Catching Up With The Huskies
March 1, 2010
SEATTLE - A couple of former Husky women's soccer players have been keeping busy on the national and international soccer scene over the past couple weeks and one future Husky will also test her skills at the international level in the upcoming days.
USA National Team goalkeeper Hope Solo has been on top of her game in the Algarve Cup in Portugal, leading the Americans into the final match. In the opening game against Iceland in group play, Solo stopped not one but two penalty kicks - one in each half - preserving the shutout in a 2-0 win.
Iceland's leading scorer took the first attempt in the 12th minute, but Solo dove to her right, stabbing her right hand down to turn the ball away. Amazingly, Solo would have to save another penalty kick before the day was over.
The second penalty kick came in extra time and also came moments after Solo had her hand stepped on by an Icelandic player. As the kick was taken, Solo took a step to her right and flew to the post to spectacularly knock the ball down. It looked for a moment like Iceland's Berglind Bjorg Thorvaldsdóttir would be first to the rebound, but the U.S. defenders converged to clear the ball away and the game was whistled over moments later.
Solo's two saves marked the first time in U.S. history that a goalkeeper has saved two penalty kicks in one match.
The U.S. women have since advanced to their eighth consecutive Algarve Cup final, defeating Norway, 2-1, and Sweden, 2-0, to earn a berth in the title game. They do not yet know who they will face.
Recent graduate Veronica Perez, meanwhile, has been keeping busy herself. Perez just returned from training camp with the Mexican National Team. She had a successful camp and was chosen to play for Mexico in games against the U.S. Women's National Team on March 28 and 31 in San Diego and in Utah.
Just this week, Perez drove across country to St. Louis where she is in the midst of training camp with the Saint Louis Athletica of the Women's Pro Soccer League. The Athletica, which already boasts former Huskies Solo and Tina Ellertson, chose Perez with the 37th pick overall and the eighth pick of the fourth round of the WPS draft in January.
Meanwhile, a future Husky is also honing her game at the international level as 2010 signee Lindsay Elston is headed to Spain with the U.S. Women's Under-18 National Team. Elston and her teammates are currently in La Manga, Spain until March 6 participating in the Ten Nations Tournament where it will play three matches.
The tournament is an Under-19 competition, so the U.S. team will be going against players one year older. Elston is one of 18 players on the team, which will face Norway on March 1, Germany on March 3 and Sweden on March 5. All players participating in this week's event are eligible for the U-20 team which will compete this summer in the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Germany.
And finally, UW's associate head coach Amy Griffin is continuing her work with the U.S. U-17 National Team, serving as their goalkeeper coach. The team just finished training in Florida and will now head to Costa Rica, where the 2010 CONCACAF U-17 Women's Championships takes place. That tournament will qualify two teams to the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in Trinidad & Tobago.
The CONCACAF U-17 Women's Championships will be held in Costa Rica from March 10-20 and the USA will face Haiti, Cayman Islands and Costa Rica in the first round. The 16-game, 11-day tournament will be played at Alejandro Morera Soto Stadium in Alajuela, Costa Rica.