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Sophomore star Pietra Tordin shines on the international stage

Female soccer player with her arms spread out facing a blurry crowd. A bright orange 17 is on her shirt
After a standout sophomore campaign with the women’s soccer team, Pietra Tordin has turned focus to the international stage.
Photo Courtesy of @PrincetonWSOC/X.

In her first appearance for the U-20 United States women’s national soccer team, Pietra Tordin subbed in for the second half of the game. Weaving through the box past three defenders, she struck a shot into the far left corner of the net, securing the team’s only goal in a 1–0 win over Colombia. This was not her first taste of success on the international stage, nor was it the first national team jersey she has donned.

Tordin’s parents are native to Brazil — the soccer capital of the world — making her eligible to compete for the Brazilian national side as well as that of the United States, though she will soon have to pick one.


The sophomore midfielder for Princeton women’s soccer has spent recent months attending international training camps for both the Brazilian and American U-20 national teams, and her presence has been nothing short of commanding. 

Tordin began her time with the Brazilian national team in late 2023.

“We have a really good dynamic [on the Brazilian team], and I’m friends with all of them,” Tordin said. “I feel like they play a calm game, and they’re very creative offensively, which I like.”

In a December 2023 friendly match, Tordin scored the tying goal for Brazil against France. Soon after, in January 2024, she was called up to the United States’ camp.

“The U.S. started to show some interest in me, and that was really cool,” she said. “I knew the U.S. played an intense game, … [and] I felt like I could learn a lot.” 


Despite her time with the Brazilian national team, Tordin always aspired to play for the American squad.

“My family is Brazilian,” she explained, “so I never really know what I identify as, but I guess growing up in America, it was always kind of my dream to play for the U.S., so I think I’ll stick with them for now.” 

Tordin hopes to suit up for the USWNT at the U-20 World Cup that is set to take place in Colombia this August. Rosters will be finalized for the team in May.

After a sophomore campaign that saw Tordin earn All-American honors and numerous Ivy League awards, the aforementioned training camp invites began rolling in — though her soccer journey began long before she set foot on Princeton’s campus.

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She has dabbled in other pastimes, but for Tordin, it has always been soccer.

“I played basketball and flag football growing up,” she said. “And it was fun, but soccer always stuck. There was always soccer,” though the game looked a little different back then.

“I grew up in Miami, Fla., and growing up there, there weren’t any female club teams I could play for. So, I ended up playing with boys until I was 13,” she said smiling. “After I turned 14, I couldn’t keep up with the boys anymore, so I went to play for a girl’s team about 40 minutes away.”

Tordin played for this club until she was 16. After that, she made a big decision.

“I decided to quit for a year,” Tordin revealed. “I quit my sophomore year of high school and took the year fully off.”

Tordin recalls feeling burnt out from the sport, believing that taking a break was the right move to recharge and rekindle her love for the sport.

“I never wanted soccer to get past the point of competitiveness and into rudeness,” she explained, emphasizing the important role of respect in fostering positive team dynamics. 

Tordin’s family was extremely supportive of her decision. “They always told me to do what makes me happy,” she said. “They’ve always had my back.” 

After her break, Tordin returned to the game with a positive mindset. She joined her high school team during her junior year of high school, finding the environment more welcoming and collaborative.

“The players led the team; it taught me a lot about soccer being a community,” she said.

It was around this time that she decided to pursue playing soccer in college.

“I was like, if college is anything like playing in high school, I’ll probably love it,” she said. “Soccer is so much better when I’m playing with my friends.”

As Tordin flirted with the idea of playing at the collegiate level, she began getting recruited by Princeton.

“I really liked the campus and the overall vibe. I also just really bonded with the coaches, so I decided to commit, and here I am,” she said laughing.

This fall, Tordin will enter her junior year at Princeton. She has racked up a number of impressive accolades during her time at Princeton. In her first two seasons as a Tiger, Tordin joined one of only five players in history to score 20 goals in both their rookie and sophomore seasons. In her debut season, Tordin earned the Ivy League Rookie of the Year award. Tordin also earned All-American honors in the 2023 season, alongside senior defender and captain Madison Curry.

Reflecting on her favorite experiences of the past season, Tordin said her favorite on-field moment was her goal against Georgetown in September. This header off of a cross from teammate Drew Coomans proved to be a game winner, ending the match 3–2 in favor of the Tigers.

Additionally, in another September game, Tordin put up all of the team’s goals in a 4–0 win over Army West Point. This performance earned her Ivy League Player of the Week, an accolade she would win three times during the 2023 season.

When asked about her transitioning role to an upperclass student on the team, Tordin admitted that she has always been on the quieter side.

“I’ve never really seen myself as a leader if I’m being completely honest,” she said. “I can see myself slowly becoming more vocal, because I’m so close with all of my teammates, but I don’t think that I’m the one leading, just lending a helping hand if my teammates need it.”

Vocal or not, Tordin does not let it affect her gameplay. She is a versatile field player, able to play in both the midfield and the offensive third.

“Coming into Princeton, I kind of knew my place as a [first-year], I wasn’t about to come in here and steal a position,” she said jokingly. She explained that she was used to being a forward, but was willing to learn new roles.

“This year, I played out wide, so that was interesting because I had never played out wide before. I was definitely adjusting to what the coaches needed from me and how they wanted me to play that position,” Tordin explained.

She finished the season with 12 in-conference goals, the second-highest total in the Ivy League.

Princeton ended their 2023 season in a nail-biting loss to Texas Tech University in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Regular time proved to be scoreless, but the Tigers fell to the Red Raiders in penalty kicks, 4–3.

At a school as academically rigorous as Princeton though, performance on the field is only one of a number of responsibilities student-athletes have a lot on their plate. Luckily, Tordin says she has been able to manage her workload well.

“Coming into Princeton, I adjusted pretty quickly,” she recalled. “I try to time manage and usually that works well.” Tordin plans to major in Economics.

She admitted, however, that with her national team call-ups, the past two semesters have been more difficult to tackle.

“Last semester, I missed like four weeks, which is a lot,” Tordin said. “I had to catch up a lot by myself, there was no way around it. Usually, I was staying up pretty late.”

Yet, Tordin says that this workload did not affect her gameplay.

“I try not to focus on school when I’m away. I try to give my full attention to soccer, for sure,” she explained.

When she is on campus, Tordin says a typical day can vary in intensity, but she and the team usually start very early in the morning — though Tordin doesn’t consider herself a morning person.

“Today, I woke up at 6 a.m. for a lift with the team. Lift starts at 6:40 a.m. and we are usually out around 8-ish,” she said. “The team is definitely more excited than me in the morning. I show up half-asleep, but once we start the lift, I’m back to normal,” she joked. 

On a typical day, Tordin says she usually has two or three classes and practices in the afternoon for about two and a half hours. After class, the team will usually grab dinner together. She finishes the night by doing work.

Tordin says that she feels lucky to be surrounded by such a great group of teammates.

“I’m close with all of them, we make jokes with each other and make fun of each other, but when it comes down to playing soccer, they always give me good feedback and stuff, so there’s a lot of respect.” She says that there is a strong dynamic on and off the field — much like the one that brought her back to the sport after a year off in high school.

So, what does the future hold for the young superstar? She plans to graduate from Princeton and pursue a professional soccer career.

“Honestly, I don’t see myself doing anything other than soccer for a long time,” she said smiling, well on her way to realizing her aspirations.

Lily Pampolina is a Sports contributor and contributing Audience creator for the ‘Prince.’

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