March 10, 2015
LA MANGA, Spain – Three players representing the University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team got an early jump on Spring Break over the past two weeks. Fighting Irish soccer’s present and future took center stage in a pair of international tournaments in La Manga that officially began on Feb. 26 and ran through March 9.
Junior midfielder/tri-captain Cari Roccaro (East Islip, New York/East Islip) earned one cap with the United States Under-23 Women’s National Team, while freshman defender Sabrina Flores (Livingston, New Jersey/Livingston) and incoming 2015 signee Natalie Jacobs (Coto de Caza, California/Tesoro) played key roles for the U.S. U-20 WNT in three-game tournament sweeps.
Roccaro saw 90 minutes of action on defense for the U-23 squad in a 2-1 victory over England on March 2 to close play for her side in the Six Nations International Tournament. The U.S. defense held the England lineup to eight total shots (three on goal) during the match, surrendering the only goal on a deflected free kick in the 81st minute. Roccaro was also available in a 2-0 win over Norway on Feb. 28 and a 1-0 shutout of Japan on Feb. 26 earlier in the event, matches that saw the U.S. defense yield a mere eight total shots (four on goal).
The cap against England was Roccaro’s first international match appearance with the U.S. U-23s after the Fighting Irish captain competed extensively at the U-20 level since 2009. The three-time first team all-conference selection (2012 BIG EAST Conference, 2013-14 Atlantic Coast Conference) has now represented U.S. Soccer in U-15, U-17, U-18, U-20 and U-23 matches.
Flores logged her first career start with the U.S. U-20 WNT on March 5 against Norway in the opening match of the 10 Nations U-19 International Tournament, playing the full 90 minutes alongside future Notre Dame teammate Jacobs on the American back line. The U.S. held Norway to just five shots in full time to post a 2-0 clean sheet. Jacobs made her second official second appearance with the U-20 side after seeing action in a friendly against Bayern Munich on January 27 in Sanford, Florida.
Jacobs earned her second straight start and went the distance in a 2-0 triumph over the Netherlands on March 7. Flores entered the match in the 69th minute to log her second straight cap, and both players combined to help hold the Netherlands to two shot attempts in the contest. The U.S. U-20 WNT completed a perfect table with a third consecutive 2-0 win on March 9, downing Sweden to close the tournament schedule.
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