University of Minnesota freshman goalkeeper Cat Parkhill (Apple Valley, Minn.) was named to the Under-20 United States Women’s National Team, United States Soccer announced this week. Parkhill was named to the team’s roster following the first of two week-long training camps for the national team held last week in Sunrise, Fla.
“I was so excited when they told me,” Parkhill said. “I probably called six people right after I found out and nobody answered the phone ... my grandma was the first person I told. My family was very excited.”
For Parkhill, the opportunity to compete on the Under-20 national team as an 18-year-old marks a unique opportunity for her to represent the U’ on an international level.
“We are very excited about this opportunity for Cat. It is an honor to have a member of Minnesota Soccer representing our country in the U20 World Cup,” Minnesota head coach Mikki Denney Wright said. “I know this will be a tremendous experience for Cat, and our team and coaching staff are proud of her achievement.”
Serving as a redshirt and backup to fifth-year senior goalkeeper Lindsey Dare on the Minnesota roster this season, Parkhill has been afforded an opportunity to practice both with her collegiate and national teammates while attending classes at the U.’
“When the coaches and I decided I would redshirt this season, it gave me a great opportunity to pursue this opportunity with the U20 national team. It would’ve been difficult to travel with the team, do well in school, and also to travel with the national team all at once,” Parkhill said. “The Minnesota coaching staff has been very helpful. I’ve had a lot of specific training here at Minnesota that has helped me get to the point where I needed to be.”
Much of the Parkhill’s work at Minnesota has come under the watchful eye of assistant coach Jerrod Roh, Minnesota’s goalkeeping coach. Roh, in his second season at Minnesota, has been impressed with what Parkhill has done thus far during her time at the U.’
“It has been a thrill to have Cat join us here at Gopher Soccer. She is always working to make herself better technically and to understand situations in the game that might arise so that she can be the most effective goalkeeper possible,” Roh said. “I am personally very excited about this opportunity Cat has created for herself with the U20 World Cup and even more excited about seeing her continue to develop over the next few years in a Golden Gopher uniform as well as a United States uniform.”
Parkhill will be back in the Twin Cities for a few short weeks before she will join the national team again at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. on Oct. 18. The team will train in Carson and at Nike headquarters in Portland, Ore. for another week traveling to Chile for the World Cup in mid-November. The team is slated to kick off group play with a match against France on Nov. 19. The U.S. also has group matches with Argentina on Nov. 22 and China on Nov. 26.