GRADISCA D’ISONZO, Italy (April 25, 2016) – The Under-16 Girls’ National Team fell to host Italy, 1-0, in its opening game of the 1st International Women’s Tournament of Gradisca. It was the first international match of the year for the U.S. U-16s and first since the program was re-instated last year.
The USA out-shot Italy 12-5, but could not find the net, and the game’s lone goal came early from Italy’s Veronica Benedetti in the 5th minute.
The six-team tournament is taking place in Gradisca d’Isonzo, which is located in northeast Italy close to the border with Slovenia. The USA is competing in Group A with Italy and Iran, which the USA will face on April 26. It will be the first meeting between the USA and Iran in women’s international soccer at any age level. It will also be an historic match of sorts as it will be the first time a U.S. Women’s National Team at any age level has ever faced a country from the Middle East.
The tournament has existed for boys’ U-15 teams for 13 years, but this is the first year to feature a girls’ competition as well. The U.S. U-15 Boys’ National Team are also competing in the tournament.
After the group stage, the top two teams in each group will play for the championship, the two second place teams will play for third and the two third place teams will play for fifth.
The group matches will be feature 35-minutes halves while the placements games will be 40-minutes halves.
This age group is in the second year of a two-year cycle before becoming the U-18s and then the U-20s with the goal of playing in the 2020 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup.
- U-16 Girls’ National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Under-16 Girls' National Team vs. Italy
Date: April 25, 2016
Competition: 1st Women’s Tournament Delle Nazioni
Venue: Stadio Gino Colaussi: Gradisca, Italy
Weather: Low 60s; sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
ITA 1 0 1
ITA - Veronica Benedetti 5th minute
USA: 1-Hensley Hancuff; 4-Shae Bell, 3-Maycee Bell, 10-Sierra Enge, 15-Brianna Martinez; 2-Croix Bethune (14-Olivia Wingate, 63), 17-Jenna Nighswonger (5-Sarah Piper, 55), 19-Cori Dyke, 7-Lia Godfrey; 20-Summer Yates (9-Emily Vatne, 55), 21-Nohemi Mendoza
Subs not used: 6-Kylie Minamishin, 8-Rebecca Jarrett, 11-Makenna Morris, 13-Madelyn Desiano, 16-Madeline Vergura
Head Coach: Tricia Taliaferro
ITA: 1-Camilla Forcinella; 5-Ginevra Costantino (C), 6-Nadine Nischler, 7-Benedetta Orsi (15-Sara Baldi, 56), 8-Bianca Bardin; 9-Veronica Benedetti, 10-Marem Ndiongue, 11-Anita Coda (2- Martina Sclavo, 65), 13-Elena Crespi (14-Noemi Visentin, 65); 16-Valentina Puglisi (3-Federica Cafferata,70), 17-Martina Tomaselli (4-Elena Nichele, 57)
Subs not used: 12-Giulia Cascapera, 18-Francesca Quazzico, 20-Sofia Meneghini
Head Coach: Massimo Migliorini
Stats Summary:USA / ITA
Shots: 12 / 5
Shots on Goal: 9 / 3
Saves: 2 / 9
Corner Kicks: 2 / 3
Fouls: 8 / 19