LA MANGA, Spain (March 3, 2017) – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team opened its new cycle with a bang, defeating the Norway U-19 WNT by an 8-2 score as Abigail Kim and Sophie Smith scored two goals each.
It was the fourth most goals scored by the U.S. Under-20 WNT since the team moved from Under-19 to U-20s in 2007, with two of the other matches coming in CONCACAF qualifying and one against Papua New Guinea last year during a Women’s World Cup test run in the island nation.
The USA will also face the Under-19 sides from Germany (March 5) and France (March 7) in La Manga, but will be playing teams with players from the same birth years. The 24-player U.S. roster is made up of 14 players born in 1998 (which is the age cut-off year for the next Women’s World Cup), nine players born in 1999 and one in 2000.
It was the first international match of the year for the U.S. U-20s and it was a wild one. Norway scored first in the 18th minute, but the USA roared back with two goals from Kim in a nine-minute span between the 24th and 33rd minutes to take the lead before the Scandinavians tied the game at 2-2 three minutes later.
The USA scored to make it 3-2 just before halftime, and with a heavy wind behind them in the second half, scored five unanswered goals on the way to the big win.
Norway had no idea of the goal barrage that was to come when they opened the scoring on a free kick from 25 yards out. Frida Leonardsen Maanum took the shot on goal with pace. U.S. goalkeeper Brooke Heinsohn saved it with a dive to her right, but couldn’t hold it and Sarah Lilleberg Suphellen finished the rebound.
The USA tied the game six minutes later as Arlie Jones won the ball near the midfield line and after a fantastic spin-move to free herself, played Kim behind the defense on the right side. Kim outran her defender into the penalty box, taking herself to a very steep angle, but still managed to fire her shot off the right hand of the goalkeeper Benedicte Haland and into the side-netting at the lower right corner.
In the 33rd minute, Kim stole an errant square pass in Norway’s defensive half and with a burst of speed, pushed the ball into between two defenders to earn a breakaway before plowing her shot high into the left side of the net from 12 yards out.
Norway then tied the game three minutes later off a corner kick. The ball bounced around the penalty box and the USA was unable to clear in the high winds before Karoline Heimvik Haugland struck a hard shot into the lower right corner from seven yards away.
On the last play of the first half, Kim played provider, working her way around the defense on the right side before playing a pass on the ground to Jordan Harr who was positioned at the top of the box on the left side. Harr took a touch to make space and then finished with her left foot into the lower right corner from 18 yards out.
As the sun went down in La Manga, it took the USA 15 minutes into the second half to get the next goal, but then the floodgates opened. The young Americans made it 4-2 off a corner kick from the left side taken by Samantha Coffey. Team captain Samantha Hiatt didn’t need to jump as she placed an uncontested header into the lower left corner from eight yards away.
It was 5-2 in the 68th minute when two halftime substitutes combined for the goal. Civana Kuhlmann burst down the left side and then dribbled the ball centrally across the top of the box before slipping a pass to Sophia Smith who was running in front of her defender into the penalty area. Smith took a touch and then finished with a sliding left-footed shot from just in front of the six-yard box.
In the 77th minute, Viviana Villacorta did well to spin around a defender in the midfield before playing Smith behind the defense on a breakaway. Smith dribbled away from the final defender and placed the ball into the lower left corner of the goal from 12 yards out.
It was Smith’s seventh goal in her last four international matches, three of them with the U-18 U.S. WNT at the end of February in England plus the one game for the U.S. U-20 WNT in Spain.
Norway then changed its goalkeeper, but Hildegunn Saevik would give up two more goals.
Four minutes from the end of regulation, Villacorta played the ball to Kuhlmann into the right side of the penalty area. Kuhlmann ran the ball down near the end line before beating a defender to the inside and blasted a left-footed shot into the left side-netting to make it 7-2.
The USA scored its eighth goal three minutes into stoppage time as 58th minute sub Kelsey Turnbow got in on goal but was fouled by a Norwegian defender. She converted the penalty herself on the last kick of the game.
- U-20 U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Under-20 WNT vs. Under-19 Norway WNT
Date: March 3, 2017
Competition: 2017 La Manga Tournament
Venue: Stadium Field A; La Manga, Spain
Weather: 50 degrees; cloudy & extremely windy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 3 5 8
NOR 2 0 2
NOR – Sarah Lilleberg Suphellen (Frida Leonardsen Maanum) 17th minute
USA – Abigail Kim (Arlie Jones) 24
USA – Abigail Kim 33
NOR – Karoline Heimvik Haugland 36
USA – Jordan Harr (Abigail Kim) 45
USA – Samantha Hiatt (Samantha Coffey) 60
USA – Sophia Smith (Civana Kuhlmann) 68
USA – Sophia Smith (Viviana Villacorta) 77
USA – Civana Kuhlmann (Viviana Villacorta) 86
USA – Kelsey Turnbow 93
USA: 1-Brooke Heinsohn, 3-Zoe Morse (6-Samantha Coffey, 58), 7-Isabel Rodriguez, 8-Samantha Hiatt (capt.), 9-Belle Briede (14-Civana Kuhlmann, 46), 11-Abigail Kim (2-Sophia Smith, 46), 15-Karina Rodriguez, 16-Emily Fox (17-Tara McKeown, 70), 19-Viviana Villacorta, 23-Jordan Harr (4-Kelsey Turnbow, 58), 25-Arlie Jones (18-Jaelin Howell, 46)
Subs not used: 5-Sydney Dawson, 10-Natalie Winters, 13-Cecilia Gee, 20-Taylor Kornick, 21-Karlie Paschall, 24-Frankie Tagliaferri
Head Coach: April Heinrichs
NOR: 1-Benedicte Haland (23-Hildegunn Saevik, 77), 3-Sarah Lilleberg Suphellen, 4-Anja Rasmussen (2-Svanhild Sand, 73), 6-Elise Isolde Stenevik, 7-Karoline Heimvik Haugland (9-Andrea Wilmann, 73), 8-Ingrid Syrstad Engen (capt.), 10-Ingrid Byroygard Kvernvolden, 11-Siw Dovle, 13-Joanna Aalstad Baekkelund, 14-Frida Leonardsen Maanum, 17-Andrea Norheim (15-Sophie Roman Haug, 63)
Subs not used: 5-Camilla Huseby, 12-Frida Bergman Thomas, 16-Noor Hoelsbrekken Eckhoff, 18-Malin Johnsen Brenn
Head Coach: Nils Lexerod
Statistical Summary: USA / NOR
Shots: 14 / 6
Shots on Goal: 11 / 5
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 5 / 9
Offside: 1 / 4
USA – Tara McKeown (caution) 79th minute
NOR – Ingrid Byroygard Kvernvolden (caution) 90
Referee: Lorraine Clark (SCO)
Asst. Referee 1: Molly Alexander (SCO)
Asst. Referee 2: Josefin Aronsson (SWE)