BACOLET, Tobago (Thursday, May 9, 2002) - The U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team took 35 minutes to break down a stubborn bunker, but then scored five goals in the next 42 minutes to defeat Haiti, 5-0, in its second match of the 2002 CONCACAF U-19 Women's Qualifying Tournament.
Forward Kelly Wilson (Odessa, Texas/Texas) came off the bench to score on virtually her first touch of the match to get the USA started while Heather O'Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J./PDA Splash) added two goals, her second and third of the tournament. Sixteen-year-old forward Kerri Hanks (Dallas, Texas/Dallas Texans) had two assists and a goal as she played the entire 90 minutes and U.S. captain Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich./Michigan Hawks) also added a goal for the young Americans.
With the win, U.S. team stays atop Group B of the tournament and will face Costa Rica, 4-1 winners over Suriname tonight, on Saturday with a berth in the first-ever FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship in Canada at stake. With a tie or a win, the USA will win the group and book its tickets for Canada. Fans can follow that game live at 7:30 p.m. ET on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented Philips Electronics, as the U.S. U-19s shoot for history.
The USA's first match of the tournament against Suriname last Tuesday was played in a downpour, but while conditions were dry tonight, Haiti rained hard tackles down on the USA for the entire match. The USA's rhythm was also disrupted frequently as Haitian players were strewn about the pitch all night, causing the Dwight Yorke Stadium stretcher crew to cart off players no less than 14 times.
U.S. head coach Tracey Leone made five changes from the Suriname game, inserting defenders Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif./San Diego Surf) and Jessica Trainor (Sparta, N.J./Virginia), midfielder Sarah Huffman (Flower Mound, Texas/D'Feeters) and forwards Hanks and Megan Kakadelas (Carlsbad, Calif./USC) into the starting lineup in a 3-4-3 formation. Haiti came out in a 4-4-2 that often times looked more like a 7-2-1 as they bunkered down and frustrated the Americans for the first third of the game.
Wilson entered the game in the 33rd minute and just two minutes later ran under a high cross from Hanks to head in her sixth goal of the tournament. Wilson replaced Leslie Osborne (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Santa Clara), who took a knock on the head early in the game and was forced to leave the match. Osborne was woozy, but okay. The USA went into halftime up just 1-0, but came out even more committed after the break and finished off Haiti with four goals in the first 17 minutes.
"We won the hard way," said Leone. "In the first half, Haiti came in really aggressively and they disrupted us with the stoppages and so on. It was good for our team, though, because we showed our resiliency. At halftime we talked about refocusing and recomposing ourselves because it was the first time our team has seen that type of aggression and that type of style. We regrouped and refocused and played extremely well in the second half."
In the 50th minute, Hanks went on a winding dribbling run through several Haitian defenders on the right flank, slicing and dicing her way free to hit a hard cross into the middle. Tarpley got a piece of the ball to knock it up into the air for O'Reilly to head home at the far post.
Tarpley added the third goal after running onto a long pass over the top of the defense from Buehler. Tarpley got a step on her defender then cut back, losing her mark before hammering a shot past Haitian goalkeeper Gerarda Saintilus from 18 yards out for her fifth goal of the tournament.
Saintilus actually made some fine saves among her nine stops, most notably point-blank parries off shots from Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo./JB Marine) and Jill Oakes (West Hills, Calif./Santa Anita Strikers).
The USA's "Quadruple-Edge Sword" of forwards once again came through as strikers scored all five goals as the Americans out-shot Haiti, 33-0. U.S. goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris (Satellite Beach, Fla./Seminole Ice) was forced to clear a through ball with her feet early in the game and caught her first cross of the tournament midway through the second half.
The fourth goal was by far the best of the match as O'Reilly received a pass from Trainor at the top of the penalty area and spun around her defender into the left side of the box with a touch off the outside of her right foot. The long touch cut down her shooting angle sharply, but she won the footrace to the ball and cracked a blistering shot off right post from only about five yards off the end line.
