SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (Feb. 22, 2020) – A record-tying performance from Mia Fishel helped the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team get off to a flying start at the 2020 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship with a 9-0 win against Cuba at Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez.
With two berths to the 2020 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup at stake in the Dominican Republic, U-20 WNT head coach Laura Harvey named 10 players on the roster that have previously represented the USA at a Youth World Cup. That experience helped the USA roll past an overmatched Cuba, earning a big win to open this year’s expanded World Cup qualifying tournament.
The U.S. opened the scoring in the ninth minute as forward Alexa Spaanstra beat a Cuba defender on the left wing and found Fishel open inside the penalty area for her to easily slot home the game’s first goal. Fishel, playing in her first U-20 WNT match, tallied her second goal four minutes later after receiving a ball over the top and rounding Cuba goalkeeper Alianne Matamoro before rolling her shot into the open net.
The U.S. added a third in the 16th as Brianna Pinto, the 2019 U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year, was played in on goal by forward Trinity Rodman and finished her one-on-one chance to extend the lead to 3-0.
After notching an assist on the USA’s first goal, Spaanstra got on the scoresheet in the 37th as she tapped home a cross from Rodman.
Fishel completed her hat trick in the 42nd as Spaanstra again found the forward in the box to record her second assist of the match. Late in first-half stoppage time, Fishel would add her fourth by pouncing on a deflected cross at the back post, making it 6-0 as the young Americans headed into the break.
With her four goals in the first half, Fishel tied a U-20 WNT record for goals in a single match. Previously, Kelly Wilson, Lindsay Tarpley and Heather O'Reilly put together four-goal performances as U-19s during World Cup Qualifying, while Kia McNeil (2004) netted four at the 2004 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship. Civana Kuhlmann scored four times for the U-20 WNT in a 2017 international friendly vs. Finland.
After the break, Harvey saw two of her substitutes make an impact off the bench. Summer Yates and Samantha Meza both scored, while Yates provided the assist on Meza’s goal. Pinto capped off the scoring onslaught by connecting with a Rodman cross in the 90th minute. The assist also wrapped up an excellent outing for Rodman, who set up four goals on the day.
The U.S. begins World Cup qualifying with three points as the top three teams from each group advance to the Round of 16. From there, teams will play out a knockout bracket will to the championship match. The winners of the semifinal matches will punch their tickets to the World Cup this summer in Costa Rica/Panama.
Next Up: The U-20 WNT continues Group C play on Monday, Feb. 24 vs. host Dominican Republic (3 p.m. ET) and wraps up the group stage on Wednesday, Feb. 26 vs. Honduras (6 p.m. ET).
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Mia Fishel (Alexa Spaanstra), 9th minute: Spaanstra received a ball out wide on the left, beat a Cuba defender inside the box, and played a pass into the penalty area for Fishel. The UCLA forward was wide open and took one touch before placing her shot beyond the reach of Cuba goalkeeper Alianne Matamoro from inside the six-yard box. USA 1, CUB 0
USA – Mia Fishel (Trinity Rodman), 13th minute: From just over midfield, Rodman played a ball over the top to an on-rushing Fishel who beat Matamoro to the ball at the top of the penalty area. Fishel touched it by her and then rolled her shot into the open net. USA 2, CUB 0
USA – Brianna Pinto (Trinity Rodman), 16th minute: Rodman received a ball on the right touchline, cut inside, and threaded a through ball past the Cuba backline to Pinto, who timed her run to stay onside. Pinto took a few touches to unbalance Matamoro before firing a left-footed shot into the left side of the net. USA 3, CUB 0
USA – Alexa Spaanstra (Trinity Rodman), 37th minute: After making a strong run down the right wing, Rodman fired a low, driven cross through the goal mouth that skipped all the way to Spaanstra at the back post. She tapped the ball home for her first goal of the tournament. USA 4, CUB 0
