Titan Alum Bardsley Joins England for 2013 UEFA Women's Euro Finals
FULLERTON, Calif. -- Former Cal State Fullerton goalkeeper Karen Bardsley returns to national team duty with England next month, one of 23 players selected to represent the nation at the 2013 UEFA Women's European Championships in Sweden.
England has been placed in Group C, opening against Spain on July 12 before taking on Russia (July 15) and France (July 18). The Three Lions qualified unbeaten with a 4-0-1 mark, posting wins over Slovenia, Serbia, and Croatia (twice), while earning a scoreless draw with the Netherlands.
Other groups include Denmark, Finland, Italy, and host Sweden in Group A with Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, and Norway in Group B.
The top two teams from each group and the two best runners-up will advance to the knockout round beginning on July 21. The final will be held in the new Friends Arena in Solna, Sweden, on July 28.
This will be Bardsley's second appearance in the championship after joining England for the 2009 Finals in Finland, leading her side to the championship match before falling to powerhouse Germany, which claimed its fifth-consecutive title. In this year's qualifying group stage, Bardsley went the distance in all five matches without surrendering a goal as England outscored the opposition, 15-0.
The former Titan keeper has appeared in numerous international competitions with England since her departure from Cal State Fullerton, including starting all four matches for Great Britain at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, all four contests for England at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany, and helping her side to a win in the 2013 Cyprus Cup Final over Canada -- the team that eliminated England at the Olympics just months earlier.
In 27 appearances for the women's senior team, Bardsley is 19-5-3 in net for England. She currently plays professionally for the Lincoln Ladies FC in The FA WSL and has also spent time with Swedish side Linkopings FC -- which will play host to all three of England's Group C matches in the UEFA Women's Euro Finals.
She first appeared for the England U-19s at the 2003 UEFA Women's Under-19 Championships and made her senior team debut in the 2005 Algarve Cup.
Stateside, Bardsley spend three seasons with Sky Blue FC in Women's Professional Soccer (2009-11), helping the team to the league title in its inaugural season, as well as stints with the WPSL's Ajax America in 2007 and the W-League's Pali Blues in 2008.
Bardsley is one of the most decorated student-athletes in school history, twice earning all-region honors from the NSCAA, while also being named the Big West Conference's Goalkeeper of the Year three times from 2004-06 and the league's Freshman of the Year in 2002. She earned all-conference honors in all four of her collegiate seasons, including first-team laurels three times.
Bardsley continues to hold school career records in saves (312), save percentage (.839), goals against average (0.84), victories (47), shutouts (26), and minutes played (6,395) while also holding single-season marks for save percentage (.848 in 2006), goals against average (0.64 in 2005), victories (16 in 2005), shutouts (10 in 2005), and minutes (2,031 in 2006).