Freshman forward Nicole Douglas receives England U19 call-up

Nicole Douglas will miss ASU's games against UCLA and USC as she participates in international play

Thirty-two days after making her Sun Devil debut, freshman forward Nicole Douglas has been named to England's Under-19 Women's National Team.

Head coach Graham Winkworth confirmed on Tuesday that Douglas was selected in the first round of the European Qualifier held in Croatia.

“We’re very supportive,” Winkworth said. “We think that should be something they should be aiming for, and hopefully she’ll have a good time training over there then come back and continue where she left off.”

The team will take on Malta on Monday, Oct. 1, the host nation Croatia on Thursday, Oct. 4 and Slovakia on Sunday, Oct. 7, according to its schedule.

The U.K. native is no stranger to playing on national teams, as Douglas was a member of the Chelsea Ladies club during the 2016-17 season, notching five goals.

Since her short stint at ASU, Douglas has led her team in goals with six in just eight starts, ranking sixth in the Pac-12

Her last two goals were scored in the waning minutes against Weber State and Cal, and the strikes were critical game-winners.

With Douglas’s departure midway into the season, she will be leaving her team ahead of big matchups against No. 2 USC and No. 16 UCLA.

The Trojans (9-0-1) have won their last six games and currently rank third in the Pac-12, whereas the Bruins (5-3-1) rank ninth.

“I have a lot of faith in them in the upcoming games,” Douglas said. “They are going to be tough games but … they have the ability to beat them.”

Although the absence is brief, Winkworth has some big decisions to make in regards to who will make up for Douglas's absence, and the coach said he is not sure if the team will stick to the same formation or change it moving forward. 

“It’s going to be a tough challenge for us,” Winkworth said. “We are not really sure if we are sticking to the same formation or if we want to play with one center-forward or two.”  

Despite the fact that the 18-year-old is on her way to England, the fight doesn’t end for ASU. A next-player up mentality will take place.

“I’m excited to go back to England,” Douglas said. “I got to put everything on the field and not leave anything. I got to prove to my coaches that I deserve a spot on the team.”

Douglas said she plans on incorporating the training regimen she’s learned so far at ASU when she arrives with the national team.

“The training here is going to impact me massively,” Douglas said. “I’ve gotten fitter, which I’m really looking to showing back in England.”

Senior defender and fellow British teammate Jemma Purfield, who competed on England’s U-23 national team over the summer, shared support for her teammate’s success.

“I think when you go and play at the top level, you have to find your best self,” Purfield said. “Any international competition is high intensity, a lot quicker and obviously very competitive ... Everyone is playing for their country, and everybody wants to win the same way you do here."

Winkworth said Douglas will return just in time for the team's match against the defending NCAA National Champion and No. 1 Stanford Cardinal at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. MST. 


Reach the reporter at Edith.Noriega@asu.edu or follow @Noriega_Edith on Twitter. 

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