MUMBAI, India – UC Santa Barbara sophomore Noah Billingsley made his debut for the New Zealand National Team, appearing against Kenya in the 2018 Hero Intercontinental Cup on Saturday, June 2 at the Mumbai Football Arena in India.
The Wellington, New Zealand native came on in the 62nd minute and played the final 28 minutes in his debut that saw the All Whites fall 2-1 to Kenya despite taking an early lead in the match.
With his first cap on Saturday, Billingsley becomes the fourth Gaucho to appear for the New Zealand National Team, following in the footsteps of current All Whites member Michael Boxall and former members Tony Lochhead and Neil Jones. Boxall played at UCSB from 2007-10 and has 31 caps for the national team to date, while Lochhead was a standout for the Gauchos from 2001-04 and made 47 appearances for the All Whites between 2003 and 2013.
Jones also played for the Gauchos in that same timeframe, racking up 72 points over his four-year career to land inside the UCSB top ten list in career points, before becoming an assistant on head coach Tim vom Steeg's coaching staff for the 2006 College Cup-winning season. He represented New Zealand at three different youth levels before playing twice for the senior squad in the 2004 OFC Nations Cup, scoring a goal against Tahiti on his debut.
Prior to joining the full squad, Billingsley made 11 appearances for the New Zealand U-20 National Team, serving as the youngest member at 17 years old during the 2015 U-20 World Cup.
For UCSB, the crafty forward has logged four goals and five assists in 33 matches during his first two seasons, earning Big West All-Freshman Team accolades in 2016 as well as being Preseason All-Big West in 2017.
Billingsley will return for his junior season in 2018 as the Gauchos look to make a run at the College Cup, which UCSB hosts at Harder Stadium in December. Season tickets as well as College Cup packages are on sale now and can be found online here or by calling the UCSB Athletics Ticket Office at 805-893-UCSB.