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Bauer among elite

Soccer

Newport Beach resident is a key player as a center back on U.S. Under-17 national soccer team.

March 30, 2012|By Bruce Bourquin, Special to the Daily Pilot
  • 16-year-old defender Maddie Bauer, a Newport Beach resident, plays for the U.S. Under-17 women's national soccer team. She just returned from a tournament in Spain.
16-year-old defender Maddie Bauer, a Newport Beach resident,… (DON LEACH )

In a recent tournament halfway around the world, Maddie Bauer, a Newport Beach resident, proved she is one of the best teenage girls' soccer players in the world.

While playing center backfield for the U.S. Under-17 Women's National Soccer Team in early March at the La Manga Women's Under-19 Ten Nations Tournament in La Manga, Spain, the 16-year-old helped her team collect two shutouts in international play.

Team USA's U-17 team beat the U-19 women's team from France, 2-0, March 4. The Americans followed with a 1-1 draw with England — the U.S. lost in penalty kicks — and on March 9, the national team downed the Netherlands, 2-0.

The experience against older girls helped. What also helped was the fact the Mater Dei High junior played all 90 minutes in all three matches. She was one of only two players who played 270 total minutes, along with fellow defender and Boston College commit Morgan Andrews.

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"We played against higher-level, higher-caliber teams than we usually play," Bauer said recently at San Miguel Park in Newport Beach. "The girls were bigger, the games were faster-paced. We matched them size-wise. It makes us a little more comfortable with how we deal with situations."

Bauer, who said she prevented at least two or three shots on goal per game, learned from each opponent. Bauer, the No. 12-ranked player in the Class of 2013 by TopDrawerSoccer.com, has played on the U.S. national soccer team since she was on the U-14 team.

"France was the most skilled, the most patient," Bauer said. "I had my best experience against them. It was a night game, the other teams and parents were all watching us. England was the most feisty, the most physical. They were always working the clock, trying to draw yellow cards. The Netherlands team was pretty organized. It was a cool experience, when the national anthem was played. It was meaningful playing for your country."

One of Bauer's goals is to one day play in the Olympics or possibly aWomen's World Cup.

But the U-17 team is taking things one step at a time. May 2-12, the U.S. will compete in the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Assn. Football (CONCACAF)Women's World CupQualifying tournament at Estadio Cementos Progreso in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

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