South Jersey Soccer:
Friday, June 23, 2000
By Boog Williams
The U.S. Women's soccer team came out in a new formation and scored 11 goals against Trinidad & Tobago. It was the first round of the inaugural year of the CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup. The game was played in front of a crowd of 10,483 soccer fans at the Hersheypark Stadium in the Chocolate Capital of the World, Hershey, PA.
The U.S. Women's team changed from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3 formation. This let the outside defenders overlap throughout the game and helped the U.S. win 11-0 against Trinidad & Tobago. New Jersey's Christie Pearce, #3 whose hometown is Point Pleasant, NJ and is a graduate of Monmouth University, played right defender and got the U.S. team scoring. She earned an assist on the first goal of the game in the fourth minute. Pearce overlapped with U.S. right winger Mia Hamm #9 and crossed the ball from the right corner to the top of the six where Cindy Parlow, #12, scored.
Pearce also assisted on the third U.S. goal of the game in the 23 minute mark. Again, Pearce made a nice overlap and made a beautiful cross from the right flank to the far post for Lorrie Fair, #2, to head the ball into the left corner of the net. This was Fair's second goal in a minute. Her first came in the 22 minute mark, also a header, on a lobbed pass from Tiffeny Milbrett, #16. A couple of minutes later, Hamm was called offside and her goal was disallowed.
In the 34 minute mark, the U.S. scored their fourth and final goal of the half when Mia Hamm and Trinidad & Tobago's keeper Nicole Mitchell had a collision going for the ball. With Hamm and Mitchell on the ground, Milberett scored with a volley to the back of the net. After the play, Mitchell stayed down, but finished the game with an injured left knee. The game could have been 10-0 at the end of the half if not for the play of the Trinidad & Tobago keeper Mitchell. She made some super saves to keep the game at 4-0. If this were an ice hockey game, they would not have to resurface the U.S. end. The U.S. defense only gave up two shots at the goal and didn't give any up in the second half. Trinidad & Tobago tried to play kick and run with some speed up front, but the U.S. defense matched that speed and never let the girls turn with the ball.
Just before the beginning of the second half, the U.S. Soccer Association awarded Shannon MacMillan, #8, for playing in the her hundredth cap game earlier this year.
Three minutes into the second half, Hamm scored her first of two on a rebound off of a Parlow shot. This gave the U.S. a 5-0 lead. Three minutes later Parlow scored her second of three on a corner. On the next restart corner Parlow just missed getting the hat trick, but it would come later. Trinidad & Tobago keeper Mitchell came up with a great save on Hamm in the 60 minute mark. As the ball was bouncing to the left corner of the 18 yard box, Hamm brought the ball back to her right and from the top of the box hit a shot to the top far post, but was stopped by Mitchell. In the 62 minute mark, Hamm made a nice play to set up MacMillan. Hamm, again, brought the ball from the left and dribbled across the 18. She could have taken a shot, but passed to MacMillan who brought the ball back across the six and scored into an open net. This made it 7-0.
In the 68 minute mark, Hamm scored her second of the game with a back right heel kick. The play started with defender Kate Sobrero, #20, striking a long pass to MacMillan on the right. MacMillan crossed the ball, but it was a little behind Parlow who redirected with her right back heel to Hamm. Hamm redirected with the right heel into the back of the net. In between goals, Trinidad & Tobago keeper Mitchell came up with three great saves to keep the score 8-0. In the 77 minute mark, Parlow scored her hat trick on a header. The play started on a long cross for 35 yards out to the left. Brandi Chastain, #6, hit the cross to the right corner of the six. Parlow headed the ball into the net as she collided with keeper Mitchell. In the 80 minute mark, Sara Whalen, #7, scored her first of two on a great through pass from MacMillan. Whalen went in on a breakaway and scored by putting the ball under the outstretched arms of the keeper. As time was running out, Whalen scored on a blast to the near post. This ended the game with the score U.S. 11 - Trinidad & Tobago 0.
The U.S. team had 33 shots on goal while Trinidad & Tobago only had 2, both of which came in the first half. The U.S. had a 10 - 0 advantage in corner kicks.
As a fan, and coach, it was great to see players overlapping, changing position, and switching the field. After the tenth goal, late at night, we asked my daughters (ages 8 and 5) if they were ready to leave. They insisted that they wanted to stay until the end of the game. My oldest daughter said that it was worth traveling three plus hours to see how well they played as a team and passed the ball. Like the quote on the commercials: it was priceless to see the look on their faces as they watched the game.
Stars of the game: Trinidad & Tobago keeper Mitchell, U.S. forward Parlow, midfielder Fairs, defender Pearce, and forward Hamm.
For more information on the U.S. soccer teams (Women's and Men's) go to www.us-soccer.com
If you would like to read a bio of Christie Pearce go to:
For more information on the Women's Gold Cup, go to www.womensgoldcup.com
Photos by Boog Williams
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