CARSON, Calif. (September 20, 2007) — The U.S. Under-15 Girls’ National Team jumped out to a 3-1 lead before two goals in the final ten minutes ensured a 3-3 draw against the U-17 Slammers FC in the teams’ opening match of the 2007 Women’s Nike Friendlies at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Bensalem, Penn., native Kaitlyn Kerr notched a goal and an assist for the U-15’s, while Slammers FC striker Sara Gomez potted a pair of goals for the Newport Beach, Calif.-based club to end the match with an even scoreline.
The U.S. outshot Slammers 30-19, including 17 shots in the second half alone, but Slammers ‘keeper Darien Vercillo made several fines saves to keep her team in the match.
The match began with high intensity and quality from both sides, and it would be the visitors who first put themselves on the scoreboard. A scrum in the penalty area ended with the ball at the feet of Jayden Barrett, whose shot got past the U.S. goalkeeper but clanged off the right post. The rebound fell to the feet of Gomez, who calmly slotted it home in the 17th minute to give Slammers a 1-0 lead.
The U.S. bounced back with a quick one-two punch, scoring back-to-back goals in the 36th and 37th minute. Finding space about 28 yards from goal, Kerr unloaded a wicked drive that sailed over Vercillo to level terms. A minute later, Megan Oyster took a quick pass from Kerr and perfectly side-footed a shot that found the back of the net and handed the U.S. the lead. A flurry of activity from both sides punctuated the final ten minutes of the half, but the scoreline remained the same heading into the break.
The U-15’s came out blazing in the second half, putting constant pressure on the Slammers backline. Their efforts paid off in the 56th minute when Mollie Patham received a pass on the left wing and picked out Samantha Mewis in the area, who first-timed a left footer that tucked neatly inside the near post to increase the USA’s lead to 3-1. The girls continued to press the attack, creating several quality chances, but the Slammers defense held and refused to relent.
Their determination was rewarded in the 80th minute after a long free kick into the box floated into the six-yard box, where Mariah Nogueira beat her marker and the ‘keeper to the spot and nodded a header home to cut the lead in half. With only five minutes remaining, Slammers managed to find the equalizer after a scramble in the penalty area left the ball on the foot of Gomez, whose low drive deflected off a U.S. defender, leaving Erin Dees helpless as the ball skidded past her.
U.S. Under-15 Girls' National Team Match Report
Match-up: USA U-15 Girls' National Team vs. U-17 Slammers FC
Competition: 2007 Women’s Nike Friendlies
Venue: Home Depot Center - Carson, California
Date: Sept. 20, 2007; Kickoff – 3 p.m. PT
Weather: Sunny, 72 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA U-15 GNT 2 1 3
U-17 Slammers FC 1 2 3
SFC – Sara Gomez (unassisted) 11th minute.
USA – Kaitlin Kerr (Mollie Pathman) 30.
USA – Kealia Ohai (Kaitlin Kerr) 31.
USA – Samantha Mewis (Mollie Pathman) 55.
SFC – Mariah Nogueira (Mary Schmidt) 80.
SFC – Sara Gomez (unassisted) 85.
USA: 24-Emily Oliver; 25-Catherine Sessions, 21-Megan Oyster, 3-Mackenzie Akerfelds, 13-Carrie Whigham; 23-Zuri Walker, 16-Kaitlin Kerr, 6-Michelle Cruz, 11-Kylie Facinelli; 4-Devin Marshall, 12-Maya Hayes
Subs: 1-Erin Dee, 18-Nicole Downing, 2-Mia Bruno, 10-Kaitlin Fitzpatrick, 9-Samantha Mewis, 22-Mollie Pathman, 17-Natalia Ledezma, 20-Kealia Ohai, 5-Kayle Blades
SFC: 6-Darien Vercillo; 10-Kylie Bono, 17-Mary Schmidt, 11-Courtney Giovanni, 3-Stephanie Derieg; 16-Mariah Nogueira, 15-Kylie Doniak, 23-Courtney Burk; 13-Sara Gomez, 1-Lindsey Brown, 12-Jayden Barrett
Subs: 99-Hali Oughton, 2-Natalie Alatorre, 5-Lauren Kennedy, 8-Samantha Strom, 21-Jamie Jimenez, 4-Laura DiBiase
Statistical Summary: USA SFC
Shots: 30 19
Shots on Goal: 20 15
Saves: 9 14
Corner Kicks: 5 5
Fouls: 10 4
Offside: 1 0
AR1:Juan Cousman Jr.
AR2: Cesar Calderon