April 12, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame freshman 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 midfielders Morgan Andrews (Milford, N.H./Milford) and Sandra Yu (Strongsville, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit), are among 25 players who have been selected to attend the United States Under-20 Women's National Soccer Team camp April 13-20 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
The week-long session will be run concurrently with a U.S. Under-23 Women's National Team camp (led by U-23 and Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum) and will feature a pair of scrimmages between the two youth national teams at 10 a.m. PT April 16 and 4 p.m. PT April 19. Additional information, including the full U-20 camp roster, can be found on the official U.S. Soccer web site (ussoccer.com).
Andrews, Naughton and Roccaro (pronounced row-CAH-row) all return to the U-20 camp after suiting up with the American side last month for three matches in La Manga, Spain, at the 12 Nations Tournament. The United States went 0-1-2 at the event, earning draws with Norway (1-1) and Sweden (0-0), while falling to Germany (3-0).
Roccaro served as the American captain and started all three matches in Spain, playing the full 90 minutes each time. Andrews, who was making her international debut at the U-20 level, also started all three contests, going the distance against Norway and Sweden, while coming off midway through the second half against Germany. Naughton, who also was in her first international U-20 tournament, started and went the distance against Sweden, while coming on as a second-half substitute in the first two matches (replacing Andrews in the Germany contest).
Meanwhile, Yu will be making her first appearance at the U-20 level after previous stints with U.S. youth national teams dating back to 2009. Most recently, she took part in a June 2012 camp with the U.S. U-18 Women's National Team.
Roccaro has been a mainstay with the U.S. U-20 Women's National Team for more than a year, earning 17 caps and 13 starting nods during her tenure. Among her U-20 career highlights was her participation at the 2012 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.
While still a novice at the U-20 level, Naughton has extensive experience with other U.S. youth national teams since 2009, most notably teaming with Roccaro to help the 2010 U.S. U-17 National Team to the U-16 Nordic Cup title in Denmark, outscoring its four opponents by a combined 13-1 margin.
Andrews also is no stranger to the U.S. Soccer kits, having emerged as one of the rising stars in the American youth system since her debut in 2008 with the U-14 Girls' National Team. Prior to the start of this calendar year when she moved into the U-20 system, Andrews was a major contributor for the U.S. U-17 Women's National Team, earning 20 caps and starting 15 times while logging two goals and two assists. Her biggest role came as U.S. captain for the 2012 CONCACAF U-17 Women's Championship in Guatemala and FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in Azerbaijan, with the Americans winning the CONCACAF title in dominating fashion (26-0 aggregate) and finishing in a three-way tie for first in their group at the World Cup (only to be eliminated on goal differential).
Naughton and Roccaro were two of the important young contributors last season 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 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.
Both Naughton and Roccaro have continued their contributions for Notre Dame this spring, most recently sparking the Fighting Irish to a come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Mexico U-20 Women's National Team on April 5 at Alumni Stadium. Naughton gave Notre Dame a brief 2-1 lead on a 55th-minute goal, then Roccaro helped the Fighting Irish rally with two goals in the final seven minutes. First, she delivered the primary assist on the tying goal by freshman forward Crystal Thomas (Elgin, Ill./Wheaton Academy) in the 85th minute, before doing the heavy lifting herself in the waning moments of stoppage time with a brilliant weaving run through traffic and a 25-yard strike for the match-winner.
Andrews, who signed a National Letter of the Intent to attend Notre Dame back in February, 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.
A two-time Gatorade Ohio High School Player of the Year, Yu also earned 2012 Ohio Miss Soccer honors and was chosen as the Cleveland Plain Dealer Player of the Year after piling up 16 goals and a career-high 20 assists while leading Walsh Jesuit to a 22-0-2 record and the 2012 Ohio Division II state championship, the school's second in three years (to go along with the 2010 ESPN RISE national title). Yu finished her prep career with 53 goals and 50 assists (156 points) and was a two-time NSCAA Youth All-America Team choice (with this year's selections pending).
Naughton and Roccaro will be among 10 starters and 21 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 and Yu lead a stellar incoming freshman class that was ranked third in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer.
For more information on the Fighting Irish women's soccer program, follow Notre Dame on Twitter (@NDSoccer or @NDsoccernews), like the Fighting Irish on Facebook (facebook.com/NDWomenSoccer) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the "Fan Center" pulldown menu on the main page at UND.com.