Dec. 23, 2013
STORRS, Conn. – U.S. Soccer announced Monday evening that UConn women’s soccer forward Rachel Hill (Rollinsford, N.H.) earned a spot on the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team. Hill, who attended the U-20 Women’s Training Camp over Thanksgiving in California with teammate Stephanie Ribeiro (Pawtucket, R.I.) and was invited back for the second camp in Florida from Dec. 14-21, was among 20 players named to the squad by head coach Michelle French.
The UConn rookie forward will travel to George Town, Cayman Islands with the Women’s National Team as the squad competes in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in January. This past fall, Hill led the UConn offense with 31 points in her freshman season, finishing first in nearly every offensive category. She recorded team-best figures in goals (13), assists (5), shooting percentage (.153), and game-winning goals (4). Hill received numerous weekly honors from the American Athletic Conference throughout the season, netting both Rookie of the Week and Offensive Player of the Week recognition. In postseason awards announced by the league, the American named Hill First Team All-Conference as well as tabbing her for the All-Rookie squad. Starting all 20 season games, the Rollinsford, N.H. native concluded her rookie year tied for third in the conference in goals and tied for fourth in total points.
“At every position, we feel these players are technically proficient and possess a great understanding of how we want to play in order to be successful as a team,” said French. "We have players with very unique qualities ranging from creative and effective finishers, to players who are threatening with their dynamic movement in the midfield, to players who are defensively strong and physical in one-on-one situations. Our overall athleticism will be another strength of this team.”
“The process of narrowing the roster down to twenty players was extremely difficult,” said French, who saw 45 players in game action this year with the U-20s and many more during college matches this fall. “With such a short amount of time following the college season and before qualifying, it was crucial to find the right mix of players that complement each other's personalities on and off the field.”
The 2014 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 2014 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Canada.
The USA opens Group A play on Thurs., Jan. 9, against Costa Rica, faces Jamaica on Sat., Jan. 11, and finishes the group against Guatemala on Mon., Jan. 13. The winner of Group A will meet the Group B runner-up, and vice versa, in the semifinal matches on Fri., Jan. 17, and the Championship and Third-Place Matches will take place on Jan. 19. All three of the USA's group games kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET and the tournament will be played entirely at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.
Click here to view U.S. Soccer's release. Be sure to check back in to www.UConnhuskies.com for updates on Rachel and the U.S. National Team’s performance.