MINNEAPOLIS (Jan. 5, 2011) - Minnesota senior forward Katie Bethke has been invited by U.S. Under-23 Women's National Team head coach Bill Irwin to a training camp running from Jan. 9-16 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. - one of just 24 women's soccer players in the country to be invited to the event. The camp will overlap several days with the full WNT training camp being held from Jan. 8-14.
Bethke, one of just three players from the Big Ten invited to the camp, ended her college career as one of the most successful Gophers soccer players in history. The Eau Claire, Wis. native ranks second all-time at Minnesota with 32 career assists and also is listed among the top ten in career points (84, 5th), goals, (26, 8th) and shots (194, 6th).
As a senior in 2010, Bethke's 13 assists tied for the sixth most in Division I soccer while her three postseason goals were tied for second most in the NCAA tournament. . Pacing the Big Ten's most productive offense, Bethke led the conference in assists and finished second behind Illinois' Vanessa DiBernardo by just two points for the conference lead with 25. Earlier this year, Bethke was honored by the Big Ten Conference when she was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team - the third conference of her career.
Of the 24 players called up, 10 are college seniors eligible for the WPS draft, which will be held during the camp on Jan. 14 at the NSCAA Convention in Baltimore. The U-23s begin a year in which the focus will be on this summer when the Nordic Cup is scheduled to return. The annual tournament for Europe's top U-23 women's teams that has long also included the United States has been on hiatus for two years.
U.S. U-23 WNT Roster Position By Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Kristin Arnold (Texas A&M; Centennial, Colo.), Adrianna Franch (Oklahoma State; Salina, Ks.), Alexa Gaul (Texas; Naperville, Ill.)
DEFENDERS (6): Amber Brooks (North Carolina; New Hope, Pa.), Cassie Dickerson (Ohio State; Kalamazoo, Mich.), Lauren Fowlkes (Notre Dame; Lee's Summit, Mo.), Lindsey Kowal (Harvard; East Meadow, N.Y.), Nikki Marshall (Washington Freedom; Mead, Ohio), Kathryn Williamson (Florida; McKinney, Texas)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Bianca D'Agostino (Wake Forest; Longmeadow, Mass.), Becky Edwards (Out of Contract; Downingtown, Pa.), Colleen Flanagan (Virginia; Downingtown, Pa.), Megan Jesolva (California; La Mirada, Calif.), Christine Nairn (Penn State; Bowie, Md.), Casey Nogueira (Sky Blue FC; Raleigh, N.C.), Elli Reed (Portland; Park City, Utah), Ingrid Wells (Georgetown; Montclair, N.J.), Keelin Winters (Portland; Englewood, Colo.)
FORWARDS (6): Katie Bethke (Minnesota; Eau Claire, Wis.), Sarah Hagen (UW-Milwaukee; Appleton, Wis.), Melissa Henderson (Notre Dame; Garland, Texas), Stephanie Ochs (San Diego; San Diego, Calif.), Christen Press (Stanford; P.V. Estates, Calif.), Katie Schoepfer (Out of Contract; Waterford, Conn.)