Natalie Jacobs (United States), Monica Flores (Mexico) and Sabrina Flores (United States) will head to the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup after qualifying with top-three finishes a the CONCACAF Under-20 Women's Championship this past week.

Irish Trio Help U.S., Mexico Clinch World Cup Slots At U-20 CONCACAF Championship

Dec. 14, 2015

By Joanne Norell

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – A trio of University of Notre Dame women’s soccer players will head to the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup after qualifying at the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano.

Sophomore Sabrina Flores and freshman Natalie Jacobs helped the United States to its fourth straight CONCACAF title Sunday with a 1-0 win over Canada in the final, posting a 4-0-1 record during the tournament. Sophomore Monica Flores and the Mexico national team also qualified for the World Cup with a third-place finish.

Following the United States’ victory in the final, Jacobs was named to the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship Best XI as a central defender by the Technical Study Group. The Irish rookie, who was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Freshman team following the NCAA season, clocked 471 minutes in five games as a starter for the U.S.

Monica Flores saw 406 minutes of playing time as a starter for Mexico, notching one assist during the course of play.

The U.S. and Mexico battled to a 2-2 draw in the opening match of group play on December 4, but neither team had much trouble advancing to the semifinal round as the U.S. defeated Panama 6-1 (December 7) and Haiti 6-0 (December 9) to round out the group stage. Mexico defeated Haiti 5-0 (December 7) and Panama 2-0 (December 9) to take second place in Group B.

In the semifinals, the United States upended Honduras 7-0 on Friday, December 11, while Mexico fell to Canada 5-4 on penalty kicks. The U.S. and Canada went on to meet in Sunday’s final, while Mexico defeated Honduras 2-0 to punch its ticket to the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea.

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Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant 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.