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Taylor Racioppi

U.S. Under-17 Women's National Team
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U.S. U-17 WNT Defeats Japan 2-1 to Win U-17 Women’s NTC Invitational

CARSON, Calif. (Feb. 9, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team came from behind to defeat an extremely talented Japan team by a 2-1 score in its final match of the 2014 Women’s NTC Invitational, getting a 29th minute equalizer from midfielder Taylor Racioppi's penalty and then a game-winner from midfielder Mallory Pugh in the 80th minute.

It was Pugh’s fourth goal in three games of the tournament; in which the USA also defeated China 5-0 and New Zealand 2-0. China defeated New Zealand 5-1 in the third place match.

The Americans gave up a goal just five minutes into the game to Moeka Minami but battled back for the victory in a tightly contested match.

Racioppi set up both goals, first being brought down in the penalty area and then converting the spot kick herself. With just 10 minutes left, the midfielder set up Pugh, who slotted her shot into the right corner from just inside the penalty area.

The tournament saw the USA register three victories against countries that are headed to the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in March in Costa Rica. The young Americans were denied their berth due to a penalty kick loss to Mexico in the semifinal of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament.

This was last event as U-17s for players born 1997 and 1998 as they will now transition to the U-18s and U-20s. The ‘99s will then become the primary age group for the U-17s as they start preparations for qualifying for the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

 - U-17 WNT vs. Japan Match Report -

Match: United States U-17 Women's National Team vs. Japan
Date: Feb. 9, 2014
Competition: 2014 U-17 Women's NTC Invitational
Venue: GlennMooch” Myernick Field – U.S. Soccer National Training Center - Carson, Calif.
Kickoff: 4 p.m. PT
Weather: 60 degrees

Scoring Summary:     1          2          F         
USA                             1          1          2
JPN                              1          0          1

JPN – Moeka Minami                               5th minute
USA – Taylor Racioppi (penalty kick)         29                    
USA – Mallory Pugh (Taylor Racioppi)        80                       

Lineups:
USA:   18-Kat Hess; 10-Ellie Jean, 9-Zoe Morse, 6-Natalie Jacobs, 12-Tegan McGrady; 4-Marley Canales,14-Taylor Racioppi, 17-Mallory Pugh; 8-Kelcie Hedge (20-Leah Pruitt, 66), 3-Maddie Haley (2-Dorian Bailey, 74), 11-Michelle Xiao (7-Mia Gyau, 66)
Subs not used: Ashley Sanchez, Taryn Torres, Frankie Tagliaferri, Karlie Paschall, Zoe Redei, Anika Rodriguez, Maddy Schultz, Alana Cook, Chloe Castaneda, Lauren Rood
Head Coach: BJ Snow

JPN: 1-Natsumi Asano; 6-Shiho Matsubara (21-Mizuka Sato, 77), 13-Moeka Minami, 3-Nana Ichise, 9-Hikaru Kitagawa; 10-Hina Sugita, 5-Asato Miyagawa, 14-Yui Hasegawa; 4-Nishida Meika, 8-Rikako Kobayashi, 18-Fuka Nagano (20-Mizuki Saihara,60)
Subs not used: Yukiko Abe, Wakaho Kanda, Fumika Yamashita, Mamiko Matsumoto, Yo Tachibana, Maho Hashinuma, Fuka Kono, Aimi Kunitake
Head Coach: Asako Takakura

Stats Summary: USA / JPN                                
Shots: 6 / 7
Shots on Goal: 4 / 6
Saves: 5 / 2
Corner Kicks: 5 / 7
Fouls: 7 / 4
Offside: 1 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
JPN – Nana Ichise          37th minute

Officials:
Referee: Juliana Duncan (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Amanda Ross (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Kathryn Nesbitt (USA)
Fourth Official: Adrienne McDonald (USA)

U.S. U-17 WNT Off to Flying Start with 4-0 Win against China PR at NTC Invitational

CARSON, Calif. (Feb. 5, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team rolled to a comprehensive victory against China PR in its first match of the 2014 Women’s NTC Invitational, winning 4-0 as forward Kelcie Hedge and midfielder Mallory Pugh both scored twice.

