Megan Jesolva Travels to Germany With U.S. Under-23 National Team
June 21, 2010
BERKELEY - In late May, California women's soccer junior Megan Jesolva helped the U.S. Under-23 national team to a 2-2 draw with the Korean Republic U-20 national squad and a 2-2 tie with the German U-23 team. Jesolva, who will be a senior for the Golden Bears this fall, played the full 90 minutes in each of the two friendlies.
Roughly a week before the matches occurred, Jesolva received the call to make the trip across the pond. Playing abroad with the U-23 team is nothing new to the 5-4 defender/midfielder.
Last summer, Jesolva traveled to England with the U-23 national team for two games against the English U-23 squad. Jesolva saw significant playing time in each of the two matches - playing 70 minutes in 2-0 loss on July 4 and the entirety of the 3-1 victory on July 6.
The La Mirada, Calif., native noted that this summer's trip was similar to the one to England in that the team trained the same level of intensity, but that the German team was a more difficult challenger, making that game more exciting.
'The game against Germany was very fast paced and the girls were a lot bigger than college girls since the Germans were all older and play in the German professional league,' Jesolva said. 'The game against Korea was full of fouls, so it was a frustrating game.'
The trip was strictly soccer focused so the team did not get a chance to do much touring of Germany. However, when the squad arrived in Marburg, Germany, they met the mayor of Marburg.
On May 26, the U.S. took on Germany in an exhibition that at times was played in pouring rain. Germany scored twice in a four-minute span - in the 41st and 43rd minutes - before the Americans got one on the board when Notre Dame forward Melissa Henderson scored at the stroke of halftime. The USA outshot Germany 12-6, but could not manufacture an equalizer until the 82nd minute when UCLA's Lauren Barnes took a free kick from about 25 yards out near the left sideline. She swung the ball into Notre Dame's Lauren Fowlkes, who won a header, sending her shot into the upper corner.
'The game against Germany was crazy!' Jesolva said. 'There were over 1,000 people in the stadium and they had horns and noise makers. It was a cool experience.'
Against Korea on May 29, the U.S. scored first and last with the Koreans notching two goals in the middle. Just like in the game against Germany, Jesolva started and played the full 90 minutes.
'The games were so much fun to play in,' Jesolva said of the experience. 'Even though we tied, we played really well. Starting all of the games was an honor. I also got a few pictures in the German paper, which was cool.'
Jesolva and her Golden Bears return to action this year with an exhibition game against Fresno State on Aug. 13 against former Cal assistant coach Brian Zwaschka, who is the head coach of the Bulldogs. Cal kicks off its 2010 season officially begins Aug. 20 versus LMU in the friendly confines of its home field of Edwards Stadium.