Jan. 24, 2003
DURHAM, N.C. - Duke's Rebecca Smith has been named to the New Zealand National Soccer Team, announced by the organization on Jan. 20.
Smith, a native of Rolling Hills, Calif., whose parents are both natives of New Zealand, lettered four seasons as a defender at Duke from 1999-02. For her career, she played in 81 matches with 76 starting assignments. A team captain for the 2002 Blue Devils, Smith finished her career with two goals and five assists.
"I'm really proud to be representing the country I've always considered my second home," Smith said. "Hopefully I can make them proud by qualifying for the World Cup. We're shooting to make the trip to China."
This past December, Smith returned to New Zealand and was featured on "Soccer Central", a television show produced by SKY TV, discussing her experiences of playing soccer in the United States while creating interest in the World Cup qualifying.
The New Zealand team will play a five-match exhibition schedule beginning on March 17 against Baylor in Waco, Texas. Other opponents during the stretch include Texas A&M (March 20), Texas (March 23), West Texas A&M (March 26) and Texas Tech (March 30). A World Cup Qualifying Tournament is set for April in Australia and includes New Zealand, Tonga Islands, Fiji Islands, Cook Islands, Samoa Islands and Australia.