July 2, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama midfielder Merel Van Dongen was one of 23 players to earn a roster spot with the Netherlands National Women's Soccer Team for the upcoming 2013 European Championships, which will be held July 10-28 in Sweden.
Van Dongen was initially called up to the preliminary Netherlands National Team for the beginning of training camp back on June 10. The final roster was announced by Dutch national coach Roger Reijners on July 1.
Van Dongen and the Netherlands were placed in Group B and will play its first game on July 11th against seven-time European champion Germany. The Orange Lionesses will also compete against Norway (July 14) and Iceland (July 17).
Following the European Championships, Van Dongen will return to Tuscaloosa where she will prepare for her sophomore season in the Crimson and White. She will be looking to build on a successful 2012 campaign in which she became the first player in UA program history to be named the SEC Freshman of the Year, while also being named as an All-SEC second-team performer, TopDrawerSoccer.com's Freshman Team of the Season and NSCAA All-South Region performer.
Van Dongen earned the accolades after recording nine points on three goals and three assists. Seven of the nine points came during Southeastern Conference play. She finished second on the team among field players in minutes played with 1,609 and started all 19 matches last season as a true freshman.
Crimson Tide fans can follow the upcoming European Championships by logging onto uefa.com/womenseuro. Fans can also follow the soccer team on Twitter (@AlabamaSoccer) and on Facebook (AlabamaSoccer).