Hope Solo Posts Shutout for U.S. National Team

June 26, 2005

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Former University of Washington goalkeeper Hope Solo needed only one save Sunday to register her fourth consective shutout with the U.S. Women's National Team which defeated Canada 2-0 in an exhibition soccer game at the Virginia Beach SportsPlex.

The U.S. women earned their first win on home soil in 2005, competing on a wet, slippery afternoon. Lori Chalupny and Christie Welsh scored for the USA in the first half as Greg Ryan came out victorious in his first match as the team's new head coach.

'We played most of the first half as well as we could have being a young team,' said Ryan. 'There were some great combination play and some great penetration getting in behind to create chances in a variety of ways. We really encouraged the players to take risks, to take chances and have fun and I thought it really showed today.'

While the field played well, a steady rain fell throughout the game, making for some sloppy conditions that seemed to affect Canada more than the Americans.

After some early Canada pressure, which forced Solo into one confrontation where she had to throw her body into a mix of players to punch the ball clear of the penalty area, the USA took over the game. As the intensity of the rain picked up all throughout the first half, so did the U.S. pressure, and the Americans fired nine shots to just one for Canada before the break.

A veteran of the the international circuit, Solo earned her 16th cap for the U.S. Nationals.

The product of Richland (Wash.) High School finished at UW in 2002 as the Huskies' all-time leader in every goalkeeping category. Solo started 68 games, amassing 325 saves, 18 shutouts and a 1.02 goals against average. In each of her final two seasons (2001, 2002), she was one of 15 nominees for the Hermann Trophy that honors the national player of the year.

A four-time all-conference honoree, Solo received the 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year award. She surrendered only 12 goals in 17 games in 2001 en route to a school single-season record 0.68 goals against average. In 2000, Solo led Washington's to its only Pac-10 women's soccer championship.

The U.S. team put together some good possession sequences in the first half, one of which led to the first goal in the 12th minute after the U.S. earned a corner kick on the right side. Aly Wagner lofted the ball inside the six-yard box and it was cleared by a Canadian head, bouncing out to Chalupny at the top of the penalty area. The USA's left back had just enough time to take a settling touch before skidding a left-footed half volley into the lower right corner past the sprawling Canadian goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc from 19 yards out. It was Chalupny's second career goal and first scored from the back line.

Christie Welsh almost added to the lead in the 22nd minute as Heather O'Reilly cross from right side went bent in dangerously. Welsh got a head on the ball from close range, but fired it just over the crossbar.

Welsh did not, and could not, miss her second chance, which came just 10 minutes from the end of the first half as the USA scored on quick counter-attack. O'Reilly, who played a fine match on the three-woman front line, ate up some space on the dribble in midfield before slipping a pass into the path of Wagner, who quickly played a short pass to Wambach behind the Canadian back line. Wambach's shot from a sharp angle on the right side skimmed off the hands of LeBlanc and rolled right up to the goal line for hard-running Welsh to tap in from close range as she, and the ball, bundled into the net. It was Welsh's 19th international goal.

The USA would have been up 3-0 at the half after Wagner was brought down in the penalty box after a nifty dribble in the 41st minute, but Wambach missed the penalty kick, clanking her well-struck shot off the right post.

Canada picked up the pressure a bit more in the second half after Christine Latham and Charmaine Hooper were inserted into the game, but none of their five shots after the break troubled Solo, who now has a 369-minute scoreless streak going.

The USA changed from a 4-3-3 formation to a 4-4-2 after Danielle Fotopoulos and Angela Hucles came on in the 61st minute and settled the match a bit before playing out the last 30 minutes.

In the 77th minute, Cat Reddick almost made it two goals for defenders on the day as the ball popped to her just inside the penalty area. She turned to shoot, but her effort skidded just wide of left post. Fotopoulos come close late in the game, bending her shot just inches outside the right post from 16 yards away.

The match also marked the return of forward Tiffeny Milbrett to the National Team as she came on in the 63rd minute to earn her historic 200th cap. Milbrett now joins just four other players, all Americans - Kristine Lilly, Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Joy Fawcett - in a select group that has played 200 times for their country.

On the other end of the spectrum, 29-year-old Marci Miller, the newly hired head women's soccer coach at Northern Illinois, earned her first-ever cap when she came on for Shannon Boxx in the closing minute.

Amy LePeilbet earned her 8th cap for the USA, going the distance at right back while Hucles, a Virginia Beach native, played the final 29 minutes in front of her hometown crowd.The U.S. team will come together again on July 3 in Portland, Oregon, for a week of training prior to the July 10 match against Ukraine at Merlo Field on the campus of the University of Portland. The game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. PT and be broadcast live on ESPN2.

The U.S. women will finish their three-game summer schedule on July 26, taking on Iceland at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Kickoff for that match is 2 p.m. PT. It will also be broadcast live on ESPN2. Tickets for both matches are on sale at all local area Ticketmaster outlets and at www.ussoccer.com .

At the beginning of the match, U.S. captain Kristine Lilly and Canadian captain Christine Sinclair read statements as part of FIFA's 'Say No to Racism' campaign, the same campaign featured in U-20 WYC games and Confederations Cup games this weekend.


U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT

Match-up: USA vs. Canada
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Virginia Beach SportsPlex; Virginia Beach, Va.
Date: June 26, 2005; Kickoff - 3 p.m. ET
Attendance: 3,215
Weather: Wet, rainy - 74 degrees

Scoring:
1. USA - Lori Chalupny (Unassisted), 12th minute.
2. USA - Christie Welsh (Abby Wambach), 35th minute.

Lineups:
USA:
18-Hope Solo; 14-Amy LePeilbet, 4-Cat Reddick, 15-Kate Markgraf, 6-Lori Chalupny; 7-Shannon Boxx (8-Marci Miller, 91+), 10-Aly Wagner (3-Lorrie Fair, 91+), 13-Kristine Lilly-Capt.; 19-Christie Welsh (16-Tiffeny Milbrett, 63), 9-Heather O'Reilly (11-Angela Hucles, 61), 20-Abby Wambach (22-Danielle Fotopoulos, 61)
Subs not used: 2-Heather Mitts, 24-Kristin Luckenbill.
Head Coach: Greg Ryan

CAN: 1-Karina LeBlanc; 3-Sophie Schmidt, 9-Candace Chapman, 11-Randee Hermus, 15-Kara Lang; 8-Diana Matheson (6-Melissa Tancredi, 81), 13-Amy Walsh, 14-Amanda Cicchini (7-Isabelle Morneau, 64), 17-Brittany Timko (2-Christine Latham, 46); 16-Katie Thorlakson (10-Charmaine Hooper, 68), 12-Christine Sinclair.
Subs not used: 4-Sasha Andrews, 5-Andrea Neil, 20-Taryn Swiatek.
Head Coach: Even Pellerud

Statistical Summary:
USA / CAN
Shots: 16 / 6
Shots on Goal: 7 / 1
Saves: 1 / 4
Corner Kicks: 7 / 2
Fouls: 8 / 11
Offside: 5 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
CAN - Randee Hermus (caution), 46th minute

(text courtesy of U.S. Soccer Communications Center)

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