Dec. 18, 2003
CHICAGO - Santa Clara University women's soccer freshman Julie Ryder was named one of 26 players to the Under-19 National Team and will train at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., from Dec. 27 through Jan. 2.
Head coach Tracey Leone will use the post-Christmas training camp as a kick off to the 2004 season, with the team's main focus on the CONCACAF U-19 Women's Qualifying Tournament, which will be held in Ottawa and Montreal, Canada, from May 28-June 6. The top two finishers at that tournament qualify for the second FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship, to be held in Thailand from November 10-27.
Ryder, of DeKalb, Ill., is one of 12 finalists for Soccer Buzz Magazine's Freshman of the Year award. She is also a first-team All-West Coast Conference honoree, and with that recognition, became the first freshman goalkeeper to garner first-team honors since 1997. Ryder started 17 contests and ranked 12th in the country with a 0.574 goals-against average. She posted nine shut outs, including three in the NCAA Tournament, and boasts a 12-2-3 record, her only losses to second-ranked Notre Dame and NCAA Champion North Carolina. Ryder made 52 saves on the season and will be one of four goal keepers on the roster.
"We look at the process as two-fold, one is the evaluation of players and the selection of rosters, which eventually will lead us to select our 18 players for qualifying, and the other half is developing the team," Leone said. "Without the college players during the fall, we could evaluate, but it was harder to mold the team. Having those players will raise the standard, which is already very good, and will allow us to really identify the core of our team as we keep evaluating all the players for roster spots."
Ryder is one of 12 college freshmen that recently completed their rookie seasons. There are also 11 are high school seniors, two high school juniors and one high school sophomore, in forward Alexa Orand.
The U-19s will have a highly active 2004, which includes a training camp in January, an international trip in February, another training camp in March and perhaps a domestic international tournament at the end of April.
The complete release can be found at www.ussoccer.com.