In the other match of the day, Japan defeated New Zealand 5-0 on goals from Rikako Kobayashi, Yui Hasegawa, Hina Sugita, Meika Nishida and Asato Miyagawa.

The USA, which out-shot China 18-2 and had seven corner kicks to the visitor’s zero, opened the scoring in the 13th minute, as forward Madison Haley raced down the right side and crossed on the ground. The ball skimmed off the foot of Hedge, hit midfielder Michelle Xiao in the foot and then bounced back to Hedge who finished smartly into the lower left corner from seven yards out for her third international goal.

Pugh, the USA’s leading scorer in this cycle, made it 2-0 just two minutes later after center-back Natalie Jacobs played a long pass into the left side of the penalty area for midfielder Taylor Racioppi, who took the ball to the end line before cutting it back into the middle. Pugh initially got the ball caught under her feet for a moment, but made up for it by smashing a right-footed shot into the roof of the net from 13 yards out.

Hedge got her second in the 34th minute after midfielder Marley Canales nutmegged a defender on the left wing before sending in a cross. Hedge made a nice run to score off a first-time half-volley with her left foot 11 yards out, rolling the ball into the lower left corner to make it 3-0 heading into halftime.

It didn’t stay that way for long as Pugh – the U.S. captain – scored her 13th international goal at the U-17 level in the first minute of the second half. This time it was Hedge who played the ball to Pugh inside the penalty area and she skillfully touched it around the goalkeeper before slotting home from eight yards for the final 4-0 margin.

The U.S. team defense did not allow a shot on goal.

The USA will face New Zealand on Friday, Feb. 7, at 6 p.m. PT, while China plays Japan in the first match at 3 p.m. PT. The young Americans finish the tournament on Sunday, Feb. 9, against Japan at 4 p. m. PT, preceded by New Zealand vs. China at 1 p.m. PT. All matches are free to the public and are being played on the Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

This will be the last U-17 event for players born in 1997 and 1998 as they will then transition to the U-18 and U-20 Women’s National Teams. The ’99-born players will then become the primary age group for the U-17s as they start preparations for qualifying for the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

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

Match: United States U-17 Women's National Team vs. China U-17 Women’s National Team
Date:
February 5, 2014
Competition:
2014 U-17 Women's NTC Invitational
Venue:
Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field; U.S. Soccer National Training Center; Carson, Calif.
Kickoff:
6 p.m. PT
Weather:
57 degrees, windy

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 3 1 4
CHN 0 0 0

USA – Kelcie Hedge (Michelle Xiao) 13th minute
USA – Mallory Pugh (Taylor Racioppi) 15
USA – Kelcie Hedge (Marley Canales) 34
USA – Mallory Pugh (Kelcie Hedge) 46

Lineups:
USA:
18-Kat Hess; 12-Tegan McGrady, 6-Natalie Jacobs, 9-Zoe Morse, 10-Ellie Jean; 14-Taylor Racioppi (2-Dorian Bailey, 63), 4-Marley Canales (16-Karlie Paschall, 82), 17-Mallory Pugh (19-Anika Rodriguez, 78); 11-Michelle Xiao (22-Maddy Schultz, 63), 3-Maddie Haley (15-Zoe Redei, 46), 8-Kelcie Hedge (20-Leah Pruitt, 78)
Subs not used: Ashley Sanchez, Taryn Torres, Frankie Tagliaferri, Mia Gyau, Alana Cook, Chloe Castaneda, Lauren Rood

Head Coach: BJ Snow

CHN: 1-Pan Jingying: 2-Tang Hui (16-Liu Yan, 46), 5-Yao Wei, 14-Wan Ruyi (4-Zhao Yuxin, 53), 3-Wang Ying; 6-Fan Yuqui, 9-Qin Manman, 7-Liu Jing (11-Xu Jiameng, 46); 17-Hu Yuanxin, (12-Wu Ye, 76) 24-Li Gong, 8-Cui Yuhan
Subs not used: Liu Jing, Wang Xueting, Liu Mengxue, Peng Shimeng, Li Jianghong, Dai Chenying, Xiao Jingfang, Ma Li, Chen Yuden, Gong Li, WuRiLiGe
Head Coach: Gao Hong

