DRESDEN, Germany – Twelve years ago, current VCU Co-Head Coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak was a part of American soccer history when the USA won the 1999 Women's World Cup.
Fast forward and now it's a former Ram looking to capture that same glory as Hayley Moorwood leads a potent, young New Zealand squad at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany. Her and her "Kiwi" teammates will start Group B action on Monday at 9 a.m. EST against group favorite, Japan.
"This is something every soccer player in the world dreams about and we're all really excited to get going," Moorwood said. "We're a young team, but I really think we have a chance to surprise some people."
The 27-year old is the veteran on the squad with 65 international caps, which is a record for the New Zealand Women's National team. Eight years after making her international debut, Moorwood is heading into her second FIFA Women's World Cup seeking to help her side into the knockout stage for the first time.
"In the past 10 years or so, women's soccer has really grown on the world stage and in New Zealand, it's been no different," Moorwood said. "I really feel like we are making strides and are getting to a point where we are going to compete every time we step onto the pitch."
During her time at VCU, Moorwood anchored in two of the greatest seasons in VCU history, helping the Rams to the program's lone NCAA Tournament victory, a 3-1 defeat of Clemson in 2005.
In her two seasons with the Black & Gold, she tallied nine goals and seven assists in 43 games. Six of those nine goals were game-winners. She earned All-CAA accolades during both her seasons at VCU.