BACOLET, Tobago (Tuesday, May 7, 2002) - The U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team opened the 2002 CONCACAF U-19 Women's Qualifying Tournament with a deluge of goals, rolling past a badly out-gunned Suriname, 15-0, in a match that was played in soggy conditions after a steady tropical storm drenched Dwight Yorke Stadium for most of the match.
"I was really pleased with the performance," said U.S. head coach Tracey Leone. "The players have been waiting for this moment for a long time. They came out with great enthusiasm. It was obvious that they were a bit nervous, but they calmed down quickly. It was a great showing for their first game in a world event."
With the goal-fest, the U.S. team took the lead in Group B of the tournament and took a major step toward qualifying for the 2002 FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship being held in Canada from August 17-Sept. 1 of this year. The USA will face Haiti in its next match on Thursday at Dwight Yorke Stadium. Fans can follow that game live at 5:30 p.m. ET on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented Philips Electronics.
The victory over Suriname marked a historic night as the U-19s played in the first ever world championship qualifying match for a U.S. women's youth team and set a team record for goals in the process. Forward Kelly Wilson (Odessa, Texas/Texas) also set a team record for goals in a match, pounding in five, including a true hat trick in a 12-minute span between the 35th and 47th minutes. It was also the most goals ever scored by a U.S. Women's National Team in a full international match at any level.
It took the USA just five minutes to open its account, scoring on a lightning counter attack as defender Kendall Fletcher (Cary, N.C./Greesboro Twisters) picked off a pass in midfield, drove up the field and played Wilson down the left flank. Wilson, the Big-12 Freshman of the Year for the Longhorns last season, outran her defender to the end line and cut a perfect pass back to Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich./Michgan Hawks) for the U.S. captain to tuck into the goal from five yards out. Tarpley would add three more goals in the match.
"Our major goal since we came together as a team has been to qualify for the World Cup," said Tarpley. "We know that this is the time to show our region what we're made of. We've worked so hard, and through that hard work comes confidence. We were a bit nervous to start the game, but once we settled down, all our preparation paid off in goals."
The USA's "Quadruple-Edge Sword" of slashing forwards -- Wilson, Tarpley, Megan Kakadelas (Carlsbad, Calif/USC) and Heather O'Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J./PDA Splash) -- accounted for 12 of the 15 U.S. scores as the Americans piled up a 52-0 shot advantage.
"A couple of my goals were just being in the right place at the right time," said Wilson. "On the others, my teammates gave me great passes and all I had to do was finish. The chemistry between the forwards is great. We always know where we are going to be and have a great feel for the timing of our runs. I love playing with these girls."
U.S. defender Jill Oakes (West Hills, Calif./Santa Anita Strikers), who patrolled the middle of the USA's three-player back line, scored twice, both spectacular strikes. The first was the USA's third goal of the game as she rose over a pack of players inside the penalty area to snap a header through traffic and into the net off a corner kick from Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo./JB Marine). Oakes' second goal, the USA's 10th, also came off a Chalupny corner kick, but this time the ball flew over the players in the penalty area and bounced to Oakes at the top of the penalty area for her to whip an 18-yard volley into the upper left corner.
Suriname had possession inside the USA's half just once as their lone forward, Suzanna Berrenstein, scorer of nine goals in her country's pre-qualifying tournament, could barely get a touch against the U.S. defense of Fletcher, Oakes and Jessica Ballweg (Metuchen, N.J./Santa Clara).
U.S. goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris (Satellite Beach, Fla./Seminole Ice) picked up the shutout but did not have to play a ball with her hands during the entire match. A heavy storm hit about 20 minutes into the game, but it didn't slow down the USA, who scored seven goals in the first half and eight in the second.
The Americans down-shifted with 20 minutes left in the match as the rain stopped and the U.S. team possessed the ball to salt away the clock. Midfielder Leslie Osborne (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Santa Clara) owned the entire right side of the field during the match and had one goal to go with her three assists. Leone made her three allowed substitutes at halftime, sending on Kakadelas for O'Reilly, Allison Graham (Fayeteville, Ga./AFC Lightning) for Annie Schefter (Yakima, Wash./Sun City Strikers) and Sarah Huffman (Flower Mound, Texas/D'Feeters) for Manya Makoski (Trumbull, Conn./Yankee United). Kakadelas had a productive 45 minutes on the right wing as she dished two assists to go with her two scores.
