Hope Solo Posts 23rd career shutout for U.S. Nationals

April 15, 2007

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Former University of Washington standout Hope Solo displayed Saturday why she is one of the finest goalkeepers in the history of the United States' women's national soccer team.

Solo registered four saves in a 5-0 victory over Mexico at Gillette Stadium. She registered her 23rd shutout, the second-highest total ever for a U.S. goalkeeper behind only Briana Scurry.

Solo also ranks second among National Team goalkeepers with 28 career wins. She has earned 43 caps for international appearances with the USA squad. With three more games, she will move past Siri Mullinix and become the second most-capped goalkker in U.S. history.

Former Huskies Solo and Tina Frimpong are two of 32 players currently working out in the U.S. Soccer National Training Center at The Home Depot Center. Players are vying for berths on the U.S. roster for the Women's World Cup, scheduled for Sept. 10-30 in China.

Solo (Richland HS/Richland, Wash.) was the USA's top goalkeeper in 2005 and 2006. Solo did not surrender a goal during seven international games in 2005, covering a span of 630 minutes.

She 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.

Mexico had some decent possession at times Saturday, but most of their shots were from distance and did not trouble Solo. Mexico's lone dangerous chance came from Monica Ocampo in the first half as she forced Solo into a dive to her left to palm away a shot that skipped off the turf.

With the United States leading Mexico 2-0 at halftime, Abby Wambach told Kristine Lilly 'Let's get you a goal.'

The U.S. captain complied -- twice.

Lilly, in front of a hometown crowd at Gillette Stadium, scored two second-half goals in the first of eight tuneup matches before the World Cup in China in September.

Lilly, who grew up in nearby Connecticut, lofted a left-footed shot from about 30 yards over the head of goalie Sophia Perez in the 50th minute. For good measure, she used her right foot to send in a cross from Abby Wambach 20 minutes later.

'Kristine is quiet but deadly,' Wambach said of Lilly's style.

The 35-year-old Lilly said it was 'nice to sneak a couple in. She said she knew her first goal would find the net as soon as she touched it.

'I hit it great. It's one of those times when you hit it -- you're like OK, it's in, you don't even have to look. It was a good feeling,' she said.

The Americans, ranked No. 1 in the world, are playing a domestic schedule through the summer in preparation for the 16-team World Cup. They play Canada on May 12 in Frisco, Texas. Their opponents in June are China and Brazil. The World Cup starts Sept. 10.

World Cup teams will learn who their first-round opponent is on April 22.

'Most of our evaluation is over,' U.S. coach Greg Ryan said. 'Now what we're doing is putting our top players together, getting them in a rhythm with each other, getting them to know each other so well that they can play without even looking at each other.'

Wambach opened the scoring in the 10th minute, taking a feed from fellow striker Lindsay Tarpley and putting a right-footed shot past Perez. Tarpley made it 2-0 in the 33rd minute when she put home a rebound of her own shot.

'I thought Abby and Lilly and Tarpley up front played some of the best soccer off of one another that I've seen from us for awhile, in terms of understanding where each player was,' Ryan said.

After Wambach's goal, the Mexicans fought back to produce two scoring chances. In the 17th minute, star striker Maribel Dominguez's shot from the top of the box was saved by Solo. Three minutes later, Solo dove to her left to push a Monica Ocampo shot wide.

Lauren Cheney, who replaced Lilly in the 82nd minute, finished off the scoring six minutes later. It was the 19-year-old's first international goal in her second appearance.

Lilly, who played for the Boston Breakers in the Women's United Soccer Association, has 121 international goals.

'She's always been one of my favorites,' said Mexico coach Leonardo Cuellar, adding that Lilly's contributions haven't always been recognized 'because she was in the shadow of Mia Hamm.'

After Lilly's first goal, 'we just ran out of gas,' Cuellar said. 'The first half we showed some ideas. We were in the game.'

Mexico has never beaten or even tied the United States in 19 games, and recently failed to qualify for the World Cup.

The U.S. team hasn't lost a match in regulation time in 39 games. A penalty kick loss to Germany in the 2006 Algarve Cup officially counted as a tie.

Saturday's friendly preceded the New England Revolution's home opener against Toronto FC. The Revolution won 4-0. The announced attendance for the games was 18,184.

USA vs. Mexico
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass.
Date: April 14, 2007; Kickoff - 5:00 p.m. ET
Attendance: 18,184
Weather: Cloudy, Cold - 52 degrees

USA - Abby Wambach (Lindsay Tarpley) 10th minute.
USA - Lindsay Tarpley (Unassisted) 33.
USA - Kristine Lilly (Unassisted) 50.
USA - Kristine Lilly (Abby Wambach) 70.
USA - Lauren Cheney (Heather O'Reilly) 88.

18-Hope Solo; 2-Heather Mitts, 4-Cat Whitehill, 3-Christie Rampone; 17-Lori Chalupny, 7-Shannon Boxx (12-Leslie Osborne, 46), 11-Carli Lloyd, 14-Stephanie Lopez; 5-Lindsay Tarpley (9-Heather O'Reilly, 68), 20-Abby Wambach (22-Marian Dalmy, 86) 13-Kristine Lilly - Capt. (25-Lauren Cheney, 82).
Subs not used: 1-Briana Scurry, 8-Tina Frimpong, 10-Aly Wagner.
Head Coach: Greg Ryan

MEX: 20-Sophia Perez; 2-Elizabeth Gomez, 3-Rubi Sandoval (5-Janelly Farias, 77), 4-Leticia Villapando, 15-Luz Saucedo; 6-Monica Vergara (18-Carmen Padilla. 52), 7-Evelyn Lopez, 8-Fatima Leyva (13-Lulu Gordillo, 52), 14-Arelli Martinez, 17-Monica Ocampo (11-Tania Morales, 82); 10-Guadalupe Worbis (16-Christine Nieva, 67), 9-Maribel Dominguez - Capt.
Subs not used: 1-Pamela Tajonar.
Head Coach: Leo Cuellar

Statistical Summary:
Shots: 36 / 7
Shots on Goal: 20 / 4
Saves: 4 / 15
Corner Kicks: 9 / 1
Fouls: 9 / 12
Offside: 2 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
USA - Shannon Boxx (caution) 11th minute.
MEX - Elizabeth Gomez (caution) 51.

Referee: Rachel Woo
AR 1: Kim Oberle
AR 2: Sharon Wheeler
4th Official: Niko Bratsis

Sierra Mist Woman of the Match: Kristine Lilly

The Associated Press News Service and US Soccer contributed to this report

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