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Pilots Excel on Soccer National Teams

July 26, 2006

University of Portland soccer players have had a busy summer of national team activity, staying fit on the highest of levels in advance of collegiate training sessions scheduled for early August. Megan Rapinoe recently made her first appearance with the full U.S. Women's National Team; Angie Woznuk and Cori Alexander helped the U.S. Under-21 National Team to a second place finish at the Nordic Cup in Norway; Stephanie Lopez and Kelsey Davis have been with the U.S. Under-20 squad in preparation for the upcoming FIFA World Championships; Rachael Rapinoe, Lisa Sari and Michelle Enyeart are with the U.S. Open Selection Team scheduled to play Mexico later this week and incoming freshman Sophie Schmidt has balanced time between the full Canadian National Team and captaining Canada's Under-20 squad.

Rapinoe, the youngest player on the pitch when the U.S. played Ireland in an international friendly last Saturday in San Diego on national television, earned her first senior national team cap by coming on in the 69th minute of the 5-0 win. Rapinoe joined the U.S. Residency Training Camp in the middle of May and made the WNT roster for a friendly against Sweden on July 15, but did not make an appearance in that match. A veteran of the youth national team system, including a three-goal performance at the 2004 FIFA U-19 World Championships, Rapinoe scored 15 goals and added 13 assists for the Pilots as a redshirt freshman in 2005. The U.S. is next scheduled to face Canada and former UP standout Christine Sinclair on Sunday, July 30 at 10:00 a.m. (Pacific) live on ESPN2.

Woznuk and Alexander were in Norway July 16-22 for the annual Nordic Cup, the top world competition at the U-21 level. Woznuk started every match for the U.S., who advanced to the championship game before falling to Germany by a 2-0 margin. Alexander served as the reserve goalkeeper and did not see any game action, but has only allowed one goal in 135 minutes between the pipes for the U-21s this year.

Lopez is the captain of the U.S. U-20 squad, currently in training for the FIFA World Championships set for Aug. 17-Sept. 3 in Russia. She is joined on the roster by her newest Pilot teammate, goalkeeper Kelsey Davis, who recently transferred to Portland from UCLA. The U-20s took a trip to Finland to finalize preparations for the upcoming world championships. After defeating Finnish women's club team SCR 12-0 on July 18, the team swept Finland's U-20s 3-2 and 7-1 on July 20 and July 22, respectively.

The U.S. U-20s will open the FIFA World Championships on Aug. 18 against the Democratic Republic of Congo in Moscow.

Three other Pilots - Rachael Rapinoe, Lisa Sari and Michelle Enyeart - have been named to the U.S. Open selection team which left for Mexico on Tuesday and will compete against the Mexican team later this week. The team is part of a national development program open to all ages of players within the national team system.

North of the border, incoming freshman Sophie Schmidt has kept a busy schedule with the senior Canadian National Team alongside former Pilot star Christine Sinclair, as well as captaining the Canadian U-20 squad in preparation for the FIFA World Championships. Schmidt, who will redshirt the 2006 collegiate season due to her national team commitments, has appeared in 16 matches with the U-20s in 2006 and scored three goals. She has also made four starts and played all 90 minutes in each match with the senior team in 2006, scoring a goal against Holland on March 6.

The Canadian U-20s will open the FIFA World Championships on Aug. 17 against Nigeria in Moscow.