GRADISCA d’ISONZO, Italy (April 29, 2018) – The U.S. Under-16 Girls’ National Team used a four-goal second half to soundly defeat Japan, 5-0, in the championship game of the 3rd U-17 Women’s Torneo delle Nazioni.
The young Americans scored 24 goals over the four matches in the tournament and allowed zero. The USA also won this tournament last year with a group of players who are currently representing the U-17 Women’s National Team that is attempting to qualify for the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
To earn their berths in the championship game, the USA won Group A with victories against Iran (8-0), Italy (5-0) and Slovenia (6-0), while Japan won Group B over Norway, England and Russia.
While the USA had two four-goal scorers and one hat trick from players over the three games in group play, five different players scored against Japan.
The USA went ahead 1-0 in the 8th minute off a cross by Kailyn Dudukovich from the left side that Michelle Cooper finished first-time from five yards out.
The match went into halftime with the USA holding a 1-0 lead, but the U.S. put the game away and secured the championship with four goals in the final 28 minutes of the 80-minute match.
In the 52nd minute, Reilyn Turner dribbled into the penalty box and sent a low cross into the middle that found Alexis Missimo who finished from eight yards out. Missimo scored in each of the four games.
In the 59th minute, Kalyssa Van Zanten win the ball back from a Japanese defender just outside the penalty box and took a tight-angled shot from 22 yards out that looped over the goalkeeper and into the top right corner.
Trinity Byars made it 4-0 off an assist from Turner in the 68th minute and the USA got its final goal one minute into second half stoppage time as Van Zanten dribbled to get behind the defense and was taken down in the penalty area as she cut around the goalkeeper. Defender Tori Hansen took the penalty and converted it for the fifth and final goal.
The USA has eight different players score in the tournament led by Byars, who had five goals. Missimo, Dudukovich and Reilyn Turner had four goals each. Cooper had three, Van Zanten had two and Aislynn Crowder and Jaelyn Eisenhart had one each.
The Torneo delle Nazioni has been held for boys for the past 15 years (including this one), but this is just the third time it has been held for women. This year’s competition was for players born in 2002 or later.
The U.S. team was made up of 10 players born in 2002, which is the age group for this year’s U-16 GNT, and five players born in 2003, which puts them in the U-15 GNT age group. In addition, there were five players on the roster born in 2001, which is the age cutoff for the team that participated in the Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament in Nicaragua before it was cancelled.
U-16 Girls’ National Team Match Report
Match: U.S. Under-16 GNT vs Japan U-16 GNT
Date: April 29, 2018
Competition: 3rd U-17 Women’s Torneo delle Nazioni - Championship Game
Venue: Stadio Gradisca; Gradisca d’Isonzo, Italy
Weather: Low 70’s, partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 4 5
JPN 0 0 0
USA - Michelle Cooper (Kailyn Dudukovich) 8th minute
USA - Alexis Missimo (Reilyn Turner) 52
USA - Kalyssa Van Zanten 59
USA - Trinity Byars (Reilyn Turner) 68
USA - Tori Hansen (Penalty Kick) 80+1
USA: 1-Lindsey Romig; 23-Elaine Rouse (2-Nya Harrison, 64), 13-Tori Hansen, 5-Lilly Reale (4-Baleigh Bruster, 55), 3-Kellie Pagador, 16-Alexis Theoret (9-Jaelyn Eisenhart, 71), 7-Aislynn Crowder (19-Grace Watkins, 69), 15-Alexis Missimo, 25-Trinity Byars (8-Dilary Heredia-Beltran, 71), 18-Michelle Cooper (20-Kalyssa Van Zanten, 58), 6-Kailyn Dudukovich (10-Reilyn Turner, 50)
Subs not used: 12-Alia Skinner, 21-Ariella Pitty
Head Coach: April Kater
JPN: 18-Karen Nakazono (1-Kokona Ishida, 82), 2-Miyabi Tokunaga (14-Keito Ido, 76), 4-Haruna Tabata, 16-Reina Shirowa (17-Miyuu Noda, 76), 3-Mihoshi Sugisawa, 6-Emika Kawagishi, 12-Miyuka Momono (15-Serika Takawa, 36), 13-Kokona Iwasaki (9-Mei Shimada, 71), 7-Urara Watanabe (8-Iku Tsukiji, 64), 11-Wakana Onishi (10-Megumi Ito, 58), 19-Aimi Yamasaki
Subs not used: 5-Mina Tamagawa, 20-Chisato Inoue
Head Coach: Tina Kelenberger
Stats Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 10 / 6
Shots on Goal: 5 / 2
Saves: 2 / 0
Corner Kicks: 5 / 1
Fouls: 9 / 6
Offside: 2 / 5
JPN - Karen Nakazono (caution) 80th minute