Pinelands Regional High School’s Julia Kline Headed to Longwood to Play Field Hockey

Nov 22, 2017
Photo by: David Biggy Pinelands Regional field hockey goaltender Julia Kline is the center of attention as she signs her National Letter of Intent to play at Longwood University on Nov. 15.

At one time years ago, Julia Kline may have played a little bit of Farmville on Facebook. Moments before signing her National Letter of Intent on Nov. 15, she really couldn’t recall. Obviously, it wasn’t too important to her. But what will become more important as the spring arrives is the fact she really is going to Farmville – in Virginia, that is – to play field hockey for Longwood University.

“It felt homey,” said Kline, who several weeks ago wrapped up her career as the goaltender for Liz Law’s Pinelands Regional High School squad. “It’s kind of in the middle of nowhere. It’s quiet. I went on a visit there and really liked it. I enjoyed the coaches and players, and it just felt right to me.”

Situated some 45 miles west-southwest of Richmond and 40 miles east of Lynchburg right off Route 460, Longwood competes in the NCAA Division I Mid-American Conference under head coach Iain Byers, whose Lancers this fall went 11-6.

“I didn’t know about Longwood until they contacted me after a Super Sixty tournament last December,” Kline said. “After going there and thinking more about it, I felt like I’d get more playing time right away and have better opportunities. I definitely believe I can make an impact there.”

While Kline becoming a fixture in front of the goal cage at Pinelands the past few years, helping the Wildcats win three straight Shore Conference Class B South titles, her aggressive style of play, excellent work ethic and commitment to the team have benefited her. Those assets also will bode well at the higher level.

“I believe I’m prepared for it,” said Kline, who plans to major in exercise science and later become a physical therapist. “I’ve been playing with one of the top club programs in the country for a few years, and a lot of my development here at Pinelands has helped. My coaches have pushed me to always get better. The game at the Division I level is physically and mentally demanding, but I’m ready. I’ve already started my conditioning for next season.”

And even though she passed on possible opportunities to play at some bigger-name university – Michigan and Stanford among them – Kline was excited to sign the dotted line to play in Farmville.

“It’s really surreal, knowing that I’ve finally accomplished my main goal of going to Division I,” said Kline, who hopes to someday play in the Olympics as well. “When I was younger, I was stuck on going to North Carolina or Maryland, but at some point I found out that it was unattainable because they had no place for another goalie. But I stuck to my goal of playing at the Division I level, so I’m proud of myself for getting there.”

Of course, over the years, Kline’s truly biggest asset was her parents, Angela and Russell.

“They’ve always been there for me,” she said. “They’ve always pushed me to do my best. They drove me to Pennsylvania for my club hockey. They were at every tournament. They’re my biggest supporters, and I wouldn’t have gotten this far without them.”

— David Biggy

biggy@thesandpaper.net

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