Stats Summary: USA / CHN
Shots: 18 / 2
Shots on Goal: 7 / 0
Saves: 0 / 3
Corner Kicks: 7 / 0
Fouls: 7 / 4
Offside: 0 / 0

Misconduct Summary: 

Officials:
Referee: Jasmine Peralta (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Mariscal (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Kate Chapman (USA)
Fourth Official: Rebekah Friedrich (USA)

U.S. Soccer to Host Four-Team U-17 Women's Tournament at National Training Center in Carson, Calif., from Feb. 5-9

CHICAGO (Jan. 27, 2014) – U.S. Soccer will host the 2014 U-17 Women’s NTC Invitational from Feb. 5-9 in Carson, Calif., and feature U-17 Women’s National Teams from the United States, China PR, Japan and New Zealand. All the matches will be staged on Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

Each of the match days – Feb. 5, 7 and 9 – will feature a doubleheader with the USA playing the second game of the day. The winner of the competition will be based on total points with the first tiebreakers being overall goal differential and then total goals scored. Admission to the matches is free to the public, as is parking.

 

Date

Teams

Kickoff (PT)

Location (U.S. Soccer NTC at StubHub Center)

Wed., Feb. 5

Japan vs. New Zealand

3 p.m.

Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field – Field #1

Wed., Feb. 5

USA vs. China PR

6 p.m.

Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field – Field #1

Fri., Feb. 7

China PR vs. Japan

3 p.m.

Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field – Field #1

Fri., Feb. 7

USA vs. New Zealand

6 p.m.

Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field – Field #1

Sun., Feb. 9

New Zealand vs. China PR

1 p.m.

Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field – Field #1

Sun., Feb. 9

USA vs. Japan

4 p.m.

Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field – Field #1

China, Japan and New Zealand have all qualified for the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup taking place in March in Costa Rica. The young Americans had their World Cup dreams halted due to a penalty kick loss to Mexico in the semifinal of the CONCACAF Women’s U-17 Championship, a tournament that saw the USA win four games and draw one (which went to penalties) while scoring 24 goals and allowing just one.

U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team head coach B.J. Snow has called in 24 players for the tournament, 17 of whom were on the USA’s qualifying team. Twenty of the players were born in 1997 or 1998, while four were born in 1999. This will be the last event for the ’97s and ’98s as U-17s before transitioning to the U-18s and U-20s. The ’99s will become the primary age group for the U-17s as they start preparations for qualifying for the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team Roster by Position
2014 U-17 Women’s NTC Invitational

GOALKEEPERS (2)
: Kat Hess (LA Premier; Newport Beach, Calif.), Lauren Rood (Washington Timbers; Camas, Wash.)
DEFENDERS (8)
: Alana Cook (Match Fit Chelsea; Far Hills, N.J.), Mia Gyau (Bethesda Lions; Silver Spring, Md.), Natalie Jacobs (Slammers FC; Coto de Caza, Calif.), Ellie Jean (Oakwood SC; Coventry, Conn.), Tegan McGrady (MVLA SC; San Jose, Calif.), Zoe Morse (Michigan Hawks; East Lansing, Mich.), Karlie Paschall (Tennessee SC; Brentwood, Tenn.), Michelle Xiao (Gretna SC; Omaha, Neb.)
MIDFIELDERS (7)
: Dorian Bailey (Sporting BVSC; Mission, Kan.), Marley Canales (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Chloe Castaneda (LA Premier; Encino, Calif.), Taylor Racioppi (PDA Clash; Ocean Township, N.J.), Anika Rodriguez (So Cal Blues; Torrance, Calif.), Ashley Sanchez (So Cal Blues; Monrovia, Calif.), Taryn Torres (Solar Chelsea SC; Frisco, Texas)
FORWARDS (7)
: Madison Haley (Dallas Texans; Dallas, Texas), Kelcie Hedge (Washington Premier; Post Falls, Idaho), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Leah Pruitt (West Coast FC; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Zoe Redei (Eclipse Select; Highland Park, Ill.), Maddy Schultz (Crossfire Premier; Edmonds, Wash.), Frankie Tagliaferri (PDA; Colts Neck, N.J.)

