QBE Stadium, New Zealand — A new era of soccer is underway through the New Zealand Women’s National Team.
A part of Pittsburgh is joining that new era, as Bel van Noorden, a University of Pittsburgh forward, is currently training with the senior women’s team. The accolade is a big one, as New Zealand has qualified for this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Noorden started the first five games of the 2018 season for Pittsburgh, but then served as a substitute the rest of the season. Under new head coach Randy Waldrum, Noorden provided one assist in 597 minutes. Noorden recorded seven shots, with three registering on-goal.
In her three years at Pittsburgh, Norden has started 15 of 46 appearances and has provided three assists. Noorden has yet to score her first collegiate goal for the Panthers. Her career has accounted for 1,198 minutes.
“We are extremely excited for Bel and her opportunity to participate in the National Team training camp for New Zealand,” Pitt head coach Randy Waldrum said to Pittsburgh Soccer Now. “It’s a great honor for her and of course for our program here at Pitt. Knowing Tom personally, I know Bel will have a great learning opportunity ahead of her, and we all here at Pitt wish her all the best!”
New Look for New Zealand WNT
New Zealand is now coached by Tom Sermanni, who took the job on Oct. 26, 2018.
Sermanni is taking over a New Zealand team that has struggled with its federation for equal treatment and wages. Abby Erceg, arguably New Zealand’s most notable player, has un-retired from the team twice now.
New Zealand’s training camp will run from Jan. 17-20.
However, the team will meet again for the Cup of Nations Tournament. New Zealand will face Australia, Argentina and South Korea in late February and early March. The national team will take a trip to St. Louis to face the United States at Busch Stadium.
PHOTO: Bel van Noorden, who was recently called up to the New Zealand Women’s National Team. Photos courtesy of the Univ. of Pittsburgh Athletics.