Wojcik Tours Europe with U.S. Junior National Field Hockey Team

Senior Lily Wojcik playing for U18 USA National Field Hockey Team in Belgium. Photography by Max Fulham
Senior Lily Wojcik playing for U18 USA National Field Hockey Team in Belgium. Photography by Max Fulham

With red, white and blue socks pulled up over shin guards alongside a glove and stick in her hands, the adrenaline rush hits as the whistle blows.

Senior Lilly Wojcik has been playing field hockey since she was in kindergarten, and the years of work show in her play on the local and international fields.

Wojcik is known around York County extremely well, and it is similar up north at her club team, WC Eagles, located near Philadelphia. In the early years of playing with the Eagles, Wojcik began to learn of the opportunities presented for her surrounding the USA field hockey program. She was simply looking for extra training through the program, but after years of training, she was sent to additional training camps and tryouts for the USA junior U-18 field hockey team.

Wojcik describes the long process she goes through each year to be on the junior USA team.

“It starts out with Nexus, a USA training program [that] you enroll in and do training for months,” Wocjik said. “From that training, you get picked to go to the Nexus Championship, a tournament, and from there, you get picked to go to the selection camp.”

Wojcik claims that she was very nervous her first year at the selection camp, but from there she got chosen for the USA squad team, where she then was picked for the travel roster.

“There was a select 18 of us…it’s definitely an honor to know that I’m one of the people that was selected to play for my country,” Wojcik said.

Lilly Wojcik defends an opponent during one of her games playing for USA when on tour in Belgium from March 26 to April 2. Photograph Courtesy of Max Fulham

The fast level of play is nothing new to Wojcik; however, she enjoys seeing the differences in skill and speed compared to club and high school.

“It definitely varies on a higher level…[in] club there’s a certain way you do things… [but] in high school, it’s fun because it’s more of a beginner level and makes you open your eyes from starting over again,” Wojcik said.

One particular part of the USA team she enjoys is her coaches as she mentions they are all very experienced.

“…a lot of the coaches at USA are volunteers,” Wojcik said. “They don’t get paid. It’s on their time, and they all share their different perspectives from coaching in college. It’s eye-opening [to see] because you learn so many different European styles of play.”

Another fun and appealing aspect of the team is the vast amount of traveling Wojcik has gotten to do. She has been traveling with the team for 3 years, visiting Canada, the Netherlands and finally Belgium this past year.

“…we got to walk around and really see the country,” Wojcik said. “The architecture was so old and beautiful.”

She talks about how she enjoys traveling not only because of the countries themselves, but how she was also able to share these moments with some of her closest friends.

“…my club went to Chile,” Wojcik said. “We went out to the beach to pick shells and sea glass. It was really fun, just a cool team bonding moment.”

Lilly Wojcik [middle] poses with teammates Riley Savage [left] and Sabrina McGroarty [right] during their time touring Belgium with the USA Field Hockey team from March 26 to April 2. Photograph Courtesy of Lilly Wojcik via Instagram
One of her teammates and friends, Sabrina McGroarty, has been teammates with Wojcik for 5 years, and in turn, has shared many training and traveling experiences with her. The girls play on both a club team and the USA team together, and therefore are well connected on and off the field.

“It is so good to have Lilly as a teammate, not only because she is a great player but a great person,” McGroarty said. “…she helps bring positive energy to the team, [and] lead the team to success by [being] very supportive.”

The seniors will not play together in college, but both share the goal of continuing to play on the USA team in the future. Wojcik mentions her hopes in staying involved with USA in the coming years throughout college.

“As of right now if I keep making the travel rosters, I’m on track to go to the 2028 Olympics, so hopefully I can make that team,” Wojcik said.

The forward is known for her speed and control with the ball, along with her impressive shots on goal.

That ‘thud’ in the back of the cage is a regular sound for the senior, as she led the Susquehannock Field Hockey team with 48 goals and 6 assists while successfully capturing the title of ‘Player of the Year’ once again this past season.

Her high school teammates look up to her not only because of her athleticism but also her leadership skills and ability to inspire others to work their hardest. One teammate in particular, junior Madeline Gilbert, who has been playing with Wojcik since middle school.

“[She] is a great leader on and off the field…she is very good at communicating with everyone in games,” Gilbert said.

Player of the Year Lilly Wocjik dribbles past a defender during the Division II Championship against York Suburban. Susquehannock won 3-1 and captured the title of Division Champions for the third year in a row.  Photograph Courtesy of @suskyfieldhockey via Instagram

This year, Wojcik took on the role of a captain of the Susquehannock field hockey team and helped lead the team to an undefeated season and the title of Division Champions for the third year in a row.

“Her knowledge from all her experiences from playing on so many different teams and all the coaching she has received has helped her lead our team,” Gilbert said. “As a captain, she provided us with really good advice and helped our team be successful,”

No matter the task at hand or goal in mind, Wojcik stays determined and confident in herself and her abilities.

She leaves advice for fellow athletes following her example behind.

“Nothing is impossible,” Wojcik said. “Obviously, I’ve been doing this for a while, and I started early, but your chance is never taken away just because you start late. Always keep trying hard, and you’ll get what you are working for.”



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