Jan. 8, 2010
MILWAUKEE - Sophomore goalkeeper Natalie Kulla was invited to the United States' Under-23 Women's National Team camp, announced Friday by U.S. Soccer and head coach Bill Irwin.
"It is another exciting opportunity for Natalie to show her soccer skills on the highest stage," said Marquette head coach Markus Roeders. "She is only getting better and will do well in this environment. Natalie had a fantastic season and proved herself as one of the top goalkeepers in the country."
Kulla is one of three goalkeepers invited, joining Kristin Arnold of Texas A&M and Kelsey Davis of Portland, and will also be one of the younger players on the roster. Four of the players are professionals, while the rest come from the collegiate ranks.
"When she attended the U-20 National Team camp a couple of years ago she didn't have the collegiate game experience. She is much more knowledgeable and polished and will do well. We are proud of her and wish her all the best in representing our country," said Roeders.
The team will meet for its first training camp of 2010 from Jan. 13-20 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The week of training camp will include two games against the senior South Korean National Team. The squad will take on the South Koreans on Saturday, Jan. 16 and Monday, Jan. 18, with kick off for each game scheduled for 3 p.m. local time.
Since taking over the starting keeper duties at Marquette midway through her freshman campaign, Kulla has been a force in net for the Golden Eagles. Playing every second of every match in 2009, Kulla earned All-BIG EAST Second Team honors, while helping the Golden Eagles to their first ever BIG EAST American Division Championship. Kulla registered a school-record 16 shutouts in 2009 and a goals against average of 0.50.
Players on the U-23 team must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1987.
Kulla joins former Golden Eagle Allison Mallams as the only MU players to have competed for the U.S. U-23 team.