READING, Pa. - April 17, 2018 - USA Field Hockey would like to congratulate U.S. Women's National Team goalkeeper, Jackie Briggs, who will be honored Sunday, April 22 as one of the newest members of the Berks County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. The Berks County chapter, which covers Briggs' hometown of Robesonia, Pa., will be inducting 10 new members, bringing the total to 388 since its inaugural class in 1976.
The Berks County Chapter will hold its 43rd annual banquet at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Reading, Pa., beginning at 5 p.m. ET, and is open to the public.
Briggs earned All-State honors as a goalkeeper at Conrad Weiser High School before helping the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill win two NCAA titles. She joined the USWNT in 2010. Originally left off the 2011 Pan American Games roster, Briggs received a phone call a mere day prior to the start of the Olympic qualification tournament with a voice on the other end telling her to pack her bags and hop on the next flight to Guadalajara, Mexico. Briggs helped Team USA defeat Argentina to win the program's first Pan American gold medal and earn a berth in the London 2012 Olympic. Briggs was a member of the gold medal Champions Challenge squad and a part of the USA squad that stunned the world with a fourth place finish at the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup. Most recently she was part of the team that earned gold at the 2017 FIH Hockey World League Semifinals in Johannesburg, South Africa, where her performance in goal during two shootouts earned her the honor of Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament.
As the team prepares for their biggest challenge in 2018, the Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup in London, England, Briggs sat down with USA Field Hockey to chat about her recent Hall of Fame nod.
USA Field Hockey: How does it feel to be named to the local chapter of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame, essentially your hometown?
Jackie Briggs: It is a great honor to be named to the Berks County chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of fame. There are a lot of great athletes from this area and I am honored to be nominated alongside them. Thank you to everyone that believed in and supported me along my journey.
USA: What was the best thing about playing field hockey growing up?
JB: The best thing about playing field hockey when I was younger are the people I met and the friends I've made. I was surrounded by great athletes and great people who have taught me a lot and shared in the amazing memories that we made together. The beauty of playing a team sport is learning how to work well with the people around you and I wouldn't be where I am today without all the strong women I've been surrounded by over the years. Even today on the national team, I have the most fierce, strong, beautiful, powerful women by my side and they continue to inspire me to be the best person I can.
USA: What is your favorite moment from youth/college and as an athlete for the USWNT:
JB: I have many favorite moments throughout my career, but when I was younger I remember my first game against Oley Valley Middle School, a notoriously talented team. They called a stroke for Oley, and I didn't even know what a stroke was. The referee told me to stand on the goal line and try to save the ball when the attacker shot it. So I did just that, and saved it! We lost 3-0 but I still remember wondering why nobody taught me what a stroke was before that day!?
A favorite moment of my national team career would have to be winning the World League Semifinals last year in South Africa. We were young and inexperienced, but we stepped up and fought hard to come back in game after game, going to shootouts in the last two games to win. It was an extremely unforgettable moment where I prouder of my team than I ever have been in the past. I was so fortunate to be able to represent my country and bring home a gold medal with my team.
Another memorable moment in my career is during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro when I was interviewed by Julie Foudy after a game. I really looked up to the 1999 World Cup championship women's soccer team when I was a kid, something that really sparked my desire to compete at the highest level is sports. Having her interview me really brought my career full circle. It was a moment I will never forget! Hopefully I've been able to inspire the next generation of young athletes in our country!