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International notes: UW's Lavelle provides bright spot for U.S. women

03/18/2017, 9:00pm CDT
Rose Lavelle

The second annual SheBelieves Cup earlier this month was one to forget for the U.S. women's national team: The world's top-ranked team and reigning Women's World Cup champions lost back-to-back matches on home soil for the first time since 2000 and finished last in the four-team event.

But one bright spot for the U.S. was the play of midfielder Rose Lavelle (UW), who impressed in her first appearances for the full national team.

The 21-year-old was named the Americans' player of the match after her first cap, a 1-0 loss to England on March 4 in a frigid Harrison, N.J. It's believed that she is the first former UW women's player to earn an international cap.

Lavelle, who was picked by the Boston Breakers with the No. 1 pick in this year's National Women's Soccer League College Draft, started on the left flank – she played as a central midfielder with the Badgers – and hardly put a foot wrong.

"(There was) a phenomenal answer I got tonight: Rose Lavelle. She was fantastic," U.S. coach Jill Ellis said after the game, which England won on Ellen White's 89th-minute goal. "It was her first cap, but after 5 minutes of nerves, she settled into that game and she was one of the best players in the park. So that was fantastic. She did very well wide, and she's a natural lefty so we like that out there."

The Cincinnati native nearly scored in her debut, as she was denied by goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain on a great chance in the 19th minute, and Twitter was abuzz after her nutmeg of Manchester City defender Lucy Bronze. (Watch below)

"Definitely for the first couple of touches I was nervous, but then the adrenaline started going," said Lavelle, who was part of several full national team training camps over the past two years. "I felt that I got my groove as the game went on."

Lavelle also started and played the first half as the U.S. closed out the SheBelieves Cup with a 3-0 loss to France on March 7 in Washington, D.C.

On Twitter: @roselavelle

  • Goalkeeper Andre Wangard (Brookfield) will train with the Nicaraguan national team for three days starting Sunday in Miami, as Los Pinoleros prepare for their CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifying series against Haiti. Nicaragua faces Haiti on March 24 and 28 in the home-and-home series, with the winner earning the final spot in this summer's Gold Cup – in Group B with the host U.S., Martinique and Panama. Wangard, who is a junior at Shattuck-St. Mary's in Faribault, Minn., and plays for the school's Under-18 team in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, also has been invited to a Nicaraguan Under-20 national team camp this summer in Managua.  Wangard was born in the U.S., but is eligible to play for Nicaragua because his paternal grandmother is a native of the Central American country.
  • Defender Sam Brotherton (UW), who has become a regular for the Sunderland Under-23 team after signing with the Premier League club last month, is on the 25-player roster named by New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson for a pair of third-round Oceania World Cup qualifiers against Fiji. The 20-year-old Brotherton has seven caps for the All Whites, who play at Fiji in Group A on Saturday and then play host to the return leg March 28 in Wellington. New Zealand (1-0-1) leads Group A after taking four of six points against New Caledonia last November. The group winner advances to the two-leg regional final, and the Oceania champion will play the fifth-place team from South America qualifying in November for a berth in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. On Twitter: @SamBrotherton96
  • Meanwhile, midfielder Wira Wama (Maranatha Baptist) is one of 23 players called into training camp by coach Flemming Serritslev ahead of Papua New Guinea's qualifiers against Tahiti. Their first Group B match is Thursday in Port Moresby, with the return leg March 29 in Pirae, Tahiti, and PNG also will face the Solomon Islands on June 9 and 13. Wama, who was the National Soccer Coaches Association of America National Christian College Athletic Association Division II Player of the Year for Maranatha last fall, has earned five caps for PNG.

Tag(s): U.S. National Team  International  News