Badin High School graduate and Liberty Twp. resident Malia Berkely will be playing in the NCAA women’s soccer final eight of the championships 2 p.m. today against UCLA on the ACC Network, with arguably even more to play for in mid-December.
In addition to the possibility of playing on to the NCAA championship, which Florida State won last year, Berkely, who has played on the Under-23 women’s national team, has been called up by new U.S. national Team coach Vlatko Andonovski to a 24-player “identification camp” from Dec. 9-14 in Bradenton, Fla.
This camp will not include any players from the country’s World Cup-winning team, but instead will be used to evaluate younger players from college and those who have played well in the National Women’s Soccer League or in professional leagues abroad.
While Berkely has played for various national-team age-group teams through the years, the redshirt junior is among 10 players earning their first call-up to the senior National Team.
She also has been named a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, which is awarded annually to the best men’s and women’s college player by the Missouri Athletic Club.
She already was named this season’s defensive player of the year in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Winners of today’s games will play 7 p.m. or 9:30 p.m. Dec. 6, at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, with the finals Dec. 8 at 8:30 p.m. in the same stadium.
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