Women’s Soccer Takes On Pros In Europe


photos courtesy of Carlee Nordquist

Photo courtesy of Carlee Nordquist

The Seattle University Women’s soccer team took their skills abroad over spring break, as traveling to Spain and France to face professional competition.

They squared off against a second-division Spanish league side, as well as Lyon and Montpellier’s professional teams, who each play in France’s first division.

“Its definitely a different game [in Europe]”, said redshirt sophomore Sarah Coluccio of the competition overseas. “There’s a different style and its so cool to see, like when you watch the World Cup, different countries and different cultures in the game.”

Photo courtesy of Carlee Nordquist
Photo courtesy of Carlee Nordquist

Though Seattle U lost to both French squads, it lent them a valuable experience against top class players. Seven women from the Montpellier side will feature for France’s national team at the World Cup this summer, on top of other internationals that will also be representing their countries in Canada starting June 6.

“Watching those individuals [who played for Lyon and Montpellier] was super inspirational and it was a lot of fun. And it was really cool to see how different the game can be played and watching our team blend right in, competing with different styles,” Coluccio said.

The team did have success in beating the Spanish second division team, and was able to tour the Barcelona academy, and the 98,000 capacity Camp Nou stadium. And as Senior Stephanie Verdoia has made the transition from SU to the National Women’s Soccer League with the Boston Breakers, this trip was extra clarification that the program here in Seattle can produce professional players.

“I do think the NWSL, in terms of drafting 36 players in four rounds and nine teams, it is extremely competitive,” Head Coach Julie Woodward said.
But, she was adamant that the U.S. wasn’t the only place to play professionally, and traveling to Europe was proof.

“You’re options are so much greater overseas just because there are so many teams and so many divisions I think the fact we exposed them to the possibilities of playing overseas and sparking some interest for me was very rewarding.”