Australian World Cup Player Clare Polkinghorne Signs with Cal

March 4, 2008

BERKELEY, Calif. - The California women's soccer team has signed Australian national team player Clare Polkinghorne to play for the Golden Bears beginning with the 2008 season, Cal head coach Neil McGuire announced Tuesday.

'We are glad to have Clare join us here at Cal,' McGuire said. 'Her international playing experience will be valuable as we try to replace six starting seniors from our 2007 team. Clare is a very gifted athlete, with very good soccer skills and has a strong tactical understanding of the game. On top of that, she is a first-rate student who takes great pride in her class work.'

Polkinghorne played for Australia in the 2007 Women's World Cup in China and was part of the Matildas first World Cup win over Ghana and helped her country advance to the quarterfinals. The 19-year-old defender has spent time with the Australian senior national team since 2006. She played in the Peace Cup Korea in 2006 and also competed in Olympic qualifiers in 2007.

Polkinghorne started for Australia in its 2-1 wins over New Zealand in the first two games of the three games series March 1 and 3, respectively. Overall, she has earned 12 caps (games played in) as a member of Australia's senior national team.

For the Australian under-20 national team, Polkinghorne played in the Youth World Cup in Russia in 2006 and the Asian Cup in 2007.

With the addition of Polkinghone, Cal will feature 11 newcomers on the 2008 squad. Polkinghorne is the second international player to sign with the Bears for the fall, joining Iceland national team player Katrin Omarsdottir.

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