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Touching Post-Match Moment Caps U.S. U-17 WNT Victory Against Haiti in Opening Match of CONCACAF Qualifying

  • Horan Scores Four Goals and Records Two Assists, Smith Gets Two Goals
  • Touching Moment After the Final Whistle as U.S. Embraces Haitian Player
  • U.S. U-17s Face Cayman Islands Next on March 12 Live on at 6 p.m. ET

ALAJUELA, Costa Rica (March 10, 2010) – The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team opened the CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championships with a 9-0 victory against Haiti as forward Lindsey Horan led the team with four goals and two assists.

While the USA scored several artistic goals, the most amazing moment from the game came after the final whistle as Haitian goalkeeper Alexandra Coby slumped to the turf in tears. Her coach helped her to her feet, and while still sobbing, she saw U.S. goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin walking toward her. Coby embraced Heaberlin in a tight hug and held on. What followed was a rare sight in sports and an emotional and memorable moment for the young Americans players.

All the U.S. players surrounded Coby and Heaberlin in a huge group hug that lasted at least 90 seconds. When it broke up, the entire U.S. team left the field in tears.

“I saw her crying and that was pretty hard for me to see,” said Heaberlin. “She’s a ‘keeper and we have that bond. I knew that she had probably lost people close to her, and when she goes home she might not have anywhere to go. I gave her a big hug and told her she did great. She came to compete in this tournament despite all that she’s been through and I have tremendous respect for her.”

“It just put everything into perspective,” said U.S. defender Olivia Brannon, who played the 90 minutes at right back. “It makes you realize what is truly important, your family, having a roof over your head, and having food on the table. We take all those things for granted. I had my mom in the stands cheering for me tonight. Some of these girls might never have that again.”

Haiti’s participation in the tournament despite the tragic earthquake has been an inspiration to all the teams in the competition. To donate to the continued relief efforts in Haiti, please visit the American Red Cross web site. While the Haitians showed tremendous fight, the U.S. players were just too strong and fast for the their Caribbean counterparts.

The USA’s first attack of the match yielded the first goal just 92 seconds into the match. Horan burst into the right side of the penalty box with a nifty dribble and then laid ball back across the six yard line. Flank midfielder Alex Doll then pounded the bouncing ball into the roof of the net.

The USA doubled the lead in the 13th minute after midfielder Cari Roccaro sent a long service into the penalty area from the right wing where it was collected well by Morgan Brian inside the penalty area. Brian froze several defenders with a fake before laying a pass straight back to Taylor Smith and the speedy U.S. striker side-footed her shot into the right corner from 14 yards out.

Goal number three came three minutes later after a slithering dribbling run down the right side by Brian. She played Horan through, who beat another defender to make room for a cross, which she swung perfectly to the far post. Roccaro, the USA’s youngest player at 15, was making a hard run and pounded a header into the net from just inside the six yard box.

Almost the entire match was played inside Haiti’s defensive half, with the U.S. team possessing the ball quickly and playing rhythmical soccer through and around a packed defensive third.

The fourth U.S. goal came in the 31st minute after a nice dribble by Horan into the right side of the penalty area. She fed Kaysie Clark even deeper in to the box and she took the ball right to the end line before hitting a hard cross on the ground through the goal mouth. Smith was unmarked at the far post and tapped the ball in from a yard out for her second goal of the game.

Brian, who hit the crossbar in the seventh and 18th minutes, found the net on a fantastic strike from distance just six minutes into the second half. The skillful midfielder who was the crux of the U.S. attack all game, received a quick free kick from Clarissa Wedemeyer in center of field. Brian beat a player on a dribble and then smashed her shot from 23 yards out into the right corner of the net. It was the only goal the USA scored from outside the penalty area during the game.

Horan had failed to convert on numerous chances in front of the net heading into the final 34 minutes of the match, but more than made up for it by scoring the last four goals.

Her first goal came in the 56th minute as she and Smith played a beautiful wall-pass in the air with their heads that ended with Horan looping a header over the Coby and into the net.

The seventh goal came off a Kaili Torres corner kick from the right from side. Center back Abby Dahlkemper rose to get her head on the cross, but it skimmed off her head to the far post. The 5-feet-9-inch Horan trapped it into the air off her thigh and then headed a looping a shot over Coby, off a Haitian defender’s head and into the roof of the net.

