The world’s best junior women’s teams are heading to Itea, Greece for the Pythia Cup. The four-day friendly tournament (22nd-24th July) is a warm-up for the World Women’s Youth Championships in Belgrade, which takes place from the 31st July-8th August.
Greece invite Hungary, the Netherlands, the United States and Australia to the beautiful Greek town of Itea – situated in Central Greece, approximately 200km from the capital Athens.
The hosts Greece are always competitive at this level, winning Bronze at the Youth World Championships in 2018, silver at the Junior World Championships in 2021, and another Bronze at the U19 European Championships in Netanya.
Another European side going from strength to strength in their junior sections are Hungary. The Hungarians have medalled at the U17 and U19 European Championships in the last two years (Bronze Sibenik, 2021 & Silver Netanya, 2022), as well as a Bronze at the U20 World Championships.
The Dutch have been less successful at this level, particularly at the World Championships, although they did secure a Silver Medal in Funchal at the 2019 U20 World Championships.
The United States are not as dominant as their senior national team when it comes to the Junior and Youth World Championships, although they have won the U20s tournament on four occasions (2001, 2005, 2013 & 2015), and the U18 competition in 2014. However, they have recently shown their talent at this age group with their Junior team dominating the Pan-American games last week, as well as several squad members training with the senior squad.
The Australians go into this one typically as an unknown entity, particularly given a lack of play-time against other top nations in the last few years. They did, however, play a friendly with the Netherlands a few days ago in what was a very even contest.
Hungary – Tekla Aubeli, Vivien Bonca, Flora Fekete , Nora Golopencza, Szonja Golopencza, Kata Hajdu, Rozalia Irmes , Csenge Jonkl, Zelma Koka, Zoe Lendvay, Eszter Macsai, Panni Szegedi, Panna Tiba, Luca Torma, Eszter Varro
Greece – Despina Andreadi, Nefeli Chrysoula Chaldaiou, Myrto Gkotzia, Myrto Kassari, Despina Kalogeropoulou, Vasiliki Rafaela Laskaridou, Maria Karagianni, Ariadne Pantelia Karabetsou, Dionysia Koureta, Nefeli Kovacevic, Stefania Santa, Christina Siouti, Sofia Tornarou, Fotini Tricha, Effrosyni Tsimara and Eftychia Konstantopoulou.
Netherlands – Lisa Backer, Noa De Vries, Louis den Ouden, Lola Moolhuijzen, Aniek Roekevisch, Nina van de Geijn, Lotte van Wingerden, Silvanne Slot, Robin Jutte, Feline Voordouw, Esmee Roijen, Jasmijn Dikmans, Jade Sinnema, Amber de Koeijer, Jolijn Joor
United States – Cristine Carpenter, Rachel Gazzaniga, Genoa Rossi, Emily Ausmus, Margaret Hawkins, Margaret Johnson, Ava Stryker, Jenna Flynn, Julia Bonaguidi, Julianne Snyder, Quinn Healy, Ellen Woodhead, Lauren Steele, Ava Knepper
Australia – Georgia Chapman, Allegra Childs, Annabel Cowan, Tayla Dawkins, Louisa Downes, Lulu Elliott, Sienna Green, Molly Nasser, Victoria Kininmonth, Magali Ogg, Layla Smith, Taafili Taoso, Amelia Watt, Zoe Thomas, Lily Dunn
Friday, 22nd July 2022
10.30 – Hungary vs Australia
12.00 – Netherlands vs United States
19.00 -United States vs Australia
20.30 – Netherlands vs Greece
Saturday, 23rd July 2022
10.00 – Australia vs Netherlands
11.30 – Greece vs Hungary
19.00 – Hungary vs Netherlands
20.30 – Greece vs United States
Sunday, 24th July 2022
10.30 – United States vs Hungary
12.00 – Australia vs Greece