By Harry Shorthose
THE big games just keep on coming for Carlow woman Lauren Dwyer. Fresh from her exploits with the Ireland soccer team at the World University Games, she has now earned her second senior international call-up as Ireland prepare to take on the World Cup champions, USA, in a friendly in the Rose Bowl, Pasadena on Saturday.
“It’s great to get the recognition but it’s also great to get the call up to play against the world champions. It’s going to be a great experience and I can’t wait to get out there now,” Dwyer told The Nationalist following Friday’s squad announcement.
“I was called up to the squad for the Cyprus Cup, that’s going back two or three years, but I’ve been out of the picture for a while so I’m excited.”
The IT Carlow star was capped numerous times for Ireland at underage level and she cites the World University Games as being key to her selection.
“It’s a huge stepping stone and hopefully it’s a step in the right direction. You’re playing top teams and hopefully that experience will be key to me this week and for the future. It’s a taste of what’s hopefully to come for me in the future. It’s all about putting in a performance in the next week or so and with the Champions League [with Wexford Youths] coming up soon, it’ll be a good experience with two of us on the Irish team.
Lauren will be joined on the trip by her Youths team-mate Rianna Jarrett.
The Wexford defender is relishing the opportunity to take on the recently crowned world champions.
“It is and it isn’t [daunting], everyone knows how good they are but you can’t turn down the experience when it’s given to you. It might only be a once-in-a-lifetime experience so I’m going to take it as it comes and it’s going to be something new for all of us. It’s just about getting into the squad and building on that.”
Lauren is also hopeful her selection will help young girls playing the game in Carlow. “There are a lot more girls playing soccer now than there was when I was starting out. I had to play on a boys team. It’s great though that young girls can come and look up to me now having come from Carlow, they can see that it is doable. That is something that every girl needs to believe. That they are well capable of doing it,” she says.