Additional Notes:

  • Each team is allowed to name 24 players on its tournament roster but will be able to suit up just 21 for each of its three matches.
  • Teams will be allowed six total substitutions per game with no re-entry. In the second half of the matches, a team may stop the game a maximum of three times to make substitutions. During each of these stoppages, a team may make more than one substitution, up to the limit of the six total per match.
  • Players eligible for the 2014 U-17 Women’s NTC Invitational must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1997, which is the age cutoff for the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
  • There will be no suspensions for accumulation of yellow cards during the tournament, but a player receiving a red card will have to sit out a minimum of one match.

U.S. U-17 WNT Opens 2014 at the National Training Center

CHICAGO (Jan. 6, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team will begin its 2014 programing with a training camp running from Jan. 11-19 at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif.

This group of U-17s, who were born in 1998 and 1997, will have just two events in 2014 before transitioning to the Under-18s and Unders-20s, after which the players born in 1999 and after will start their U-17 cycle under head coach B.J. Snow.

Players born on or after Jan. 1, 1999, are age-eligible for the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

This training camp will serve as a preparation event for a four-team U-17 international tournament currently being finalized to be held at the U.S. Soccer's National Training Center at StubHub Center running from Feb. 1-10.

Snow has called in 24 players for this January camp, fifteen of which were on the U.S. team that failed to qualify for the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup despite winning four games, tying one (which it lost in penalty kicks) and allowing just one goal at the qualifying tournament. The USA, which out-scored its opponents 24-1 over five games, lost in the semifinal round on a penalty kick shootout to Mexico, which ended up winning one game and tying four (in regulation) while triumphing in PK shootouts in both the semifinal and the championship game.

U.S. U-17 WNT Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Kat Hess (LA Premier; Newport Beach, Calif.) Samantha Leshnak (Ohio Elite; Liberty Township, Ohio)
DEFENDERS (8): Alana Cook (Match Fit Chelsea; Far Hills, N.J.), Mia Gyau (Bethesda Lions; Silver Springs, Md.), Natalie Jacobs (Slammers FC; Coto de Caza, Calif.), Ellie Jean (Oakwood SC; Coventry, Conn.), Tegan McGrady (MVLA SC; San Jose, Calif.), Zoe Morse (Michigan Hawks; East Lansing, Mich.), Ally Prisock (Legends FC; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Michelle Xiao (Gretna SC; Omaha, Neb.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Dorian Bailey (Sporting BVSC; Mission Kans.), Marley Canales (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Chloe Castaneda (LA Premier; Encino, Calif.), Taylor Racioppi (PDA Clash; Ocean Township, N.J.), Anika Rodriguez (So Cal Blues; Torrance, Calif.)
FORWARDS (9): Alissa Gorzak (Eclipse Select FC; Naperville, Ill.), Madison Haley (Dallas Texans; Dallas, Texas), Kelcie Hedge (Washington Premier; Post Falls, Idaho), Milan Moses (Pleasanton Rage; San Leandro, Calif.), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Leah Pruitt (West Coast FC; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Zoe Redei (Eclipse Select; Highland Park, Ill.), Maddy Schultz (Crossfire Premier; Edmonds, Wash.), Jennifer Westendorf (GSA; Montgomery, Ala.)

Paging Dr. Racioppi

U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team midfielder Taylor Racioppi loves goals. And not just the kind she scores on the soccer field.

The high school junior from the Jersey Shore has committed to attend Duke University and plans to major in pre-med. She has aspirations of a career in medicine, perhaps orthopedics or neurosurgery.

