By Janee Law
Seventeen-years-old Cold Spring Harbor high schooler Emily Berlinghof has been chosen to represent the U.S. as part of the U17 National Field Hockey Team.
Berlinghof, of Lloyd Harbor, was among 24 field hockey players across the country to learn in December that they had been selected to the team.
She said she was in disbelief.
“I just tried my best like I did every other year, had fun and when I was selected I was really honored,” said Berlinghof, a midfielder.
In order to be selected, Berlinghof endured an extensive process, including competing in various tournaments where her skills were put to the test. Her last test was in December with the STX Select Event, through which she was ultimately selected.
This was Berlinghof’s third attempt at landing a spot on the team, and first selection.
“I really wanted to make the team and I didn’t really know if it was possible because I’ve heard about how hard it was,” she said.
Now, Berlinghof will participate in weekend training sessions in the lead up to an international friendly tour that’s slated to kick off in March.
A junior at Cold Spring Harbor Jr./Sr. High School, Berlinghof said, she took up the sport when she was in fifth grade and has been playing ever since. She’s a three-year varsity player, who has helped the Seahawks reach at least Nassau’s semifinal game in each of those seasons.
Outside of school, Berlinghof is also a member of the Lasting Legacy Field Hockey Club travel team, and plans to continue her paying career at Harvard University next fall.
Making the national team is a big accomplishment, one she wasn’t sure was possible, Berlinghof said.
“I’m extremely honored to represent U.S. field hockey and the county in general,” she said. “I’m really hoping that this is the first step for me in possibly going to the Olympics one day.”