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USWNT Striker and Olympian Funk Announces Retirement

Jan. 08, 2020, 3:57 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – January 8, 2020 – After 148 international caps to her name, U.S. Women’s National Team striker and Rio 2016 Olympian Jill Funk (Lancaster, Pa.) has announced her retirement from the senior team. Funk joined the USWNT in 2013 and played a key role in several international matches and tournaments for the red, white and blue.

“Jill has been an outstanding member of the U.S. Women’s National Team,” said Simon Hoskins, USA Field Hockey’s Executive Director. “Her skill and speed made her such an attacking threat and it has been a privilege for us all to watch the major impact she has made on the international stage. We wish her all the best for the next chapter of her life.”
Growing up a stone’s throw away from Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa., Funk’s field hockey interest rooted from encouragement by her parents. From there, she played at Penn Manor High School, where in addition to lettering all four years, was named three times to the Lancaster-Lebanon All-League Team (2008-10). In 2009, she was the Keystone Athletic Award winner and MVP, was named the 2009-10 New Era Player of the Year and was featured as an ESPN Rise athlete. As a senior in 2010, Funk led Penn Manor High School to league, district and state titles. She remains the school’s all-time leading scorer with 112 goals. 

“I thought soccer and basketball were the only sports I wanted to play until I reluctantly gave field hockey a try in the eighth grade,” said Funk. “After a year, I still was not sure if I wanted to keep playing but my parents did not give up on me because they saw my potential.  As a freshman, I played for coach Soto and began to fall in love with the sport.”  

Funk then took her career to the University of Maryland where she helped the Terrapins to back-to-back national championships her freshman and sophomore seasons. Among her many individual honors, she was named NFHCA All-America, (Second Team - 2010, 2012; First Team - 2011, 2013), All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) (2010, 2011, 2012; First Team - 2013), All-ACC Tournament Team (2010-13), ACC Freshman of the Year (2010), ACC Offensive Player of the Year (2013), ACC Tournament MVP (2013) and Honda Award Finalist (2013).

The road to Team USA began when Funk first participated in Futures, the National Futures Championship and Junior National Camp in 2008. In 2010, she was named to the U.S. U-19 Women’s National Team and went on tour in Argentina before moving up to the U-21 USWNT the following year. She joined the senior USWNT in 2013 just as the red, white and blue moved their centralized training program from Chula Vista, Calif. to her hometown of Lancaster. That same year, she helped USA to a gold medal at the FIH Hockey World League Round 2 in Rio de Janeiro. She was also a member of the USA squad that claimed bronze at the 2016 Champions Trophy in London, England. The momentum from medaling as the tournament’s lowest seeded nation rode into the summer as USA finished in a historical fifth place at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In 2017, Funk once again helped propel USA to the podium as she played a pivotal role in USA’s gold medal, “never say die” performance at the FIH Hockey World League Semifinals in Johannesburg, South Africa. There she was also named Top Goal Scorer of the tournament with five goals. A few weeks later, she aided the squad in earning a bronze medal at the women’s Pam American Cup in Lancaster.

“Being a part of Team USA is such an honor,” said Funk. “There is no better feeling than to represent your country with your teammates that are like family to you. Being on the USWNT is hard work, a challenge and inexplainable reward. It taught me so much about myself and helped me grow into the individual, mother and wife that I am today.”

In addition to the countless personal memories between teammates, Funk has a number of favorite highlights throughout her athletic career, including winning a state championship with Penn Manor and representing the University of Maryland over four years and winning two national titles. While wearing the USA jersey, she will never forget winning gold medals at the 2015 Pan American Games and FIH Hockey World League Semifinals. Among the top however is the honor of being a Rio 2016 Olympian.

“My experience representing my country at the Rio Olympic Games is a memory I find challenging to put into words,” noted Funk. “The amount of pride I had in wearing the USA uniform and standing side by side with my teammates while the National Anthem played is a memory I hold dear. The hard work, sweat and tears leading up to that first game of the Olympics was well worth the hours of work.” 

“I would like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to play field hockey, but also for the opportunity to work with such amazing people like my teammates, coaches and support staff,” continued Funk. “Next, without my parents Lew and Judy Witmer, I would never have had the courage to start playing. They encouraged me every step of the way and when times were hard, they never ceased to remind me of the real reason I play the sport. They instilled qualities like hard work, perseverance and selflessness in me from a young age and those qualities helped make me the athlete and person I am today. The sacrifices of their time, money and much more have made me truly grateful.”

She also would like to thank long-time mentor and friend Denise Gobrecht, high school coach Matt Soto and assistant coach Lisa McCoy, Maryland head coach Missy Meharg and coaching staff, Craig Parnham and former USWNT head coach Janneke Schopman for their unwavering support through the years. 

“Each one has provided a unique and purposeful style of coaching that has helped me throughout my career as a hockey player,” said Funk. “Without their time and dedication, I would not have been able to reach the level of success.”

Funk currently resides in Lancaster, Pa. with her husband, Todd and their 4-month-old daughter, Andi. As she continues to focus on being a mother, Funk also hopes to one day coach younger athletes and instill the love and respect of the game to another generation. 

USA Field Hockey would like to wish Funk the best of luck in her future endeavors.

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Jill Funk