Posted: 7:56 pm Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Cardinal Newman alumna Melissa Ortiz plays in U-20 Women’s World Cup 

By Jeff Greer

It’s the Summer of Soccer, and a former local high school star is enjoying the spoils of her own international soccer success.

Ortiz handles the ball against Germany in the U-20 Women's World Cup. (Photo by Jonathan Ortiz)

Ortiz handles the ball against Germany in the U-20 Women's World Cup. (Photo by Jonathan Ortiz)

Cardinal Newman alumna and Colombian national team player Melissa Ortiz, who was born in West Palm Beach but has Colombian parents, will play in the semifinals of the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany on Thursday.

Ortiz’s Colombian team takes on Nigeria at 12:30 p.m. EST at Bielefeld’s Schuco Arena for the right to play in Sunday’s 9 a.m. final, which is also in Bielefeld. Nigeria ousted the United States in a penalty shootout in the quarterfinals, ending Ortiz’s chance to take on her fellow Floridians Toni Pressley (Melbourne) and Kelsey Wys (Coral Springs) and her native country.

Ortiz, a two-time Palm Beach Post First-Team All-Area selection who graduated from Cardinal Newman in 2008, has played in three of her team’s four matches so far, starting one and coming on as a substitute in two others.

The forward scored in Colombia’s 3-1 loss to host Germany in the second match of the group stage, netting a goal in the 81st minute after checking into the game in the 59th minute. Ortiz also hit the post in the same match.

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