LePeilbet Plays Vital Role In U.S. U-21 National Team Nordic Cup Victory

July 30, 2003

RANDERS, Denmark - The U.S. Under-21 Women's National Soccer Team won its fifth consecutive Nordic Cup championship, and sixth in the last seven years, with a 2-1 victory over Sweden in the title game of the world's top competition for U-21 women. U.S. head coach Chris Petrucelli won his first Nordic Cup and becomes the fourth U.S. coach to win the tournament. 'The players in the back - Cat Reddick, Amy LePeilbet (Arizona State) and Nandi Pryce - were great during the whole tournament,' said Petrucelli. 'It was difficult to score against us, and ultimately that's why we won.'

In additon to being a vital park of the National Team defense, LePeilbet also contributed an assist in the team's 3-0 shutout over Iceland. The first goal came in the 32nd minute as Lindsay Tarpley scored on a 10-yard header off a long, looping cross from LePeilbet. The U.S. put the game away for good 11 minutes later as 18-year-old Sheree Gray (Toms River, N.J.) ran onto a pass from LePeilbet down the right flank, took a few dribbles and crossed on the ground to the far post for Lohman to finish from six yards out.

The USA opened the scoring against Sweden in the 14th minute as 18-year-old Sheree Gray (Toms River, N.J.) crossed from the right side to Lindsey Huie, whose shot was knocked down by the Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl. Joanna Lohman pounced on the rebound to finish from five yards out. Sweden came back quickly and right after the kickoff earned a corner kick, on which they scored to tie the game.

'It wasn't a pretty game,' said Petrucelli, whose team was playing its fourth match in seven days. 'It was two tired teams sort of slugging it out. It was a physical battle, but we did what we had to do to win.'

'We had a let down right after the goal,' said Petrucelli. 'But after they scored, I felt we started to take the game over. Up until then it was more of a 50/50 game.'

In the 55th minute of action, Lohman rose above the Swedish defense to head in a perfectly struck free kick from Cat Reddick for the winning goal, sending the ball into the upper right corner from 12 yards out.

U.S. goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris (Satellite Beach, Fla.), just 17 years of age and a veteran of the USA's U-19 World Championship team, picked up the win and made several quality plays, including a big punch off a corner kick in the first half and a sweeping save with her legs at the top of the penalty area in the second half to deny a breakaway attempt.

It was the second time the USA has defeated Sweden in a Nordic Cup championship game. The USA defeated Norway for the title in 1997 and 1999, downed Germany in 2000 and 2002, and beat Sweden in 2001. Even more impressive is that the Americans won this year's tournament without several key players who were out due to injuries, including four members of the 2002 U-19 World Championship team in forwards Heather O'Reilly, Kelly Wilson and Arizona State's Manya Makoski and midfielder Jill Oakes.

U.S. UNDER-21 WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT

Match-up: USA vs. Sweden

Competition: 2003 Under-21 Nordic Cup - Championship Game

Venue: Randers Stadium - Randers, Denmark

Date: July 27, 2003; Kickoff - 5:00 p.m. local / 11:00 a.m. ET

Attendance: 200

Weather: Sunny, clear - 75 degrees

Lineups:USA: 1-Ashlyn Harris; 6-Nandi Pryce, 4-Cat Reddick, 15-Amy LePeilbet; 19-Lindsey Huie (5-Ally Marquand, 78), 18-Joanna Lohman (Capt.), 10-Leslie Osborne, 11-Lori Chalupny; 14-Sheree Gray (14-Carli Lloyd, 80), 8-Kelly McDonald (13-Ali Andrezjewski, 80), 9-Lindsay Tarpley (7-Bristyn Davis, 83).Subs not used: 18-Nicole Barnhart, 2-Kim Yokers, 3-Natalie Spilger, 14-Carli Lloyd.Head coach: Chris Petrucelli.

SWE: 1-Hedvig Lindahl; 3-Josefin Christensen, 4-Sofia Eriksson, 5-Fida Hoglund, 7-Sara Thunebro; 8-Lisa Ek (16-Emma Lindqvist, 67), 10-Marie Hammarstrom (6-Stina Segerstrom, 46), 11-Frida Nordin, 13-Malin Nykvist; 15-Sara Johansson, 18-Josefine Oqvist.Subs not used: 2-Sandra Berggren, 9-Madeleine Goras, 12-Maja Astrom, 14-Caroline Nafver, 17-Maria Westerblad.Head coach: Helena Kihlberg-Bystedt

Statistical Summary:

USA/SWE

Shots: 11 /6

Saves: 6/8

Corner Kicks: 7/3

Fouls: 5/14

Offside: 0/5

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