Before this week, Tierna Davidson never met Abby Dahlkemper.
Both grew up in Menlo Park. Both attended Sacred Heart Prep. Both were recruited to play women’s soccer in the Pac-12.
But it’s important to take into account the age difference.
Davidson, a sophomore at Stanford, won’t turn 19 until Tuesday and graduated from SHP in 2016. Dahlkemper, 24, earned her high school degree five years earlier.
So what did it take for their paths to intertwine?
An invitation to train with the U.S. women’s national team in Denver.
“My dad and I were just actually talking about it,” Davidson said. “It’s pretty crazy that two of us from the same tiny high school in Atherton are actually going to be in the same camp. So I’m excited because I have never been able to play with her and to see how that goes. But it’s pretty funny how small of a world it is.”
Have they exchanged stories about life as Gators?
“We haven’t yet,” Dahlkemper said over the phone on Wednesday night. “I’ve been pretty busy, actually, at camp. But maybe during a meal we can hopefully talk more into detail.”
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Dahlkemper won an NCAA title as a junior at UCLA, anchoring the defense as a center back. But it wasn’t until October of last year that the 5-foot-7 defender received her first call-up to the squad that won the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“Everyone is faster, everyone is stronger, quicker,” Dahlkemper said. “It’s the best level you can get, and I’m just thankful that I can be in this environment — and how to be uncomfortable to where I know that I am improving. That’s how you’re going to get better, it’s trying new things and being surrounded by the world’s best players.”
It’s been a much quicker rise to prominence for Davidson, who got her first taste at this level in January after a U-23 training camp in Carson. She was among five players invited to stay for an ensuing training session with U.S. head coach Jill Ellis.
“That was a great opportunity to compare the levels of play and to be able to test myself to see if I could hang with the team and with the speed of play and the physicality,” Davidson said.
“The amount of time that you have to make decisions is so small,” she added. …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports