at home and abroad,” said Craig Parnham, former USWNT Head Coach.“Her unassuming manner perhaps disguised her qualities as a leader. Katie was about actions and leading by example, though when she spoke we all listened, Katie inspired the team and I’m sure many others outside it.”
While with the team, winning the 2011 Pan American Games and qualifying for the London 2012 Olympics as well as playing in the semifinal at the World Cup are all highlight pitch performances.
Keeping it on the lighter side, K. Reinprecht recalls a particular odd yet chuckle-worthy moment while competing.
“Another memory that stands out was when a person dressed in a panda costume ran across the field during our game against Argentina at the World Cup,” said K. Reinprecht. “At the time, it felt like a hallucination, but this, in fact, did happen.”
As many treasured on-field moments K. Reinprecht has, there are just as many moments she holds closely outside of the pitch.
“We have a hilarious and often ridiculous bunch, so there's no shortage of great memories,” said K. Reinprecht. “A seemingly dull moment can become quite eventful whenever I'm with my teammates. Besides the comedic moments with teammates, there were other highlights that standout, including zip lining in New Zealand, visiting Christ the Redeemer in Rio, walking around the historic streets of Europe and enjoying the beautiful beaches of Australia. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to see and experience so many parts of the world as a result of being on the national team.”
K. Reinprecht joined the senior national team in 2009 with a skillful stick and experience that included contributing to the Junior Pan American Championship in Mexico City, Mexico to secure a first-place finish. As a Princeton University Tiger, she was selected as the Ivy League Player of the Year, named a second-team All-America by the NFHCA, a first-team All-Ivy and first-team all-region and ranked No. 9 in the nation for points per game.
“Katie has been a key player for the U.S. Women’s National Team during the past 7 years and as a two-time Olympian has reached the pinnacle of our sport,” said Simon Hoskins, USA Field Hockey’s Executive Director. “She continues to be a wonderful role model and ambassador for field hockey.”
Following in her sister's footsteps, J. Reinprecht has also announced her retirement from the U.S. Women's National Team. Being named to the USWNT in 2010, J. Reinprecht accumulated 154 international caps for Team USA while earning an impressive four gold medals at international events including the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, 2014 Champions Challenge in Glasgow, Scotland, 2013 FIH Hockey World League Round 2 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
"Julia was a very intelligent player, she took the time to study and understand the game and her part in it," said Parnham. "In many ways she was a coach’s dream player. She had the ability to play in a number of positions across and through lines, her versatility was a great strength."
J. Reinprecht’s determination has led her to many milestones in her career including the 2011 victory against Argentina at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics and winning a bronze medal at the 2016 Champion's Trophy.
What made her national experience extra special was these on-field and off-field memories included one of her closest friends and sisters. Now looking back, J. Reinprecht realizes more and more just how influential K. Reinprecht was in her field hockey career in general.
"She pushed me as a player, not in a competitive way, but more in that she set the bar for what an elite athlete is," said J. Reinprecht. "She also is my best friend. We didn't go to college together or live together in San Diego and Lancaster by chance. At times, we have been each other's nurses through injuries and sicknesses, and she was always there to provide me with some laughter when I needed it. The Olympic Games experience is another extraordinary moment that we were able to share. We stood next to each other in the anthem lineup, so we always got to give each other's hand an extra squeeze before we took the field. It was just a little bit a comfort knowing she had my back each and every game."
Starting off on the USWNT Developmental Squad in 2009, J. Reinprecht worked tirelessly as a member of the U.S. U-21 Women's National Team and earned a spot on the senior team a year later. That same year at Princeton University she was named unanimous first-team All-Ivy, first-team All-region and second-team All-American.
"Julia has been an integral player for the U.S. Women’s National Team and a key leader on the team for since 2009," said Hoskins. "Throughout 2016 Julia played at an incredibly high level, with outstanding performances in the Champions Trophy and Olympic Games."
J. Reinprecht will be the Social Media Strategist at Boll & Branch. Boll & Branch is a home textiles company with an amazing mission, all the right values, and an incredible team.
The dynamic duo shared parting thoughts to their teammates and fans.
"The USA Field Hockey community is always one that surprises me, but in such a good way!," said J. Reinprecht. "Our sport may not be the biggest or most popular, but we truly have a devoted group of fans. Whenever someone comes up to me in some of the most random of places, I am always incredibly humbled. You shared your love of the sport with us, and inspired us to keep pushing ourselves. To the team, you already know this, but you all are rockstars. You have inspired me in so many ways. There are moments that I will forever struggle to explain to others, but will always share with you. You will always have a special place in my heart."
"Thank you so much for your support over the years!" said K. Reinprecht. "Every time we took the field with USA across our chest, we knew we were representing something bigger than ourselves. Now it’s my turn to change roles and be the support system behind the team and program. I’m very excited to watch and see what they can achieve."
USA Field Hockey wishes the best of luck to both Reinprechts in their future endeavors.