Shleby Salvacion will compete with the Philippine national team in World Cup qualifiers.
Shleby Salvacion will compete with the Philippine national team in World Cup qualifiers.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sacramento State women's soccer student-athlete Shelby Salvacion has earned a spot with The Malditas, the Philippine Women's National soccer team, after taking part in a training camp in Southern California.

Salvacion, who completed her redshirt sophomore season with the Hornets this year, was selected by Malditas head coach Ernie Nierras after training with the squad and playing midfield for the national team in exhibition games and a friendly versus Trinidad and Tobago. Nierras established the camp, the first of its kind, to try out Philippine-Americans and Philippine-Canadians for the national team.

"It still hasn't hit me yet," Salvacion said. "My dad might be more excited than I am. He is so proud of me."

Salvacion will report to national team training in the Philippines in May when the Malditas will play a handful of World Cup qualifying matches. She will go back to the Philippines for more qualifying matches in the fall and again next December with the hopes of advancing to the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada.

"I thought I was playing well before but this experience just shows me how much more work I need to do," Salvacion added. "It has really motivated me to train as hard as I can because there could be some exciting things in my future."

The Philippines plays qualifying matches for the World Cup through the ASEAN region of the Asian Football Confederation. The ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) region includes Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vietnam and the Philippines. 

Salvacion overcame injuries during her first two seasons with the Hornets to play in all 18 games this year with 14 starts. She scored one goal while placing 14 of her 28 shots on frame.

"I'm extremely happy for Shelby," said Randy Dedini, Sacramento State's head coach. "She was given a great opportunity and she capitalized on it. She is a completely different player than she was at the start of her career and has really improved her play and fitness. She has worked hard and she's earned this great honor."