BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The first thing that Katelyn Nardulli (Naperville, IL) realized as she got off the plane was that she didn’t need any winter clothing.
The 15-year-old defender for the 2002 Midwest team has been a staple in the back for the team as it is undefeated (1-0-1) in group play and allowed just one goal in the two games.
After topping the West 3-0 to start the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) Girls Thanksgiving Interregional competition, the team gutted out a 1-1 draw against the South on Wednesday at Spanish River Athletic Complex. The team will take on the East (2-0-0) on Friday as the completion comes to a close.
Back home in Illinois, Nardulli said the temperature was 28-degrees and snowing – a far cry from the 80-degrees and 69 percent humidity in South Florida.
“This is pretty big because I want to get more college exposure,” said Nardulli, who has battled a calf injury during the week because of the humidity. “They were tightening up. I just came from snow and now I am here. It is a little harder to train and keep up. It is a lot easier to run in the cold, plus I am way used to it. It is so nice not to have to wear Under Armour and all of the gear and be freezing when you get on the field. It is nice to just get out and play and not have to worry about that.
“I haven’t decided n a college yet,” Nardulli said. “I also want to measure myself up across the nation and see what I am really struggling in to get better for when I go back to club and high school. It also shows me what I am doing well in.”