If this all seems rather accelerated for a 16-year-old, well, that’s just Taylor.

“I’ve always been goal-oriented,” said Racioppi (pronounced race-E-ope-ee), who says that her leanings toward the medical field began in middle school. “I’ve always had people guiding me and pushing me to know what I want and some really positive outside influences like my parents, my family and a lot of good teachers. I guess it also comes from my competitive nature of wanting to be the best. I feel like I’m just getting a jump start on what I want to do.”

That jump start includes attending a magnet public school named the Academy of Allied Health and Science in Neptune Township, N.J. The school of about 320 students accepts only the top applicants from Monmouth County based on test scores and middle school grades.

All the students there are focusing on careers in science and medicine, and needless to say, it’s highly competitive. Of course, highly competitive describes Racioppi on and off the field. In addition to being one of the USA’s most-capped players in this current U-17 cycle, she is a stand-out for powerhouse New Jersey club PDA, which produced current U.S. Women’s National Team players Tobin Heath and Heather O’Reilly.

The environment of U.S. Soccer, which provides all its national teams with top-quality medical care while on the road in the form of excellent physicians, athletic trainers and massage therapists, is a laboratory for her to learn.

“I’ve always been intrigued by soccer injuries, how they occur, what goes on when they happen and how to get back as quickly as possible,” said Racioppi, who some say bears a remarkable physical resemblance to Heath, and who possesses a healthy dose of the two-time Olympic gold medalist’s silky skills.

Racioppi spends lots of time in the training room on road trips asking questions and soaking up knowledge (it doesn’t hurt that the team snacks are also kept there). No one on the U.S. U-17 team would be surprised if one day they go to see Dr. Racioppi about an old knee injury.

“When someone comes in with an injury that is unusual, I always ask about it,” she said. “I’m one of the curious ones when it comes to what our trainers and doctors do. I talk to them a lot and ask how they got to where they are today. I like to have an open line of communication with them. I never want anyone to get hurt! But it’s really valuable real world experience.”

AAHS also provides Racioppi and her classmates with some remarkable real life experience. As a sophomore, she got to do rounds at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Every Friday for a semester, she would go to work at the hospital, familiarize herself with patient interaction and learn empathizing skills, as well as how to communicate with all different types of patients. She tended to patients to the extent the students were allowed, got water for them, made beds and talked to anyone she could to get used to being in a hospital setting.

“It was such a great program. I learned that you can learn a lot about people in five minutes, especially when they are in the hospital and things aren’t going well for them,” she said. “Sometimes you go into patients’ rooms and they didn’t want anything to do with you, and sometimes they were some of the most talkative people I’ve ever met. I learned a lot of life lessons. You learn not to poke and prod; sometimes you have to let people talk to you. It was amazing trying to learn that fine line with patient interaction.”

During her senior year, she will get to gather even more hands-on knowledge as she will be able to shadow a particular doctor for an entire semester. Three days a week she will leave school early and spend the whole afternoon with physicians and physical therapists, delving even deeper into the inner workings of the medical field while getting to watch surgeries close up.

In case you were wondering, Racioppi isn’t bothered by blood, surgery and all that goes with it. She’s fascinated by it.

Even with her hard-charging academic goals, she knows when to pump the brakes a bit. She’s still got a year and half of high school left, followed by four years of ACC college soccer with the Blue Devils, and her soccer goals are lofty, as well.

“I love this game and I am going to play as long as I can at the highest level I can, but my philosophy is that you can’t play forever,” said Racioppi. “Right now, I always try to find the balance in school and soccer and keep my grades up while always performing well on the field. If the opportunity presents itself to go further and accomplish my soccer goals and dreams, I’ll take full advantage of that and put my medical school goals on hold, but I just want to make sure I’m prepared for both. For now, I’m just a high school kid killing herself to get good grades and I’m having a great time playing for PDA and the National Team. We’ll see what the future brings.”

No doubt, it will be bright.

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