March 31, 2016

By Joanne Norell

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team will hold its next training camp ahead of the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup this week, and University of Notre Dame sophomore-to-be Natalie Jacobs will join the squad April 1-8 in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.

Jacobs and the U.S. are coming off a successful stint at the La Manga Tournament, where they faced U-23 sides from Sweden, England and Norway. The Americans drew 1-1 with Sweden, defeated England 1-0 and upended Norway 2-1.

A forward for the Irish, Jacobs has started in the center back for the U-20s. The Coto de Caza, California, native helped lead the U-20s to victory in December at the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship in Honduras, to earn their World Cup berth. The U.S. defeated Canada 1-0 in the championship match for the regional title, with Jacobs earning tournament Best XI recognition.

Freshman Natalie Jacobs

Freshman Natalie.Jacobs

Jacobs was one of 26 players invited into camp, one in a series of preparatory sessions ahead of the World Cup, which will be head November 13-December 3 in Papua New Guinea. The final 16-team field will feature teams from Canada, Mexico, the U.S., Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Japan, Korea DPR, Korea Republic, Ghana, Nigeria, Brazil, Venezuela, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden.

The U.S. will face France, New Zealand and Ghana in Group C. They will face France on Monday, November 14 at 4 p.m. local time, followed by New Zealand on Thursday, November 17 at 7 p.m. and Ghana on Monday, November 21, at 4 p.m. The U.S. will play its first two games at Sir Hubert Murray Stadium and its third at National Football Stadium in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

The top two finishers in each of the four groups will advance to the quarterfinal stage on Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25. The semifinals will take place on Tuesday, November 29, while the championship and third-place matches will be played on Saturday, December 3.

Also earlier this month, recent graduate Katie Naughton helped the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team as it won the Istria Cup in Umag, Croatia. The U.S. defeated the full Slovenia Women’s National Team 3-0 on March 2 and tied the Poland U-19 squad 0-0 on March 4 before besting the France National “B” Team 2-0 on March 7 to rack up seven points and win the eight-team tournament.

Naughton, who was chosen with the 19th overall pick by the Chicago Red Stars in January’s NWSL College Draft, logged minutes against Slovenia and Poland. The Elk Grove Village, Illinois, product will now turn her attention to the upcoming NWSL season, which begins April 16.

The Irish will return to spring action at 7 p.m. ET next Wednesday when they host the Chicago Red Stars in an exhibition matchup at Alumni Stadium.

For the latest Fighting Irish women’s soccer coverage, be sure log on to, follow @NDSoccer on Twitter and like Notre Dame Women’s Soccer on Facebook.


Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2014 and coordinates communications efforts for the Notre Dame women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University and earned her master’s degree from Georgetown University in 2013.