U.S. U-21 WOMEN TOPPLE NORWAY, 3-0, AT NORDIC CUP;
U.S. FACES GERMANY NEXT FOR BERTH IN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Wilson Plays a Part in All Three Goals, Scoring Twice; Huffman Adds One
OLAFSFJORDUR, Iceland (July 25, 2004) - The U.S. Under-21 Women's National Team rolled past Norway, 3-0, and within one match of the 2004 Nordic Cup championship game, as forward Kelly Wilson played a part in all three goals, scoring twice and setting up midfielder Sarah Huffman for a third. The win over Norway, combined with a 3-0 victory over Finland in its opening match, gave the USA control of Group B, and now the USA needs a win or a tie against Germany on Tuesday to earn a berth in the title game.
The USA dominated the match from the opening whistle, out-shooting Norway 22-1 while displaying a great rhythm all over the field.
"We were a lot sharper (than in the opening game), we connected better and had a lot more energy," said U.S. head coach Chris Petrucelli. "The first game got us a little more played in, but today, we were in their end the whole first half so it seemed like eventually we were going to break them down."
After peppering the Norwegian goal for most of the half, the USA finally broke through with two goals in the last nine minutes of the first half. In the 37th minute, Wilson received a ball wide on the right flank, pushed past a defender and served a cross to the back post. Huffman took it out of the air on her first touch and struck the ball into lower right side of net on her second touch from 12 yards out to break the deadlock.
"Today we clicked a lot better," said Huffman. "We settled into the whole atmosphere here and I think we did well to build off our last game. Hopefully, we will keep it going through to the Germany game."
The second goal came just three minutes before halftime off a corner kick from defender Lindsey Huie. She served a high, floating ball that hung in the wind. Keeley Dowling jumped over everyone to send a bullet header towards the goal. Wilson, standing in front of the goalkeeper, redirected the ball into the net with her shoulder.
"We were feeling pretty comfortable going into halftime after scoring twice," said Petrucelli. "We had the wind with us in the first half, so it was important that we got one goal and it was even better that we got two."
The final goal came just four minutes from the end as halftime substitute Manya Makoski picked up a ball 25 yards out on the right flank. She dribbled three players to get to the end line just inside the penalty box and cut the ball back to Wilson, who finished into the left corner with a spinning shot from eight yards out to clinch the game.
"It's been good for me to get in a competitive environment and I am getting more confidence in front of the goal," said Wilson. "This team has really good chemistry, especially in our forwards. Tasha (Kai) has tremendous speed and great athleticism, Carli (Lloyd) is great on the ball and great dribbler, and I'm more of a crosser and finisher in front of the goal. We compliment each other really well and Manya (Makoski) and Lu (Julianne Sitch) coming off the bench really adds a spark."
The two scores were the first international goals for Wilson at the U-21 level, after scoring 31 in just 19 matches for the U.S. U-19s and one goal for the senior U.S. Women's National Team. In 2002, Wilson teamed with 2004 Olympians Heather O'Reilly and Lindsay Tarpley on the U.S. Under-19 squad to form the "new triple-edge sword," a devastating front line that combined to score 19 goals as the USA won the 2002 FIFA U-19 World Championship. Wilson won the Bronze Ball as the third best player in the tournament and the Silver Boot as the second best scorer.
"This is a great start for us and it's great to have Kelly scoring goals again," said Petrucelli. "We know what she is capable of based on her history and to have her back in the groove again is a big step forward for our team in this tournament."
The USA once again played a 4-3-3 formation and once again the Americans dominated the middle of the field. Defensive midfielder Joanna Lohman effectively nullified Norway's main attacking threat in midfielder Leni Larsen Kaurin, allowing the Americans to exert pressure on the Norway backs from start to finish.
"(Kaurin) is a very good player and Jo basically shut down their attack," added Petrucelli. "She stopped their playmaking player so they never really had a chance to play through her or get forward that much.
