Feb. 20, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame freshman sophomore defender Katie Naughton (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Elk Grove) and freshman forward/midfielder/defender Cari Roccaro (East Islip, N.Y./East Islip), as well as incoming freshman midfielder Morgan Andrews (Milford, N.H./Milford), have been named to the 18-player roster for the United States Under-20 Women's National Soccer Team for its first international competition of 2013, the 12 Nations Tournament March 1-12 in La Manga, Spain.
Naughton and Andrews will be seeking their first caps (international appearances) at the U-20 level after both were invited to the initial U-20 camp of 2013 earlier this month. They were joined by Roccaro (pronounced row-CAH-row), who has been a mainstay with the U.S. U-20 National Team for more than a year, highlighted by her participation at last September's FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, when she and Notre Dame junior midfielder Mandy Laddish (Lee's Summit, Mo./Lee's Summit) played key roles in the Americans' run to their third U-20 World Cup title. Roccaro appeared in five of the United States' six matches, starting four times, and helping the U.S. to a 4-1-1 record that included three shutouts, most notably over Nigeria (2-0) and Germany (1-0) in the semifinals and championship match. The Stars & Stripes also had to battle through a 2-1 extra-time victory over North Korea in the quarterfinals.
The U.S. U-20 Women's National Team will play three matches at the 12 Nations Tournament, taking on its counterparts from Norway (March 7), Germany (March 9) and Sweden (March 11) in the friendly competition in the seaside town of La Manga on the southeastern coast of Spain. Additional information, including the full U-20 team roster, can be found on the official U.S. Soccer web site (ussoccer.com).
Coincidentally, the Notre Dame trio will be arriving with the U-20 squad in La Manga at approximately the same time as Fighting Irish head coach Randy Waldrum is winding up a two-week stay (Feb. 22-March 5) in the Spanish town as the leader of the U.S. Under-23 National Team. Waldrum is in his second year as U-23 head coach, having taken on that role in January 2012.
Naughton and Roccaro were two of the important young contributors for Notre Dame, which posted a 16-6-2 record, earned a share of the BIG EAST Conference National Division title (8-1-1 record), and advanced to the NCAA Championship quarterfinals for the 15th time in program history.
Naughton, who has prior U.S. Soccer experience at the U-15 and U-17 levels, most recently representing her country at the 2010 U-16 Nordic Cup in Denmark (alongside Roccaro), was a third-team all-BIG EAST and BIG EAST All-Rookie Team selection in 2012 as a cornerstone of Notre Dame's defense at center back. She started all 23 matches she played in, helping the Fighting Irish hold their opponents to 18 goals all season (a 0.73 goals-against average) while recording 10 shutouts. On the offensive end, Naughton scored three goals and added one assist, most notably scoring what proved to be the match-winning goal in the first half of a 5-1 win over Seton Hall on Oct. 5 at Alumni Stadium. She also netted the tying goal in the 44th minute of Notre Dame's 3-1 victory over Milwaukee in the first round of the NCAA Championship on Nov. 9, also at Alumni Stadium.
The versatile Roccaro was named the 2012 Soccer America Freshman of the Year and a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) third-team All-American despite missing Notre Dame's first seven matches while competing in the U-20 World Cup. She started all 16 matches she played in and ranking third on the team in goals (6), points (13), total shots (41) and shots on goal (21) while earning three conference honors -- BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, All-BIG EAST First Team and All-BIG EAST Rookie Team.
Upon her return from Japan, Roccaro immediately stepped in the starting lineup, beginning with Notre Dame's 2-1 win over Louisville on Sept. 14, and helped the Fighting Irish go unbeaten in 14 of their final 17 matches while playing all three field positions (forward, midfielder and defender) at various times.
Roccaro also played a pivotal role in her team's postseason success, scoring the match-winning goal for the Fighting Irish in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals against Syracuse (a 1-0 victory on Oct. 28 at Alumni Stadium) and netting the tying goal early in the second half of Notre Dame's 2-1 comeback win over No. 10/12 Wake Forest in an NCAA Championship second-round match on Nov. 16 in Gainesville, Fla.
Andrews, who signed a National Letter of the Intent to attend Notre Dame earlier this month, is the nation's No. 1-ranked player in the Class of 2013, having earned Gatorade National High School Player of the Year honors in 2012 and standing as a favorite to repeat as that award's recipient this year. She also is a three-time Gatorade New Hampshire High School Player of the Year and three-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Youth All-America Team selection, having piled up 114 goals and 53 assists (both school and conference records) during her four-year career at Milford High School.
Andrews also has been a regular member of the U.S. Soccer youth national team program for the past five years, most recently serving as captain of the U.S. Under-17 National Team during the 2011 and 2012 cycles and leading the Americans to the 2012 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Guatemala, as well as a spot in the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in Azerbaijan (the United States tied for first in its group but was eliminated on goal differential). During that two-year period with the U-17s, Andrews started 19 times (15 in international play), collecting two goals and two assists.
Naughton and Roccaro will be among 10 starters and 22 veterans returning for the Fighting Irish next season. Collectively, this returning group accounted for all 46 goals and 126 of a possible 127 points scored by Notre Dame during the 2012 season. Meanwhile, Andrews leads a stellar incoming freshman class that currently is ranked third in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer.
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