YIWU, China (Thursday, January 23, 2003) - The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team opened the 2003 Four Nations Women's Tournament with a rousing victory over Norway on an icy cold night, defeating their arch-rival, 3-1, on goals from defender Thori Bryan, forward Tiffeny Milbrett and 18-year-old striker Heather O'Reilly. Midfielder Aly Wagner assisted on all three goals.
U.S. head coach APRIL HEINRICHS on her team's overall performance:
"Anytime you score three goals against Norway, you know you've stepped out on the field prepared to play and you've capitalized on the few opportunities you got. We started off well and got better every minute during the course of the game, and finished the game with disciplined defense and confident attacking."
Heinrichs on the USA's attack:
"The way in which we started to assemble our attacking play in the second half was tremendously exciting because we had five or six players committed to the attack and we were playing in front of and behind Norway's flat back four, and at the end of the game, we were playing around the outside as well. The number of players on our team who either got end line for a cross or got a shot on goal was outstanding."
Heinrichs on the young players who came off the bench:
"Our young players who came off the bench made an immediate impact. Jena Kluegel was involved in a lot of flank play and Jenny Benson gave us tremendous composure and variety of service forward. Heather O'Reilly helped possess the ball and knew when to take a risk, or lay the ball and make a run."
Heinrichs on Aly Wagner:
"It was a stupendous performance by Aly to get three assists against Norway, to set play the way that she did and to embrace our defensive mentality. The final pass was a missing ingredient in the first half, but in the second half she was putting the ball on people's feet. It's a really good sign when players can get better during the course of a game."
Heinrichs on Thori Bryan's goal:
"We made some changes on our attacking set plays, and one of them was to bring Thori forward because of her leaping ability and her courage to head the ball and anything that gets between her and the ball."
Defender THORI BRYAN on her first career international goal:
"I was making a back post run and the ball flew over everyone. I headed it down, but it seemed like it took forever to get to the goal, and then I saw it hit the back of the net. To score my first goal with that kind of crowd, against Norway and in this kind of game was awesome."
Forward HEATHER O'REILLY on entering the game with 23 minutes left:
"I wasn't really nervous, but I knew it was a tough game and I just wanted go in and add a spark. The crowd was really into the game and it was exciting to see all those people in the stands. We played in front of big crowds at the U-19 World Cup, but these fans were so much louder."
O'Reilly on her goal:
"I was upset that I missed my first chance, because Aly played me in with a great ball. Luckily, she had another one in her and when I got in front of the goalkeeper, I saw the near post open and just tucked it in."