BAYAMON, Puerto Rico -- Former Creighton women’s soccer player Ivonne Valentin has joined the Puerto Rican National Team in preparation for upcoming matches in the Caribbean Second Round of the 2008 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualification. Valentin and Puerto Rico will face Trinidad & Tobago twice this weekend, with matches set for Friday (Nov. 23) and Sunday (Nov. 25) at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
The Caribbean Second Round features Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, with the top two teams advancing to the final round of the 2008 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualification. Along with the two Caribbean teams, the final round will consist of Costa Rica, Canada, Mexico and the United States. Two teams from the final round will advance to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.
Valentin helped Puerto Rico win the first two games in its history Oct. 24 and 26 in the Cayman Islands. The Papillion, Neb., native scored a goal in the team’s 4-0 victory over the host, Cayman Islands, on Oct. 24. The defender then helped Puerto Rico pick up a 1-0 shutout victory over Haiti on Oct. 26 to claim the top spot in the First Round Group D and advance to the Caribbean Second Round.
The 2007 Creighton grad, who has been a volunteer assistant coach under head coach Bruce Erickson the past two seasons, returned to the U.S. and helped coach the Bluejay women’s soccer team to the 2007 MVC Tournament championship in Evansville, Ind. She returned to Puerto Rico after CU’s NCAA Tournament match against USC last Friday.
Valentin has played a hand in all four of Creighton’s MVC Tournament titles in the program’s history. As a player from 2002-2005, she helped CU win three conference championships (2002, 2004, 2005) and advance to three NCAA Tournaments. Valentin was a two-time all-MVC performer and was twice named to the MVC all-tournament team.
UPDATE: Puerto Rico finished 1-1 against Trinidad & Tobago, losing 2-1 on Nov. 23 and winning 1-0 on Nov. 25. Puerto Rico fell one goal shy of advancing to the final round of Olympic Qualification.