Two Bruins from women’s soccer were called up to national teams this past week and will join a host of UCLA squad members and alumni to play internationally.
UCLA rising sophomores forward Ashley Sanchez and midfielder Viviana Villacorta were named to the U.S. 2018 Under-20 Women’s World Cup 21-player roster. The tournament will be held in France this August, meaning the pair will potentially miss two regular season games.
Sanchez has been featured once before for the U.S. U-20 World Cup squad. In 2016, she became the first player to compete at the U-17 and U-20 World Cups in the same year and was named the U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year. She has recorded 11 goals in 33 caps at the U-20 level, making her one of the most-capped players on the squad.
Villacorta will be experiencing her first World Cup, despite having 23 caps and 1 goal at the U-20 level. She played in 25 games for the Bruins last season and started in 15 of them, logging four assists and a 0.375 percent shot-on-goal percentage.
Bruin rising senior Hailie Mace was called up to the U.S. national team for the first time in February to compete in the SheBelieves Cup against top-ranked teams Germany, England and France. Mace earned her first cap in April against Mexico after being featured for 30 minutes at center back.
Mace switched from outside back and center back to forward before the 2017 season and led the Bruins up front. She plays at defender for the national team, despite leading UCLA in scoring with 15 goals and 33 points since making the switch.
The other Bruin to currently feature on a national team is rising junior midfielder Jessie Fleming. She has recorded 53 caps for the Canadian women’s national team. Fleming made her debut with the team in 2013 at the age of 15 and has recorded 6 goals and two assists. Fleming won bronze at the 2016 Summer Olympics and played at the 2015 Women’s World Cup and Pan American Games.
Fleming, a UCLA co-captain last season, was named a first-team All-American and a nominee for the Honda Sport Award. She logged eight assists and finished fourth in scoring with 20 points and started in 23 games.
The incoming recruiting class features a number of internationally experienced members. Incoming freshman forward Shana Flynn played for the U-20 Canadian women’s national team and midfielder Mariacarmen Reyes featured for the U-20 Mexico women’s national team.