"Tonight's game was a good learning experience for our team because we dealt with some tough conditions," said O'Reilly. "We faced a different playing style than we are used to and fought to get the win. Coming off the bench, I really wanted to contribute everything to the team I could. It was a frustrating game, but in the end, we grew as a team and we won, so it was a good night."
After creating two goals, Hanks got one of her own in 77th minute, taking a short pass from Annie Schefter and striking an 18-yard shot from the left elbow of the penalty box across the goalkeeper and into the lower right corner.
"I didn't have such a good first half, and I knew I could do better," said Hanks, who scored her second full U-19 international goal. "My dad is the assistant coach on my club team and I knew if he was here, he'd would have told me to pick it up and leave everything on the field, so I did."
On Saturday, Costa Rica will try to become the first Central American team to earn a berth to a FIFA women's championship. The USA defeated Costa Rica, 4-0, in early March in Mexico.
"This is the championship game," added Leone. "Our mind is set on getting to Canada and that road goes through Costa Rica. We've got to prepare well because they are a very good team. We played them in Mexico a couple months ago, but they will be better and so are we. It's going to be a tough one because they are going to want to go just as badly as us."
In Group A being played on the island of Trinidad, Mexico and host T&T set up a showdown for the other berth in the U-19 World Championship as both teams won their matches. Mexico defeated Panama, 3-0, while T&T got an 89th minute goal from Aveann Douglas to defeat Jamaica, 2-1, sparking a wild celebration at Larry Gomes Stadium as fans stormed the field to congratulate their team. Mexico and T&T play on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET with Mexico needing just a draw to go through to Canada.
U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
Participants: U.S. U-19 Women's National Team vs. Haiti
Competition: 2002 Under-19 CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament
Venue: Dwight Yorke Stadium (Bacolet, Tobago)
Date: May 9, 2002 - Kickoff 5:30 p.m. ET
Weather: Hot, humid - 78 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1st - 2nd - Final
United States 1 - 4 - 5
Haiti 0 - 0 - 0
USA - Kelly Wilson (Kerri Hanks), 35.
USA - Heather O'Reilly (Kerri Hanks), 50.
USA - Lindsay Tarpley (Rachel Buehler), 58.
USA - Heather O'Reilly (Jessica Trainor), 68.
USA - Kerri Hanks (Annie Schefter), 77.
USA - 18-Ashlyn Harris, 3-Rachel Buehler, 12-Jill Oakes, 14-Jessica Trainor, 10-Leslie Osborne (16-Kelly Wilson, 33), 7-Lori Chalupny, 13-Sarah Huffman,
11-Annie Schefter, 2-Kerri Hanks, 15-Lindsey Tarpley (capt.) (5-Manya Makoski, 62), 11-Megan Kakadelas (9-Heather O'Reilly, 46).
Subs not used: 1-Megan Rivera, 4-Jessica Ballweg, 6-Allison Graham, 8-Kendall Fletcher.
Haiti - 1-Gerarda Saintilus, 3-Sheila Germain, 4-Jephterline Lolo (19-Darlene Beauciquot, 46), 5-Natacha Cajuste, 6-Betty Sanon, 8-Ghislaine Saint-Louis, 9-Sherline Ridore (14-Jesula Leone, 83), 10-Wilaine Jean-Baptiste (15-Bethie Destine, 35), 11-Widad Delius, 12-Darlene Lundy, 16-Fritzca Badio.
Statistical Summary: USA - Haiti
Shots: 33 - 0
Shots on Goal: 14 - 0
Saves: 0 - 9
Corner Kicks: 15 - 0
Fouls: 4 - 16
Offside: 4 - 0
Haiti - Wilaine Jean-Baptiste (caution), 28.
Haiti - Bethie Destine (caution), 47.
Referee: Virginia Tovar (MEX)
Referee Asst.: Lynda Bramble (TRI)
Referee Asst.: Joseph Taylor (TRI)
4th Official: Richard Piper (TRI)
May 7 - Costa Rica 4, Haiti 0
May 9 - United States 5, Haiti 0
May 11 - Suriname vs. Haiti