At the 2001 Nordic Cup, the USA faced Germany in the final group game needing a win or a tie to go to the final, and fell behind 1-0 before a late goal by Jill Oakes earned the USA a place in the title game, where they disposed of Sweden by a Nordic Cup record margin of 6-1.
Should the USA defeat or tie Germany, they would face Sweden in the championship game. The Swedes won their second straight 1-0 game, downing England, which gave them the top spot in Group A with one match left to play as none of the other three teams in the group have won a game so far.
"This is a very good German team, although they didn't play very well today," said Petrucelli of the German U-21s that tied Finland, 0-0, in the other Group B game. "As fatigue starts to hit in your third and fourth games of the tournament, I am hoping our fitness starts to become a factor."
U.S. goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart went the distance and picked up her second shutout of the competition, making just one save. In the other Group A match, Iceland and Denmark tied 1-1.
U.S. UNDER-21 WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
Match-up: USA vs. Norway
Competition: 2004 Under-21 Nordic Cup
Venue: Leiftur Club Field - Olafsfjordur, Iceland
Date: July 25, 2004; Kickoff - 4:30 p.m. local / 12:30 p.m. ET
Weather: Windy - 50 degrees
1 2 F
USA 2 1 3
NOR 0 0 0
USA - Sarah Huffman (Kelly Wilson) 37th minute.
USA - Kelly Wilson (Keeley Dowling) 42.
USA - Kelly Wilson (Manya Makoski) 86.
USA: 1-Nicole Barnhart; 2-Lindsey Huie, 14-Jill Oakes, 12-Keeley Dowling, 5-Jenny Farnenbaugh (9-Kacey White, 78); 3-Joanna Lohman-C, 8-Sarah Huffman, 16-Lori Chalupny (13-Manya Makoski, 46); 17-Kelly Wilson (6-Hayley Hunt, 82), 7-Natasha Kai (15-Julianne Sitch, 74), 10-Carli Lloyd (4-Nikki Thaden, 62).
Subs not used: 12-Esmeralda Negron, 18-Kati Jo Spisak.
Head coach: Chris Petrucelli.
NOR: 1-Silje Vesterbekkma, 2-Silje Kopke Da Fonseca, 3-Runa Vikestad, 4-Marita Kaufmann, 5-Sira Nordeide Gronli (15-Ellen Wiersholm, 84); 6-Kaia Ruud Solem-C (16-Ann Mariell Storvold, 83), 7-Lisa-Marie Wood (14-Marthe Johansen, 76), 9-Linn Nyronning (13-Natalia Galvez, 72), 17-Elin Sola (8-Beate Myrvold, 78); 10-Lene Espedal, 11-Leni Larsen Kaurin.
Subs not used: N/A
Head coach: Per Brogeland
Shots: 22 1
Saves: 1 10
Corner Kicks: 10 2
Fouls: 4 9
Offside: 1 1
USA - Joanna Lohman (caution) 67th minute
Referee: Kirsi Savolainen (Finland)
Referee Asst.: Rúnar Steingrímsson (Iceland)
Referee Asst.: Hálfdán R Guðmundsson (Iceland)
4th Offical: Jenny Palmqvist (Sweden)
Teams W L T Pts GF GA GD
Sweden 2 0 0 6 3 0 +3
Iceland 0 0 2 2 2 2 0
England 0 1 1 1 1 2 -1
Denmark 0 1 1 1 1 3 -2
Teams W L T Pts GF GA GD
USA 2 0 0 6 6 0 +6
Germany 1 0 1 4 3 1 +2
Finland 0 1 1 1 0 3 -3
Norway 0 2 0 0 1 6 -5
Nordic Cup Results
Friday, July 23
Sweden 2, Denmark 0
Iceland 1, England 1
USA 3, Finland 0
Germany 3, Norway 1
Sunday, July 25
Sweden 1, England 0
Iceland 1, Denmark 1
Germany 0, Finland 0
USA 3, Norway 0
Tuesday, July 27
Denmark v England
Sweden v Iceland
Norway v Finland
Germany v USA
Thursday, July 29
Match for 7th and 8th
Match for 5th and 6th
Match for 3rd and 4th