LePeilbet Helps U-21 National Team Shutout Denmark, 1-0
July 21, 2003
RANDERS, Denmark - The U.S. Under-21 Women's National Team pounded away at Denmark in the opening match of the 2003 Nordic Cup, but could not break through until three minutes from the end, when forward Lindsay Tarpley scored off a rebound of Carli Lloyd's shot to give the USA a key 1-0 victory in their quest for a fifth straight Nordic Cup title. While the USA struggled to finish even with a 25-3 shot margin, the defense, led by Arizona State's Amy LePeilbet, Cat Reddick, and Nandi Pryce kept the Danes at bay in front of 17-year-old goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, who went the entire way, but was not tested.
Held in Northern Europe every summer, the Nordic Cup serves as the top competition in the world for U-21 women. The Americans have had remarkable success in the tournament, winning the tournament five times in the last six years, including the last four in a row.
Lloyd played an unlikely hero in the match. Added to the Nordic Cup roster right before the team departed for Europe due to an injury to forward Kelly Wilson, Lloyd entered the match in the 80th minute and immediately fired a shot from 18 yards out that Danish goalkeeper Heidi Johansen blocked. The ball hit the crashing Tarpley, but went just wide of the goal.
The play foreshadowed the winning goal that came in the 87th minute when Lloyd launched a 25-yard rocket that was also knocked down Johansen. Tarpley, once again framing the goal, hammered the rebound in from four yards out to give the USA a crucial opening game victory over the hosts.
'It was one of those games where the ball was just not going in,' said Tarpley, the captain of the USA's U-19 World championship team in 2002 when she scored the Golden Goal in the title game to give the Americans a 1-0 victory over Canada. 'We did a great job of persevering and not becoming frustrated, which helped us figure out a way to get that goal and win the game.'
The win was particularly sweet for the USA, who lost to Denmark, 1-0, in the opening game of last year's Nordic Cup and then had to scramble to make the title game.
Johansen, the goalkeeper for the full Danish National Team, who also played a spectacular game against the USA last year, made 14 saves to keep the game tight until the end.
'We put pressure on them the entire match,' said Tarpley, who anchored the USA's 3-4-3 formation up top with Kelly McDonald and 17-year-old Sheree Gray. 'With our three forwards, it was hard for them to break that pressure and get anything going offensively.'
'I thought we played really well,' said U.S. head coach Chris Petrucelli. 'I don't think we gave up a solid goal-scoring chance and we created a bunch of chances, but the credit goes to their goalkeeper who kept them in the game. The big thing that stands out is that Tarpley continues to score big goals for our youth teams.'
The USA will now face Iceland in its second Group A match on Wednesday, July 23 in Randers. The top teams in both groups advance to the championship game.
Lineups:USA: 1-Ashlyn Harris; 6-Nandi Pryce, 4-Cat Reddick, 15-Amy LePeilbet; 19-Lindsey Huie (13-Ali Andrezjewski, 63, 5-Ally Marquand, 88), 18-Joanna Lohman (Capt.), 10-Leslie Osborne, 11-Lori Chalupny; 14-Sheree Gray (14-Carli Lloyd, 80), 8-Kelly McDonald (7-Bristyn Davis, 46, 2-Kim Yokers, 88), 9-Lindsay Tarpley.Subs not used: 18-Nicole Barnhart, 3-Natalie Spilger.Head coach: Chris Petrucelli.
DEN: 1-Heidi Johansen; 2-Britt Nielsen, 4-Camilla Mogensen, 5-Malene Olsen, 7-Bettina Falk; 6-Michelle Sorensen (17-Maria Hansen, 54), 8-Marinann Knudsen, 9-Helle Nielsen (Capt), 10-Pernille Munch (18-Sisse Svedsen, 75); 11-Stine Jensen (12-Ditte Larsen, 70), 13-Marie Herping (14-Dorte Petersen, 75).Subs not used: 3-Helle Larsen, 15-Stinne Bodholdt, 16-Susanne Graversen.Head coach: Erling Thomsen
Shots: 25 /3
Corner Kicks: 9/0