ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug. 21, 2016) – The U.S. Under-15 Girls’ National Team defeated Canada 2-0 in the final of the 2016 CONCACAF U-15 Girls’ Championship on goals from forwards Kalyssa Van Zanten and Samantha Meza.
The victory gave the USA its first regional title at this age level in the second tournament CONCACAF has staged for U-15 girls’ national teams. The USA did not participate in the first competition, held two years ago in the Cayman Islands and won by Canada.
The USA swept the individual awards as Payton Linnehan won the Golden Boot with eight goals (tied with teammate Gabrielle Robinson, who played more minutes), Ruth Jones won
Golden Glove as the top goalkeeper and Mia Fishel won the Golden Ball as the best player.
Fishel had seven goals to match her seven assists in the tournament.
The win was the seventh in a row by shutout at the tournament for the USA, which out-scored its opponents 49-0.
“I’m really proud of our team for becoming CONCACAF Under-15 champions,” said U.S. head coach Mark Carr. “Canada threw everything at us that we could handle and made it very hard as we expected, but I thought that our game plan was executed perfectly and that we were in control throughout.”
After a scoreless first half, the USA opened the scoring three minutes into the second half of the 70-minute match when Van Zanten tackled the ball away from a Canadian defender and then beat two more before finishing. The young Americans clinched the game 20 minutes later when Meza finished a corner kick that Eleanor Glenn had served to the back post.
Ten different players scored for the USA in the tournament, led by Linnehan and Robinson (eight goals each) and Fishel and Van Zanten (seven each), but the Americans also got goals from Samantha Meza (six), Sunshine Fontes (five), Croix Bethune and Madison Mercado (two each), Talia DellaPeruta and Hollyn Torres, while benefiting from two own goals.
Ruth Jones and Lindsey Romig split time in goal with Jones playing four of the games and Romig the other three.
“This whole tournament experience has been incredible and taught us a lot of things about where we are as players and a team and what to expect at this level of competition,” added Carr. “This is a special group and we have thoroughly enjoyed the journey together. I am very proud of these players and I know the future is very bright in our U.S. youth national team programs.”
Six U.S. players were named to the CONCACAF All-Star Team for the tournament chosen by the Technical Study Group: Jones as the goalkeeper, defender Leah Scarpelli, midfielders Croix Bethune and Fishel and forwards Meza and Robinson.
This age group will have one more event this year before transitioning to U-17s in 2017, and will form the core of the team that will attempt to qualify for the 2018 U-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay.
U.S. U-15 Girls’ National Team Match Report
Match: U.S. Under-15 Girls’ National Team vs. Canada U-15 Girls’ National Team
Date: August 21, 2016
Competition: CONCACAF Under-15 Girls’ Championship – Championship Game
Venue: Field #17 – ESPN Wide World of Sports, Orlando, Fla.
Weather: 99 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 2 2
CAN 0 0 0
USA – Kalyssa Van Zanten 38th minute
USA – Samantha Meza (Eleanor Glenn) 58
USA: 1-Ruth Jones; 17-Talia DellaPeruta (18-Sunshine Fontes, 32); 5-Leah Scarpelli; 6-Natalia Staude; 2-Makenna Morris; 7-Samantha Meza (3-D’awncey Jones-Black, 70); 16-Croix Bethune; 8-Hollyn Torres (11-Eleanor Glenn, 51); 10-Mia Fishel; 15-Gabrielle Robinson (13-Payton Linnehan, 42); 9-Kalyssa Van Zanten (14-Madison Mercado, 65)
Subs not used: 4-Tori Hansen; 12-Lindsey Romig
Head Coach: Mark Carr
CAN: 1-Sophie Guilmette; 3-Maya Antoine; 5-Isabella Hanisch; 6-Jordyn Huitema; 9-Sydney Kennedy (13-Aaliyah Scott, 36); 11-Maya Ladhani; 12-Jayde Riviere (2-Teni Akindoju, 60); 14-Olivia Scott; 15-Caitlin Shaw (7-Mya Jones, 46); 16-Julianne Vallerand; 17-Sonia Walk
Subs not used: 4-Alexia Cajilig; 8-Lara Kazandjian; 10-Julia Kostecki; 18-Kat Haarmann
Head Coach: Carmelina Moscato
Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 8 / 9
Shots on Goal: 3 / 5
Saves: 5 / 1
Corner Kicks: 8 / 2
Fouls: 7 / 3
Offside: 0 / 0
Referee: Odette Hamilton (JAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Lidia Ayala (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Karen Diaz (MEX)
Fourth Official: Kimberly Mora (CRC)