Jan. 10, 2018
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Three members of the Virginia women’s soccer team have been named to the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team it was announced by U.S. Soccer on Wednesday.
Freshman goalkeeper Laurel Ivory (Surfside, Fla.), sophomore midfielder/defender Zoe Morse (East Lansing, Mich.) and freshman forward/midfielder Taryn Torres (Frisco, Texas) will all compete for the United States at the 2018 CONCACAF Championships in Trinidad & Tobago from January 18-28.
“This was not an easy process,” said U.S. U-20 head coach Jitka Klimkova. “To look over the entire year, then boil it down to the 30 players in the New Year’s camp and then pick the final roster was difficult, and that’s a credit to the players. The most recent camp was so competitive. The players left everything on the field and they were really battling for roster spots.”
The 2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship features eight nations divided into two groups of four teams. The top two finishers in each group will qualify for the semifinals, with the winners of those games along with the winner of the third-place match earning berths to the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in France.
All 16 matches of the tournament will take place across eight match days at Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, Trinidad. The United States will open the tournament on Jan. 19 against Nicaragua, face Jamaica on Jan. 21 and finish group play against Mexico on Jan. 23.
Ivory has five caps with U.S. Soccer, while Morse has nine caps and Torres has three caps – including one start. All three players competed with the U-20 WNT in the Nike Friendlies this past December in Florida, helping the U.S. to a win over Finland and a draw with England.
“It’s always an honor to represent this country and to do so on the international stage is always special,” Ivory said. “To help qualify for a World Cup is something so many dream of, and I will do anything I can for this team in order to achieve that goal.”
Ivory, who started all 23 matches in goal for the Cavaliers this past season, competed in the 2016 U-17 World Cup and was the 2016 U-17 CONCACAF Qualifying Gold Glove winner and named to the Best XI team. She also competed with the U-20 WNT in England over the summer of 2017. She was named to the TopDrawerSoccer Freshman Best XI team this season after helping UVA post 10 shutouts – nine of them solo – and compiling a 13-6-4 record.
“I’m honored to be given the opportunity to play for our country in the U-20 World Cup qualifiers,” Morse said. “I’m incredibly thankful for my family at UVA that has pushed me to be better each day over the last two years. I would not have this opportunity without them. Because of this, I’m going to do everything I can to help our country qualify for the (U-20) World Cup.”
Morse has competed with U.S. Soccer across multiple national teams throughout her career, including competing with the U-18 team in Spain and England in 2016. This past season at Virginia, she started 21-of-22 matches played and tallied an assist in the win over then No. 5 Penn State. Morse saw time at midfield and defender for the Cavaliers in 2017.
“I feel blessed and grateful for the opportunity to compete for my country,” Torres said. “It is always an honor to represent the crest, the University of Virginia, and my coach Steve Swanson. I am also thankful for my sisters at UVA for pushing me, motivating me and inspiring me to be better. I can’t wait to compete.”
Torres has been a member of the U-15, U-19 and U-20 Teams. This past season at Virginia, she was named an All-ACC Third Team selection and an All-Freshman selection after tying for the team lead in goals with eight and finishing second on the team with 17 points. She hit a pair of game-winning goals, including the game-winner against Miami.