Smith selected to play with U.S. U-23 Women's National Team
Feb. 12, 2013
CHICAGO - Freshman goalkeeper Abby Smith has been selected to participate with the U.S. Under-23 Women's National Team, according to an announcement by the organization. Smith was part of the U.S. U-20 Women's National Team that claimed the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Germany. Smith and Villanova's Jami Kranich are the only goalkeepers selected to the U-23 squad.
"Abby is coming off of a tremendously successful 2012 year," head coach Angela Kelly said. "I am excited for her to get back into the international arena where she will continue to develop. Abby is a very intelligent player and constantly pursues avenues to study the game. She continues to pursue excellence here at Texas, on and off the field."
The U-23 team will open its 2013 campaign with a trip to La Manga, Spain, from Feb. 22 - March 5. The squad will play Norway on Feb. 28, Sweden on March 2 and finish up the four-team tournament against England on March 4.
"I'm really excited for this opportunity," Smith said. "It's a great chance to improve and play alongside extremely talented athletes. I'm excited to start playing games again, too."
U.S. head coach Randy Waldrum will take a 20-player roster featuring top collegiate players and young pros to Spain. Three players, defender Julie Johnston, midfielder Kristie Mewis and forward Zakiya Bywaters, will be coming off almost two weeks of training with the full Women's National Team. Eight players were members of the U-20 squad that won the World Cup last fall while six are currently on preliminary rosters for National Women's Soccer League clubs.
A unanimous selection to the All-Big 12 Conference Newcomer Team, Smith ended her freshman season recording seven shutouts, tying Jamie Strong's Longhorn record, set in 1994. Smith's 0.63 goals-against average established the UT rookie record, besting Alex Gagarin's 0.89 GAA in 2001.
Smith earned a place on the All-Big 12 Second Team and was named the league's defensive player of the week Oct. 9, two weeks after receiving Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors (Sept. 25). Following 1-0 a shutout of No. 22 Oklahoma State on Oct. 5, Smith was tabbed as the Soccer America Goalkeeper of the Week.
Smith anchored a UT defense that tied for the Big 12 lead in fewest goals allowed during regular-season league games with five and placed second in goals against average (0.61). The five goals surrendered were the Longhorns' fewest during a Big 12 campaign since allowing five in 2008.
Texas Soccer has had two members participate with their country's national teams in Vanessa Martinez (Mexico/1999-2004) and Kelly Wilson (USA/2002 & 2005).
U.S. U-23 Women's National Team Roster By Position
DEFENDERS (8): Natasha Anasi (Duke; Arlington, Texas); Julie Johnston (Santa Clara; Mesa, Ariz.), Kassey Kallman (Florida State; Woodbury, Minn.), Camille Levin (Göteborg FC; Newport Coast, Calif.), Lindsi Lisonbee (Sky Blue FC; Provo, Utah), Toni Pressley (Ryazan VDV; Melbourne, Fla.), Casey Short (Boston Breakers; Naperville, Ill.), Courtney Verloo (Stanford; Tualatin, Ore.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian (Virginia; St. Simon's Island, Ga.), Zakiya Bywaters (Chicago Red Stars; Las Vegas, Nev.), Vanessa DiBernardo (Illinois; Naperville, Ill.), Sarah Killion (UCLA; Fort Wayne, Ind.), Kristie Mewis (FC Kansas City; Hanson, Mass.), Samantha Mewis (UCLA; Hanson, Mass.)
FORWARDS (4): Morgan Marlborough (Santa Clara; Raymore, Mo.), Tiffany McCarty (Washington Spirit; Laurel, Md.), Stephanie Ochs (Washington Spirit; San Diego, Calif.), Havana Solaun (Florida; Gainesville, Fla.)