CARSON, Calif. (Sept. 24, 2023) – The U.S. Under-17 Women’s Youth National Team went down by two goals before five minutes had elapsed but roared by to equalize, and even took the lead, before Japan tallied the final goal in a wild 3-3 draw.
The USA was stunned by goals in the second and fourth minutes by Miharu Shinjo and Kotomi Iwaki, but then fought its way back into the match, led by St. Louis Scott Gallagher forward Alex Pfeiffer, who bagged a hat trick.
Pfeiffer scored her first in the 13th minute to cut the deficit in half, then equalized in the 35th minute. Three minutes into the second half, she pulled the USA into the lead with her third goal of the game, and it looked like the USA would pull off an epic comeback, but Japan’s Haruko Suzuki scored in the 68th minute and that’s how the entertaining match finished.
The USA defeated Japan, 2-0, in the first game of the two-game set on Sept. 22. These matches were the first in a new U-17 WYNT cycle as the U.S. team prepares for the 2024 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship that will be contested from Feb. 1-11 in Toluca, Mexico.
Twenty-five players on the roster were born in 2007, which is the cutoff birth year for players to play in the 2024 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, while midfielder Kimmi Ascanio was born in 2008.
-- U.S. Under-17 Women’s Youth National Team Match Report --
Match: United States U-17 Women's Youth National Team vs. Japan U-17 WNT
Date: September 24, 2023
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Dignity Health Sports Park – Field #3; Carson, Calif.
Weather: 82 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 1 3
JPN 2 1 3
JPN – Miharu Shinjo 2nd minute
JPN – Kotomi Iwaki 4
USA – Alex Pfeiffer (Carrie Helfrich) 13
USA – Alex Pfeiffer (Leena Powell) 35
USA – Alex Pfeiffer (Melanie Barcenas) 48
JPN – Haruko Suzuki 68
USA: 21-Olivia Geller (12-Kennedy Zorn, 46); 14-Jocelyn Travers (3-Daya King, 63), 19-Alexis Coughlin (24-Kiara Gilmore, 46), 17-Edra Bello (4-Kai Price, 46, 5-Jordyn Hardeman, 71), 25-Katie Scott (13-Maddie Costello, 63); 16-Riley Cross (26-Ava Sherrer, 63), 15-Kimmi Ascanio (8-Kennedy Fuller, 63), 10-Melanie Barcenas (Capt.) (2-Chloe Ricketts; 71); 11-Alex Pfeiffer (22-Maddie Padelski, 71), 23-Carrie Helfrich (9-Mya Townes, 46, 7-Ayva Jordan, 71), 18-Leena Powell (20-Avery Order, 46)
Subs not used: 1-Molly Vapensky, 6-Ainsley McCammon, 14-Jocelyn Travers, 16-Riley Cross
Head Coach: Katie Schoepfer
JPN: 1-Airi Nagai (21-Asuka Sekiguchi, 46); 2-Chihiro Sugawara, 4-Kotomi Iwaki, 5-Misato Asahida, 17-Yuka Makiguchi (12-Haruko Suzuki, 46); 10-Asako Furuta (20-Hibari Hara, 72), 15-Iori Watanabe (7-Manaka Sakaki, 46), 8-Miharu Shinjo, 22-Suzuha Deshimaru (23-Hina Hirakawa, 72), 16-Noa Fukushima (19-Amiru Tsuji, 72); 9-Momo Saruang Ueki Sato
Subs not used: 3-Mitsuki Ota, 6-Tamami Aso, 13-Yuna Aoki, 18-Mao Fukuda
Head Coach: Shirai Sadayoshi
Stats Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 7 / 9
Shots on Goal: 3 / 4
Saves: 1 / 0
Corner Kicks: 1 / 1
Fouls: 7 / 6
Offside: 2 / 1