DURHAM, N.H. -- Amy Agulay (London, Ont.), a four-year starting goalkeeper at the University of New Hampshire via Regina Mundi, was one of 16 players selected to the Canadian National Field Hockey Team earlier this week. The team will compete at the America's Cup, which is held March 8-18 in Kingston, Jamaica.
"(UNH head coach Robin Balducci) is always talking about taking the next step up and this is the next step up for me," said Agulay, a Northeast Regional All-America Second Team selection in 2000. "It has always been a dream to play on the national team. I decided to come to UNH first, but I always knew I wanted to go back."
The dream started coming to fruition last summer when Agulay heard about trials for the team. She took her first step towards making the team in early September, when she travelled to New York City to meet the head coach following UNH's game at the University of Massachusetts. Agulay then went to trials in late December and earned the invitation to the team based on her strong play.
"I'm the new girl on the team now, so I have something to prove," Agulay said. "They have a No. 1 goalie and she's been there a few years. Right now I may be sitting back and learning, but if they want me to play, I'll be ready to play."
Agulay, a two-time America East All-Conference First Team player, proved that at New Hampshire, where she stepped into the starting role upon her arrival in Durham and was sixth in the nation in save percentage (.858) as a freshman. In her senior season, Agulay set a school single-season record by playing all 1652:06 in goal and her 204 saves ranked fourth in the nation.
"She definitely is one of the best goalkeepers who has played here at UNH," said 10-year head coach Robin Balducci, who herself was a goalie for the Wildcat field hockey program. "She has made her mark on the New Hampshire record book and I'm very proud of her accomplishments. Amy came in and had to play right away and she played consistently strong throughout her career and she was always a team player. Her work ethic and commitment has allowed her to advance to the next level."
Agulay leaves UNH as the career leader in games played (80), minutes (5564:07) and saves (827). She compiled career numbers of 46-31 with a 1.96 GAA and a .841 save percentage.
"I loved every minute I was here (at UNH)," Agulay said. "The game experience. The team experience. It was more than I expected it to be. We have a great team here and it's just going to get better. We pushed each other and if it wasn't for the team, I wouldn't be where I am today."
The Canadian team is in Pool B with the United States, Jamaica, Mexico and Uruguay. They open play March 8 against Mexico and play the U.S. on March 12. The winner of the tournament earns an automatic bid to the 2002 World Cup.
Following that tournament, Agulay is focused on the next residency camp. That two-week summer session concludes with a European tour. After that, the team will compete in another World Cup qualifying tournament in September.
"Not only do I have my foot in the door, I'm in the room," said Agulay. "And I want to stay here a while."
UNH won the America East regular-season title and advanced to the NCAA championships for the second time in three years. The 16th-ranked Wildcats were defeated by defending national champion Maryland in the first round to end the year at 14-8.