Houplin to represent The Philippines at AFF Championships
Aug. 9, 2013
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Former Western Washington University women's soccer player Joana Houplin (pronounced HOOP-lin) will be a member of The Philippines National Team that competes at the Asean Football Federation Championships on Sept. 9-22 at Madalay, Myanmar.
Houplin, who will be a graduate assistant coach at WWU this fall, hopes The Philippines Olympic Committee choses to send the Malditas to the South East Asian Games, which are Olympic Qualifiers, in December. That decision will be made in the next few weeks.
In May, Houplin helped The Philippines National Team win two of three games at an Asian Cup qualifying tournament in Bengladesh. They beat Iran, 6-0, lost 1-0 to Thailand, and blanked Bangladesh, 4-0.
The 5-foot-3 Houplin scored a goal and assisted on two others in the Malditas victory over Iran on May 21 at Bangabandhu National Stadium.
The 23-year-old Houplin was born in The Philippines, moved to England at four years of age and to the United States at 12. She has dual Philippine-U.S. citizenship.
Houplin was selected to The Philippines National Team after attending a weeklong training camp in Corona, Calif., during the last week in March and being picked to train with that squad in the Philippines during May.
Houplin obtained her bachelor's degree in kinesiology from WWU last winter and is currently doing graduate work in sports science. She was a second-team National Soccer Coaches Association of America West Region all-star as a senior in 2012.
Houplin played on a 19-4-0 team that reached the Far West Regional final and won both the Great Northwest Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles.
Houplin finished her four-year WWU career with 12 goals and 11 assists for 35 points. As a senior, she scored six goals, three of them game winners, and had two assists.
Houplin was a first-team Class 4A all-state selection as a senior at Olympia High School as well as The Olympian Area MVP, Tacoma News Tribune all-Area and Narrows League MVP. She scored 17 goals and had 12 assists.
At the AFF Championships, The Philippines are in Group B and face Indonesia on Sept. 10, Japan U-23 on Sept. 12, Myanmar on Sept. 14 and Laos on Sept. 18. Group A consists of Australia U-19, Jordan, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. Those games are followed by the semifinals and final.
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