Jan. 12, 2012
CHULA VISTA, Calif. - Three members of Stanford's national championship women's soccer team - Chioma Ubogagu, Camille Levin, and Lindsay Taylor - are in camp this month with U.S. national teams, and are among nine current or former Cardinal players involved in their national teams in the coming weeks.
Ubogagu, a freshman forward, is in camp with the U.S. Under-20's and Levin and Taylor join the U.S. Under-23 team when it begins camp on Jan. 15.
Ubogagu is among 30 players called to Chula Vista, Calif., by former Stanford coach Steve Swanson. The camp began Jan. 5 and goes through Jan. 19. The U.S. team is preparing for the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament, which will determine which of the region's three countries will advance to the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The CONCACAF event is March 1-11 in Panama, though the World Cup site is undetermined, but most likely will be in Japan.
Ubogagu had an outstanding debut season for the Cardinal, with 10 goals and 10 assists. She was the Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Year and was named to the College Cup All-Tournament Team.
She had two of the most memorable individual performances during Stanford's national championship season, with her goal and assist in a 3-0 NCAA semifinal victory over Florida State, and two early goals in a 4-1 victory over UCLA that helped determine the Pac-12 title.
Ubogagu is teaming up with sophomore Maya Hayes, a Hermann Trophy finalist from Penn State, on the U-20 team, which will will two 60-minute scrimmages against Shanghai Women's Football Club of China on Jan. 12 and Jan. 18.
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NSCAA first-team All-Americans Levin and Taylor are among 24 players called by coach Randy Waldrum for the U-23 camp from Jan. 15-22 in Sarasota, Fla. They are among 20 college players and four professionals.
Among the others in camp are two from NCAA runner-up Duke, including All-America defender Natasha Anasi, who was involved in the pivotal play of the NCAA final. Anasi blocked Levin's initial cross from the right side, with the resulting collision knocking both to the ground. But Levin got to her feet a split second quicker and sent in a second cross that Teresa Noyola headed in for the only goal in Stanford's 1-0 victory in Kennesaw, Ga., on Dec. 4.
Levin joins Anasi as one of 10 defenders in camp. Levin had four goals and seven assists from her outside right back position.
Taylor, the Soccer America Player of the Year and Hermann Trophy runner-up, had 20 goals and seven assists on the way to moving into No. 4 on Stanford's all-time goal-scoring list.
Both Levin and Taylor, along with Noyola, are expected to be taken in Friday's Women's Professional Soccer draft.
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Noyola and junior defender Alina Garciamendez join the Mexican national team on Wednesday for training in preparation for the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, from Jan. 19-29.
Noyola, a senior midfielder who was named last week as the winner of the prestigious Hermann Trophy, had nine goals and 15 assists for the Cardinal this season and also earned the NSCAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, carrying a 3.52 GPA with a major of math and computational science.
Garciamendez, in her second season as Cardinal captain, was a full-time starter in central defense for Mexico in the 2011 World Cup.
Mexico joins the U.S. in the four-team Group B, along with Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. The top two in each of the two groups advance to the semifinals at the indoor B.C. Place stadium.
Here is Mexico's first-round schedule:
Friday, Jan. 20: vs. Guatemala, 5 p.m. PT
Sun., Jan. 22: vs. Dominican Republic, 2 p.m.
Tue., Jan. 24: vs. United States, 7:30 p.m.
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Three former Stanford players - goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, defender and captain Rachel Buehler, and forward Kelley O'Hara - will be in camp for the U.S. national team in preparation for the Olympic qualifying event.
All three are veterans of the U.S. team that reached the 2011 World Cup final in Germany. They are among 29 players called into camp at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., from Jan. 9-15, after which coach Pia Sundhage will select 20 players for the qualifying tournament.
Here is the United States' first-round schedule:
Friday, Jan. 20: vs. Dominican Republic, 7:30 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 22: vs. Guatemala, 4:30 p.m.
Tue., Jan. 24: vs. Mexico, 7:30 p.m.
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Former Stanford standout Ali Riley will play for New Zealand when it plays the U.S. in a friendly in Frisco, Texas, on Feb. 11, at 8 a.m. PT.
The match will kick off a busy year for the Football Ferns, with Cyprus Cup matches against Northern Ireland, South Korea and South Africa in February and March, Oceania Olympic qualifiers in March and April, and European friendlies en route to London if the team qualifies.
New Zealand is the favorite to claim Oceania's sole berth in the 12-team Olympic women's tournament. New Zealand needs only to win a final-round home-and-away playoff (March 31 and April 4) against an undetermined opponent.