Having recently returned from playing field hockey in Korea with the Junior Cup Team, Judy Collins recalls memories of Pan-Asian food, throngs of Korean fans and receiving no playing time over her first two games.
Only much later did a roommate add that Judy was selected to this national team following her first time tryout, started every game thereafter and played flyer, a position usually reserved for the quickest, fastest, most aggressive player on the team, or in this case, the country.
Judy Collins, a junior, has been a starter for the Harvard field hockey team since her freshman year. With a 5-1 Ivy league finish and 11-8 record overall, the Crimson's success was due in large part to Collins. She played a key role as midfielder and sudden death player. In overtime games she was the go-to-player and scored four double-over-time goals for Crimson victories.
Finishing third in the league in scoring with 13 goals as a midfielder, Judy was named Third Team All-American, First Team regional All-American and unanimous All-Ivy First Team. As a sophomore, Judy was named a second All-Ivy League selection and team's second highest scorer.
Even in high school Judy excelled as a member of the Field Hockey National team and a member of her state championship basketball team. Judy also plays junior varsity basketball for Harvard in the winter months.
Judy's success and athletic ability, however, stem greatly from family influence. As the second youngest of eight children, her father encouraged athletics at a young age.
At the age of six, Collins ran her first 10K race-along with her father and all seven brothers and sisters. Her father managed the family into a running team as well as an athletic team who played games against each other in the park. Field hockey has been a favorite sport among the family, as five sisters have played in high school and in college.
Her family members have also been some of her biggest fans-her Dad attends most of her games and has been her own personal coach.
Sibling rivalry is certainly the right term to describe her family situation-her older sister, who played field hockey at Princeton, was recently named the field hockey coach at the University of New Hampshire, one of Harvard's opponents. On the field, Collins will now be playing hockey against her youngest sister who is a freshman at Yale.
Collins' teammates have described her as a devoted and intense player, a team player who leads by example and always plays hard. As the right midfielder on a right side attack Judy acts as the go-to-player on the team balancing offense and defense.
When asked about this year's outlook and if All-American First Team was a goal, she said that while trophies are a compliment, she is on the team to play field hockey and to win.