USA – Mia Fishel (Alexa Spaanstra), 42nd minute: Pinto received a ball out of the back and into midfield, turned, and played a pass wide on the right to Rodman. She blazed past a Cuba defender and played a high cross into the box which found Spaanstra at the back post. Spaanstra headed the ball down across the face of the goal to Fishel, who roofed her shot from right on the goal line to complete an excellent build-up. USA 5, CUB 0
USA – Mia Fishel (Trinity Rodman), 45+2: After a nice run of possession by the USA, Rodman once again beat a Cuba defender on the outside and crossed the ball into the box. This time Rodman’s cross was deflected off the head of a Cuba defender and looped high to the back post, where Fishel used her left foot to direct the ball into the net from close range just seconds before the halftime whistle. USA 6, CUB 0
USA – Summer Yates (Brianna Martinez), 67th minute: A clearance by the Cuba goalkeeper was intercepted by the U.S just inside midfield. Yates received a ball just outside of the penalty area from left back Brianna Martinez, then turned and fired a shot on goal from distance. Her effort was bobbled by Matamoro and bounced into the net. USA 7, CUB 0
USA – Samantha Meza (Summer Yates), 68th minute: Rodman played a through ball past the Cuba backline to Yates, where she fired a one-time pass to the back post. Meza was there waiting for it, took one touch to set herself up and fired a shot off the post and past the ‘keeper. USA 8, CUB 0
USA – Brianna Pinto (Trinity Rodman), 90th minute: Jenna Nighswonger played a ball to Rodman on the left wing, where the forward took a couple of dribbles and cut in on her right foot before swinging in a cross to the near post. Pinto, making a run to goal, got to Rodman’s cross first and scored her second of the game. USA 9, CUB 0
The 9-0 win was the USA’s largest victory in an opening game at a U-20 World Cup qualifying tournament since a 14-0 win against the Dominican Republic at the 2004 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship.
The USA improves to 3-0-0 vs. Cuba all-time at this tournament, winning the games by a combined 24-0 goal differential.
In her first U-20 appearance for the USA, Claudia Dickey kept a clean sheet in goal.
Dickey, Fishel and defender Kennedy Wesley all earned their first U-20 caps.
The result marked the USA’s 29th shut-out all-time in this tournament and 19th time scoring five or more goals.
Pinto picked up her team-leading 33rd U-20 cap.
-U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team vs. Cuba U-20 WNT
Date: February 22, 2020
Competition: 2020 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship
Venue: Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Kickoff: 4 p.m. local / 3 p.m. ET
Weather: 84 degrees, partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 6 3 9
CUB 0 0 0
USA - Mia Fishel (Alexa Spaanstra) 9th minute
USA - Mia Fishel (Trinity Rodman) 13
USA - Brianna Pinto (Trinity Rodman) 16
USA - Alexa Spaanstra (Trinity Rodman) 37
USA - Mia Fishel (Alexa Spaanstra) 42
USA - Mia Fishel 45+2
USA - Summer Yates (Brianna Martinez) 67
USA - Samantha Meza (Summer Yates) 68
USA - Brianna Pinto (Trinity Rodman) 90
USA: 1-Claudia Dickey; 20-Talia DellaPeruta, 5-Naomi Girma (Capt.), 15-Kennedy Wesley, 13-Shae Holmes (2-Brianna Martinez, 65); 10-Jenna Nighswonger, 18-Katelyn Duong, 6-Brianna Pinto; 8-Trinity Rodman, 9-Mia Fishel (7-Summer Yates, 62), 17-Alexa Spaanstra (19-Samantha Meza, 59)
Subs Not Used: 3-Emily Mason, 4-Sierra Enge, 11-Sophia Smith, 14-Maycee Bell, 16-Rebecca Jarrett
Head Coach: Laura Harvey
CUB: 12-Alianne Matamoro (Capt.); 2-Maday Lopez (5-Yaniuvis Suarez, 46), 6-Analia Cespedes, 8-Cecil Aldana (13-Yedasi Gongora, 74), 9-Katheryn Rodriguez, 11-Elaine Valdez, 14-Maria Alvarez, 15-Yeisika Hernandez, 16-Claudia Prats, 18-Eunises Nuñez (7-Maristania Mengana, 61), 19-Gianna Borrego
Subs Not Used: 1-Elika Acea, 3-Yerly Palma, 4-Yusnelvis Espinosa, 10-Lucy Brooks, 17-Ismelis Del Toro, 20-Lisyanis Cruz
Head Coach: Edelsio Griego
Stats Summary: USA / CUB
Shots: 20 / 3
Shots on Goal: 14 / 0
Saves: 0 / 5
Corner Kicks: 5 / 0
Fouls: 12 / 11
Offside: 6 / 0
CUB - Maristania Mengana (caution) 89th minute
Referee: Sandra Benitez (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Lidia Ayala (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Iris Vail (GUA)
Fourth Official: Seka (GUA)