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U.S. Under-23 WNT Rebounds to Defeat Norway, 2-0, in La Manga, Spain

LA MANGA, Spain (February 13, 2008) - After a disappointing 3-1 loss to England it its first match at the La Manga Tournament in La Manga, Spain, the U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team rebounded with a 2-0 victory over Norway. The USA can now win the tournament with a victory in its last match against Germany, but also need favorable result from the Norway-England match.

The USA got a goal from midfielder Yael Averbuch in the first half and a gift of an insurance goal from Norway, which knocked the ball into their own net in the 71st minute. Norway took just two shots during the entire game, but despite dominating the action, the Americans found the net on only one of their 15 shots. That came in the 20th minute off a long throw-in from Michele Weissenhofer that was cleared back out to her on the wing. Weissenhofer sent a cross back in to the top of the six-yard box where Averbuch got a foot to it. The ball deflected off the goalkeeper, but right back to Averbuch, who finished the rebound into the left corner.

The USA went up 2-0 on an own goal as a Norwegian defender made a long pass back to ‘keeper Erika Skarbo, but she took her eye off the ball, wiffed at the kick, and it rolled into the net.

The match was tough and physical, with the USA getting a red card for the second game in a row, this time on defender Marissa Abegg who was ejected for a hard, and perhaps legal, foul in the 75th minute.

“We executed the game plan and were able to turn Norway around and get them running toward their own goal, which opened things up for us and created more chances," said U.S. head coach Bill Irwin.

The U.S. U-23s will face the German U-23s in its final match of the tournament on Friday, Feb. 15. Germany defeated England, 2-1, in the day’s other match. The win helped the U.S. women sweep a pair of youth matches against Norway today, as the U.S. U-20s defeated the Norway U-20s, 2-1, in La Serena, Chile.


Match-up: USA vs. Norway
Competition: La Manga Tournament
Venue: La Manga, Spain
Date: February 13, 2008; Kickoff – 2:00 p.m. local / 8:00 a.m. ET
Attendance: 100
Weather: Heavy winds, cold -- 55 degrees

Scoring Summary:
            1    2    F
USA    1    1    2
NOR   0    0    0

USA -- Yael Averbuch (unassisted) 20th minute
USA -- Own goal 71.

USA: 18-Valerie Henderson; 22-Meghan Schnur, 30-Kasey Moore, 23-Nikki Krzysik – Capt., 4-Marissa Abegg, 20-Yael Averbuch, 13-Brittany Klein, 19-Lindsey Ozimek (25-Becky Sauerbrunn, 64); 14-Michele Weissenhofer (16-Elizabeth Eng, 59); 9-Ashlee Pistorious (5-Ameera Abdullah, 30, 7-Ashley Nick, 84); 26-Kiki Bosio.
Subs not used: 21-Carrie Dew, 10-Kerri Hanks.
Head coach: Bill Irwin

NOR: 1-Erika Skarbo; 2-Nora Berger-Capt., 9-Kine Bjerk (Ann Troster,84), 13-Camilla Aseng, 6-June Pedersen (19-Trude Johaunessen,45); 10-Ingrid Scheldrud, 4-Gry Tofte Ims, 7-Nasra Abdullah, 8-Gunilla FOrseth, 11-Bettim Jevve (Anneli Gisile, 84); 20-Amiee Edris(Live Smorsgard, 63).
Subs not used: 4-Connie Johansson, 12-Lill Yvonne Karlseno.
Head Coach: Goril Kringen

Statistical Summary:
15 / 2
Shots on Goal: 11 / 1
Saves: 1 / 10
Corner Kicks: 4 / 2
Fouls: 5 / 7
Offside: 7 / 0

Misconduct Summary:

USA - Brittany Klein (caution) 65th minute.
USA - Marissa Abegg (ejected) 75.

U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team Standings
La Manga Tournament -- La Manga, Spain

Team W L T Pts. GF GA GD
GER 2 0 0 6 3 1 +2
ENG 1 1 0 3 4 3 +1
USA 1 1 0 3 3 3 E
NOR 0 2 0 0 0 3 -3

U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team Schedule
La Manga Tournament -- La Manga, Spain
Date Match-Up Venue
Feb. 11 U.S. U-23 WNT 1, England U-23 WNT 3 La Manga, Spain
Feb. 13 U.S. U-23 WNT 2, Norway U-23 WNT 0 La Manga, Spain
Feb. 16 U.S. U-23 WNT vs. Germany U-23 WNT La Manga, Spain