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U.S. Under-17 Women Defeat New Zealand at Future Stars Tournament in New Zealand


AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Jan. 31, 1008) - It was a “sweet 16” for U.S. midfielder Kealia Ohai, who scored twice on her 16th birthday as the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team downed host New Zealand for a 5-0 win at the 2008 Future Stars tournament in Auckland, New Zealand. It was the second straight shut-out for the young Americans, setting up a clash with Germany for the championship on Feb. 2.

“The girls have played very well and we’re gelling as a team,” said U.S. head coach Kazbek Tambi. “We’ve had the opportunity to look at all 18 players on this roster in the first two games, which has been great. On the whole, we’ve created a lot of good chances and put away a bunch of goals. So, so far, so good. Germany will be the big test, but right now, I am very pleased with the way people are playing.”

After crushing Australia 6-0 on Jan. 29, the USA once again dominated, out-shooting the Kiwis 26-3 while also getting goals from Courtney Verloo, Samantha Mewis (her third of the tournament) and Tani Costa. Verloo also had two assists as did Olivia Klei. Goalkeeper Kelsey Wys picked up a rare assist on the final goal, smashing a punt over the New Zealand back line for Costa, who ran onto the ball and lifted it over the goalkeeper with four minutes left in the game.

The USA scored just 10 minutes into the opening half as Alexis Harris served to the back post where Klei just got her head on the ball to send it back across the goal. Verloo was crashing the far post and her shot was deflected by the Aussie goalkeeper but she couldn’t turn it out of the net.

The second goal came in the 24th minute as Verloo dribbled into the penalty box at the right side, pulled the goalkeeper to the near post and then rolled a pass on the ground to the waiting Ohai, who pounded the ball into the net from four yards out.

Six minutes later, Verloo and Ohai combined for almost exactly the same goal and the USA went into the half with a 3-0 lead.

“After two successful games down here, everyone is really exited to play Germany,” said Ohai. “This is the kind of game that can really prepare us what is ahead, for qualifying and then hopefully the World Cup. We know that to win any women’s world championship you are probably going to see the Germans at some point.”

The USA made it 4-0 in the 56th minute as Samantha Mewis headed home Klei’s corner kick.

The championship, as many do in women’s soccer, will come down to the USA and Germany, who will square off on Feb. 2 in a clash between teams that have scored 12 and 10 goals respectively over the two games.

“It’s great to have the opportunity to play Germany in New Zealand,” said Tambi. “We know they are one of the top countries in the world, so this game has all the elements of a big game. It’s great for us and an experiment to see what we might be looking like down the road. We can make adjustments with our team based on how this game looks. It’s a tremendous gift and opportunity to have this kind of game so early in the year.”

-- U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team Game Report --

Match-up: USA U-17 WNT vs. New Zealand U-17 WNT
Competition: Future Stars Tournament
Venue: North Harbour Stadium - Auckland, New Zealand
Date: January 31, 2008; Kickoff – 6:00 p.m. Local / Midnight. ET (January 30)
Attendance: 300
Weather: Hot, sunny – 75 degrees

Scoring Summary:
           1    2    F
USA   3    2    5
NZL   0    0    0

USA -- Courtney Verloo (Olivia Klei) 10th minute.
USA -- Kealia Ohai (Courtney Verloo) 24.
USA -- Kealia Ohai (Courtney Verloo) 30.
USA -- Samantha Mewis (Olivia Klei) 56.
USA -- Tani Costa (Kelsey Wys) 86.

Lineups:
USA: 1-Kelsey Wys; 4-Crystal Dunn, 6-Cloee Colohan, 16-Julia Roberts (Kristen Mewis, 59), 5-Alexis Harris; 7-Olivia Klei, 12-Erika Tymrak, 11-Jenna Richmond (13-Samantha Mewis, 46), 14-Mary Wagner (9-Tani Costa, 70); 20-Courtney Verloo, 10-Kealia Ohai.
Subs not used: 2-Vicki DiMartino, 3-Amber Brooks, 17-Zakiya Bywaters, 18-Taylor Vancil
Head Coach: Kazbek Tambi

NZL: 1-Charlotte Wood, 3-Rebecca Brown, 4-Leah Gallie (2-Anna Fullerton, 83), 5-Briony Fisher, 6-Bridgette Armstrong (14-Jodi Curtis, 83), 7-Caitlin Campbell (18-Lauren Mathis, 66), 9-Hannah Wall, 10-Annalie Longo, 11-Rosie White (13-Nadia Pearl, 22), 17-Jessica Rollings (16-Elise Memanu-Gray, 66), 19-Sarah McLaughlin (21-Lauren Murray, 66).
Subs not used: 20-Danielle McFadyen.
Head Coach: Paul Temple

Statistical Summary:
USA / NZL
Shots: 26 / 3
Shots on Goal: 16 / 2
Saves: 2 / 9
Corner Kicks: 7 / 0
Fouls: 6 / 7
Offside: 4 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
NZL – Bridgette Armstrong (caution) 75th minute.

Under-17 Women’s Future Stars Tournament Standings

Team

W

L

T

Pts.

GF

GA

GD

USA

2

0

0

6

11

0

+11

Germany

2

0

0

6

10

1

+9

Australia

0

2

0

0

1

11

-10

New Zealand

0

2

0

0

0

10

-10


Under-17 Women’s Future Stars Tournament Schedule
Date Match-Up
Jan. 29 USA 6, Australia 0
Jan. 29 Germany 5, New Zealand 0

Jan. 31 Germany 5, Australia 1
Jan. 31 USA 5, New Zealand 0

Feb. 2 USA vs. Germany
Feb. 2 New Zealand vs. Australia

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