Aug. 17, 2015
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Noelle Sanz became the third member of the Alabama women’s soccer team to be selected to represent her country on the national level this year, as the Crimson Tide junior was called in to the Costa Rican National Team for its match vs. Team USA on Sunday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as part of the U.S National Team’s 2015 Victory Tour. Sanz saw just over ten minutes of action on Sunday and will continue to train with the team before the two squads square off again on Wednesday.
“I was thrilled to learn of Noelle’s call up to the Costa Rican National Team’s match vs. Team USA,” said Alabama head coach Wes Hart. “To have three players represent their respective senior national teams this year speaks volumes to the kind of players we have and are able to attract here at Alabama. We are extremely proud of Noelle and can’t wait to see her continue to play for her country.”
Sanz’ “surreal” experience began when she received a call from Costa Rica head coach, Ame Valverde on Tuesday, just five days before the team’s match on Sunday. Three days later, Sanz was in Pittsburgh preparing for her lone training session before the team’s match on Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field.
“The whole experience is just awesome,” said Sanz. “Playing against the best team in the world is surreal. The women I look up to are telling me good job and shaking my hand after the match – just surreal.”
The United States National Team defeated Costa Rica by a final score of 8-0 in its first game since winning the Women’s World Cup in Canada last month. The game marked the opening of a victory tour by the Americans and was played before a crowd of 44,028 at Heinz Field — the largest to see a soccer game Pittsburgh.
Sanz and the Costa Rica squad will now travel to Chattanooga, Tenn. for two additional days of training before squaring off with USA for a second time on Wednesday.