Soccer Stars Fall in U-20 World Cup Bracket Play
BATON ROUGE – A historic appearance by four LSU Tigers at the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup came to an end this weekend after host nation Canada suffered a 2-0 defeat to Germany on Saturday night and New Zealand dropped a 4-1 decision to Nigeria on Sunday afternoon in the quarterfinal round of the tournament being held in Canada.
LSU Soccer led all NCAA programs with four participants at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup as All-SEC midfielder Emma Fletcher and Class of 2014 defender recruit Jordane Carvery suited up for Canada and All-SEC left back Megan Lee and Class of 2014 goalkeeper recruit Lily Alfeld led the Junior Football Ferns of New Zealand during the competition.
Fletcher started and played 82 minutes in Canada's midfield while Carvery didn't feature for the squad in Saturday's defeat to two-time tournament champion Germany, while Lee and Alfeld each earned the start and played the full 90 minutes in the New Zealand defense that was unable to withstand Nigeria on Sunday.
Fletcher, a Second-Team All-SEC selection and Freshman All-American in her debut season at LSU in 2013, was among her nation's top performers while starting all four matches during the competition.
Lee, also a Second-Team All-SEC selection and Freshman All-American as a college rookie last season, helped lead a historic run for New Zealand into the quarterfinals at this year's FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup as the Junior Football Ferns became the first age group team in the history of New Zealand Football to qualify for the knockout rounds at a FIFA tournament.
Lee was even named “Player of the Match” for her performance in New Zealand's 3-0 shutout of Costa Rica in their final match in Group D last Wednesday that secured second place in the final group standings and the team's berth into the quarterfinal round of the tournament. Lee scored her first career World Cup goal in the second half when she scored the second goal of the match to lead her team to victory over Costa Rica.
Alfeld joined Lee in defense earned the start in goal in each of the team's four matches while keeping two clean sheets and ranking among the top goalkeepers with 15 saves to her credit during the competition.
LSU's four World Cup stars will soon report to campus in Baton Rouge and join their Tiger teammates in preparation for the start of the 2014 collegiate season as they kick off the new campaign on Friday by playing host to the Troy Trojans with kickoff set for 7 p.m. CT at the LSU Soccer Stadium. Fans are invited to come see the Tigers in action this weekend as admission is free for each of the team's home matches this season.