Kreutz To Compete Overseas With Philippine National Team In April|
March 15, 2018
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV women's soccer forward Caitlyn Kreutz will compete in the 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup as a member of the Philippine National Team. The 19th annual tournament, which takes place in Jordan, will run from April 6-20 and serves as the final stage of Asian qualification for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, with the top five teams qualifying.
Kreutz, from Clovis, California, transferred to UNLV prior to the 2017 season from Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo. The forward made an immediate impact in her first season as a Rebel, starting all 20 games and recording five goals, two assists and 12 points on the year. She will be one of UNLV's top returners as a senior in 2018.
For the past several months, Kreutz went through several tryouts and trainings to make the squad.
"The steps to qualify were far from easy," she said. "The trainings were physically exhausting and mentally draining. We had a new coaching staff, so previous experience didn't matter. Every training forced me to push myself to the max to ensure that I would make the team. It was well worth it and I can't wait to try and make my country proud."
The opportunity is special for several reasons. Kreutz's mother was born in the Philippines and has family that still lives there, so it is a point of pride for her to represent her family and the country on the national team.
"It means a lot for me to play for the Philippines because my my mom was born there and her family still lives there," said Kreutz. "The Filipino culture is different because once you do something for them, everyone you meet you bond with. It's so nice to know that support from strangers is genuine. It's also important to me because the better the Philippines National Team becomes, the better women's soccer becomes at younger levels there. I'm really hoping to make a difference with this team."
That won't be the only benefit of Kreutz's unique trip. She'll be able to bring that international experience back with her and use it to make the Rebels better in 2018.
"I think with having a fairly young team, my experience can help us prepare mentally for what's to come during the season," she said. "All the travel and demands are not always easy, but I hope the lesson is that with a great group of girls and a team mentality we can get through anything."
The Rebels' spring schedule continues this Saturday, March 17, with games against Utah Valley and BYU at Peter Johann Memorial Field. First game starts at 6 p.m.