"You always love to see your forwards scoring goals," added Leone. "It is a difficult game and sometimes, even when you should scores goals, it doesn't always happen. But scoring builds confidence and we scored all different kinds of goals tonight. That makes us more willing to take more risks. It's great that the wealth was spread a little bit, but it's also great that our attackers got the feel for scoring goals in must-win games."
The five goals upped Wilson's U-19 full international total to 16 in just eight matches while Tarpley raised her U-19 total to 13 goals in 14 games. Wilson also had assists on the first and last goals of the game.
"We've been on the road together for an amazing amount of days in the last year and half," said Tarpley, who also had two assists. "The team chemistry we have is something rare to experience. Every member of the team has complete confidence in every other player."
In the other Group B match, Costa Rica downed Haiti, 4-0. On the island of Trinidad in Group A, the group is wide open as all four teams picked up a point with both games ending in draws. Jamaica tied Mexico, 1-1, getting an 84th minute equalizer from Sheree Marrow. Host T&T and Panama played a wild one, tying 3-3, with Panama's Amerelis Demera notching a hat trick, including the tying goal in stoppage time.
Participants: U.S. U-19 Women's National Team vs. Suriname
Competition: 2002 Under-19 CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament
Venue: Dwight Yorke Stadium (Bacolet, Tobago)
Date: May 7, 2002 - Kickoff 7:30 p.m. Local/ET
Weather: Humid, wet, tropical showers - 78 degrees.
Scoring Summary: 1st - 2nd - Final
United States 7 - 8 - 15
Suriname 0 - 0 - 0
USA - Lindsay Tarpley (Kelly Wilson), 5.
USA - Heather O'Reilly (Lindsay Tarpley), 14.
USA - Jill Oakes (Lori Chalupny), 19.
USA - Kelly Wilson (Kendall Fletcher), 23.
USA - Lindsay Tarpley (Leslie Osborne), 32.
USA - Kelly Wilson (Leslie Osborne), 35.
USA - Kelly Wilson (Heather O'Reilly), 40.
USA - Kelly Wilson (Megan Kakadelas), 47.
USA - Lindsey Tarpley (Leslie Osborne), 50.
USA - Jill Oakes (Lori Chalupny), 52.
USA - Kelly Wilson (unassisted), 53.
USA - Leslie Osborne (unassisted), 56.
USA - Lindsay Tarpley (Megan Kakadelas), 62.
USA - Megan Kakadelas (Lindsay Tarpley), 67.
USA - Megan Kakadelas (Kelly Wilson), 87.
USA - 18-Ashlyn Harris, 4-Jessica Ballweg, 12-Jill Oakes, 8-Kendall Fletcher, 10-Leslie Osborne, 11-Annie Schefter (6-Allison Graham, 46), 7-Lori Chalupny, 5-Manya Makoski (13-Sarah Huffman, 46), 16-Kelly Wilson, 15-Lindsey Tarpley (capt.), 9-Heather O'Reilly (11-Megan Kakadelas, 46).
Subs not used: 1-Megan Rivera, 2-Kerri Hanks, 3-Rachel Buehler, 14-Jessica Trainor.
SUR - 1-Danielle Laurens, 3-Elenoor Wisch - Capt., 4- Ruth Jeso, 5-Vanessa Asaimi, 6-Raquel Zegelaar, 7-Rachel Righters, 9 - Suzana Berrenstein, 11-Xiomara Dompig, 12-Winifried Windzak, 13-Jefta Plato, 14-Deborah Stoard.
Statistical Summary: USA - SUR
Shots: 52 - 0
Shots on Goal: 30 - 0
Saves: 0 - 15
Corner Kicks: 14 - 0
Fouls: 5 - 4
Offside: 7 - 0
SUR - Xiomarea Dompig (caution), 26.
Referee: Jill Proctor (CAN)
Referee Asst.: Isabel Diaz (MEX)
Referee Asst.: Lynda Bramble (TRI)
4th Official: Richard Piper (TRI)