Haiti’s lone shot on goal came from a free kick in the 74th minute, but that was easily saved by Heaberlin.

Horan scored twice in the final four minutes, the first coming off a penalty kick after she was taken down in the right side of the penalty in the 87th minute. Horan stepped up to take it herself and earned her hat trick by burying her shot low into the left corner to make it 8-0.

The last goal came in stoppage time as Isabel Farrell crossed from the left wing and the Haitians failed to clear the bouncing ball. It rolled to Horan who fired point blank at Coby. The Haitian goalkeeper got both hands on the ball, but couldn’t hold it and it trickled over the goal line to make it 9-0.

The USA sits atop Group A as Costa Rica defeated the Cayman Islands, 7-0, in the second group match of the evening. The USA is playing for a berth to the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. The two semifinal winners will qualify for that tournament being held in Trinidad & Tobago in September.

The USA’s next Group A game is against the Cayman Islands on March 12, a match that can be seen live at 6 p.m. ET via a video web stream on and on tape-delayed basis on Fox Soccer Channel at 8 p.m. ET. The USA will finish group play against Costa Rica on March 14 in a match that will also be streamed live on at 9:30 p.m. ET and shown tape-delayed on FSC on March 15 at 3 p.m. ET. 

- U.S. Under-17 Women's National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team vs. Haiti
Date: March 10, 2010
Competition: 2010 CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championships; Group A
Venue: Alejandro Morera Soto Stadium; Alajuela, Costa Rica
Kickoff: 5 p.m. local (6 p.m. ET)
Attendance: 250
Weather: Hot, humid – 80 degrees

Scoring Summary:  1   2   F
USA                         4   5   9
HAI                          0   0   0

USA – Alex Doll (Lindsey Horan)                 2nd minute.
USA – Taylor Smith (Morgan Brian)             13
USA – Cari Roccaro (Lindsey Horan)            16
USA – Taylor Smith (Kaysie Clark)               31
USA – Morgan Brian (Clarissa Wedemeyer)   51
USA – Lindsey Horan (Taylor Smith)            56
USA – Lindsey Horan (Abby Dahlkemper)     72
USA – Lindsey Horan (Penalty kick)             88
USA – Lindsey Horan (Isabel Farrell)           90 +1

USA: 1-Bryane Heaberlin; 6-Olivia Brannon, 3-Abby Dahlkemper, 2-Jaelene Hinkle; 16-Cari Roccaro (5-Kaili Torres, 46), 11-Clarissa Wedemeyer, 10-Morgan Brian – Capt., 8-Kaysie Clark (15-Isabel Farrell, 72), 7-Alex Doll (9-Havana Solaun, 81); 12-Taylor Smith, 13-Lindsey Horan.
Subs not used: 4-Laura Liedle, 14-Cassie Pecht, 18-Abby Smith, 25-Ashley Spivey.
Not Eligible: 19-Jennifer Gonzalez, 24-Caroline Stanley
Head Coach: Kazbek Tambi

HAI: 1-Alexandra Coby, 3-Sobonie Derosin, 6-Jean-Baptiste Dieunise (9-Sindy Jeune, 50), 8-Gerthrude Saint-Jacques, 10-Hayana Jean-Francois – Capt., 11-Clorene Rateau, 13-Yvrose Gervil (4-Marie-Carmelle Jeudi, 57), 15-Yves-Laure Jean, 18-Roselord Borgella, 20-Clarette Rateau, 21-Yolande Merone (14-Melissa Peirre-Louis, 59)
Subs not used: 5-Roseline Yacinthe, 16-Rosemonde Rejoui, 17-Nahomie Francois, 30-Madeline Delice
Not Eligible: 2-Belise Casseus, 12-Elucie Breneus
Head Coach: James Morisset

Statistical Summary: USA / HAI
Shots: 40 / 2
Shots on Goal: 17 / 1
Saves: 1 / 5
Corner Kicks: 17 / 0
Fouls: 13 / 7
Offside: 2 / 0

Misconduct Summary:

Referee: Dianne Ferriera James (GUY)
Asst. Referee: Cindy Mohammed (TRI)
Asst. Referee: Nyksaie Liverpool (GUY)
Fourth Official: Shane DeSilva (TRI) Woman of the Match:
Lindsey Horan