- Hometown Hero Abby Wambach Scores Twice to Lead USA
- Tarpley Gets Second-Ever Start at Forward and Adds Goal, The 10th of Her International Career
- USA Faces Chinese Taipei Next on Oct. 1 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (Sept. 13, 2006) – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Mexico, 3-1, on a gorgeous night at the sparkling new PAETEC Park in Rochester, N.Y., as hometown hero Abby Wambach scored twice and Lindsay Tarpley added a goal. The win increased the USA’s 2006 record to 11-0-3.
“I thought that (Wambach) just gave so much to this game tonight,” said U.S. head coach Greg Ryan. “You saw her intensity, her focus and a big heart. You see her leadership on the field, she's helping the young players, and she’s talking to them and directing people. That's all good stuff. The direction she is giving them is like having another coach on the field.”
The match was just the fifth-ever for the U.S. women on artificial surface. The Americans knocked the ball around beautifully on the state-of-the art field, creating numerous scoring chances with some great rhythm while piling up a 23-3 shot margin.
Mexico played a solid match featuring some compact, low pressure defense, but the Americans still penetrated to score three times in the first half.
The USA’s first goal came off a penalty kick as midfielder Carli Lloyd played Wambach a pass just outside the penalty area on the left side in the 17th minute. Wambach spun loose from a defender and drove into the penalty area before Mexican defender Carmen Padilla bundled into her from behind. Referee Rachel Woo did not hesitate in pointing to the spot.
Wambach took the kick herself and buried it into the right corner past the diving Mexican goalkeeper Sophia Perez, who guessed correctly but was not quick enough to get a hand on the powerful shot.
"A week ago we had a scrimmage in L.A. and we did PKs afterward, and I hit mine too softly to the 'keeper,” Wambach said. “I changed my PK style and if I put it where I want to with the strength of my shot, it's going to go in whether the 'keeper guesses right or not."
Mexico tied the game just three minutes later off a misplay by U.S. defender Amy LePeilbet. U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo passed the ball to her at the top of the penalty area and LePeilbet let it run across her body and right into the path of forward Monica Ocampo, who accepted the gift by drilling a first-time shot through LePeilbet’s legs and low at the goal. Solo was caught out of position after making the pass and couldn’t get back across the frame to save it.
The USA answered right back. Less than a minute later, midfielder Aly Wagner won a ball in midfield, took a few dribbles and chipped a perfect pass over the Mexico back line to the sprinting Tarpley. The pass had a perfect backspin, settling into the path of the Kalamazoo, Mich., native, who lifted the bouncing ball over the onrushing Perez and into the net from just inside the penalty area.
Tarpley, who has played predominantly in midfield for the national team, made just her second-ever start at forward in the match and marked it with her 10th international goal.
Wambach made it 3-1 in the 39th minute with a great dribble at the top of the penalty area after midfielder Leslie Osborne had played a thread pass to her feet. Wambach spun around over-committed Mexican defender Monica Gonzalez and into the left side of the penalty box before rifling her left-footed shot from eight yards off the hands of Perez and into the net at the near post.
The goal from a sharp angle was the 59th of Wambach’s international career in just 77 games, and puts her within one goal of tying Shannon MacMillan for sixth place on the all-time U.S. goal scoring chart.
Wambach had several chances to notch a hat trick, the first coming in the 43rd minute as another Wagner pass put her behind the defense, but with a defender leaning hard on her hip, she topped her shot left of the goal from 18 yards out. In the 73rd minute Wambach eluded several defenders at top of penalty area with a nifty dribble, but cut her shot just wide of the right post.
U.S. captain Kristine Lilly had several quality chances in the second half, including a dipping shot in the 74th minute that had Perez scrambling to her right to push away for a corner kick.
Defender Stephanie Lopez, a junior at the University of Portland who is of Mexican ancestry, played the entire second half, earning her sixth career cap, but first-ever inside the United States. Her teammate on the Pilots, forward Megan Rapinoe, who was flown in on Tuesday to replace the injured Heather O’Reilly, came into the match the 76th minute and played well in earning just her third cap.
The USA’s back line for the most part shut down Mexico’s attack, although Ocampo had several offensive flashes. Heather Mitts and Christie Rampone, normally outside backs, held down the middle for most of the second half until Tina Frimpong replaced Lori Chalupny with seven minutes left and Mitts moved back to the outside. Osborne went the distance at defensive midfielder and had a stellar match in her ball-winning and distribution.
The USA returns to the field on Oct. 1 against Chinese Taipei at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., site of the USA’s recently completed 2006 Residency Training Camp. That match kicks off at 1 p.m. PT live on ESPN2 to end a week of the Nike Women’s Friendlies, which will see 30 youth girl’s clubs and three of the USA’s youth Women’s National Teams play matches at The HDC from Sept. 28-Oct. 1. The USA will finish its 2006 schedule of domestic friendly matches on Oct. 8 at the University of Richmond against Iceland. That game kicks off at 2 p.m. ET live on ESPN2.
U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
Match-up: USA vs. Mexico
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: PAETEC Park; Rochester, N.Y.
Date: Sept. 13, 2006; Kickoff – 8:00 p.m. ET
Weather: Overcast, cool – 69 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 3 0 3
MEX 1 0 1
USA – Abby Wambach (penalty kick) 18th minute.
MEX – Monica Ocampo (unassisted) 21.
USA – Lindsay Tarpley (Aly Wagner) 22.
USA – Abby Wambach (Leslie Osborne) 39.
USA: 18-Hope Solo; 17-Lori Chalupny (8-Tina Frimpong, 83), 14-Amy LePeilbet (4-Stephanie Lopez, 46), 3-Christie Rampone, 2-Heather Mitts; 12-Leslie Osborne, 11-Carli Lloyd (16-Angela Hucles, 46), 10-Aly Wagner (25-Megan Rapinoe, 76); 5-Lindsay Tarpley (6-Natasha Kai, 67), 20-Abby Wambach, 13-Kristine Lilly – (Capt).
Subs not used:, 15-Marci Miller, 24-Nicole Barnhart
Head Coach: Greg Ryan
MEX: 20-Sophia Perez; 5-Maria Castillo, 3-Rubi Sandoval, 4-Monica Gonzales, 2-Jessica Romero; 7-Luz Saucedo, 6-Monica Vergara – Capt. (8-Fatima Leyva, 46), 15-Carmen Padilla (9-Guadalupe Worbis 64),11-Paty Perez (16-Tania Morales, 81); 10-Iris Mora (13-Isabel Valdez, 76), 17-Monica Ocampo.
Subs not used: 1-Pamela Tajonar, 12-Jennifer Molina, 14-Lulu Gordillo
Head Coach: Leo Cuellar
Statistical Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 23 / 3
Shots on Goal: 10 / 2
Saves: 1 / 7
Corner Kicks: 11 / 3
Fouls: 10 / 14
Offside: 2 / 0
USA – Lori Chalupny (caution) 46th minute.
MEX – Maria Castillo (caution) 52.
Referee: Rachel Woo
AR 1: Sharon Wheeler
AR 2: Kevin Barci
4th Official: Kevin Woody
Sierra Mist Woman of the Match: Abby Wambach