Aug. 5, 2014
BY BRANDON HARRISON
UW Athletic Communications
With Wisconsin women's soccer beginning preseason this week, we sat down with head coach Paula Wilkins and covered a number of topics heading into 2014. Each day this week, we'll expand on discussed topics, such as keys to 2014, Badgers in the U-20 World Cup, veteran experience and leadership, players to watch and the impact of freshmen.
The Badgers report for team meetings on Tuesday, then hit the field for the first time Wednesday morning for fitness testing. The group will face Marquette in an exhibition matchup on Aug. 14, then officially begin the season Aug. 22 at home against Oregon.
• Monday: Three Keys to 2014
• Tuesday: Badgers in the World Cup
• Wednesday: Veteran Experience
• Thursday: Players to Watch
• Friday: Freshmen Impact
MADISON, Wis. -- Tuesday marks a busy day for Wisconsin women's soccer. Not only does the team report for its first official meetings of the 2014 preseason, but two Badgers are set to begin a journey of their own on the world stage this August.
Rose Lavelle and Kinley McNicoll were each tabbed with the honor of representing their country and will take part in the 2014 FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup in Canada. At the tournament, held Aug. 5-24, Lavelle will don the stars and stripes for the USA, while McNicoll slips on the captain armband and looks to help Canada make it a World Cup to remember on home soil.
USA vs. Germany is set for a 6 p.m. (CT) start and can be watched live on ESPNU, while Canada faces Ghana at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
UW head coach Paula Wilkins recognized that not only is this a great honor in the young careers of the two Badgers, but that it could also provide a boost for UW when the two rejoin the team in Madison.
WILKINS: "I think they have to build that experience of being in big games and winning big games. They'll both be called on by their countries--especially Kinley being captain--and the program's success of both of those teams is going to be based on them a bit. I think bringing back that maturity and that experience is going to be key for us, as well."
Rose Lavelle | Midfielder | Cincinnati, Ohio
Lavelle was one of 21 players called by head coach Michelle French to represent the United States at this summer's U-20 World Cup.
"The USA has a young but skillful and hard-working midfield for the tournament, led by Lavelle, a rising sophomore at Wisconsin who was the MVP of the 2014 CONCACAF U-20 Women's Championship last January in the Cayman Islands," U.S. Soccer said in an official release.
Earlier this year, Lavelle distinguished herself as one of the most promising full U.S. Women's National Team prospects by earning the Golden Ball for most valuable player of the 2014 CONCACAF Championships.
During the championships, Lavelle was instrumental in guiding Team USA to its fourth CONCACAF Women's U20 Championship crown and eventual spot in the 2014 U-20 World Cup. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native displayed much of the brilliance and talent she had showed during her rookie campaign with the Badgers last season, drawing praise from national team coaches and peers.
Kinley McNicoll | Midfielder | Oakville, Ontario
At the team's unveiling event held in Toronto, Canada Soccer announced its official roster for the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Canada 2014, which featured McNicoll as team captain on the 21-member roster.
The FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Canada 2014 runs nearly three weeks this summer, Aug. 5-24. McNicoll and Canada begin tournament play against Ghana in Toronto on Aug. 5. The team then goes on to face fellow Group A members Finland in Toronto on Aug. 8 and North Korea in Montreal on Aug. 12. The competition concludes with the World Cup Final at the Olympic Stadium in Toronto on Aug. 24.
McNicoll is no stranger to competing on the world stage. The Oakville, Ontario, native was also a member of Canada's national team for the 2010 U-17 World Cup and the Ontario Provincial U-16, U-15 and U-14 teams.
Just four years ago, McNicoll stepped up and scored the lone goal to lift Canada over Mexico, 1-0, in the 2010 CONCACAF U-17 Women's Championship final. It marked the nation's first CONCACAF U-17 Women's Championship title.