Hope Solo Helps U.S. Under-21 Nationals to Nordic Cup Title

July 31, 2001

Gjovik, Norway - The U.S. Under-21 Women'sNational Team put together a masterful performance in the championship gameof the Nordic Cup, scoring three goals in the first 16 minutes in a 6-1destruction of Sweden to win its third consecutive title at the most elitecompetition in the world for U-21 women.

Forward Anne Morrell (Plymouth, Mich./Michigan Hawks), making her firststart of the tournament, scored three goals, all off far post headers, whilemidfielder Aleisha Cramer (Lakewood, Colo./BYU) registered two goals and twoassists. The USA's deluge of goals came despite playing without its top twoforwards in Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y./Florida), who was suspended forreceiving two yellow cards, and Katie Barnes (Cincinnati, Ohio/WVU), whocould not play with a badly bruise foot.

Morrell, and forwards Danielle Borgman (Cincinnati, Ohio/UNC) and LauraSchott (Wilsonville, Ore./UC Berkeley), who notched two assists, stepped upbig for the Americans in the most lopsided Nordic Cup championship game inhistory. It was also the greatest margin of victory in the 16 matches of thisyear's tournament.

'We showed today the importance of having 18 outstanding players in atournament like this,' said U.S. head coach Jerry Smith, who won his firstNordic Cup title at the helm of the U-21s. 'We certainly saved our bestperformance for last. Today was a complete effort and as important as thegoals that we scored, we showed some great possession play and incorporatedall 11 players into our attack and defense.'

With Cramer at the heart of almost every U.S. movement, the Americansplayed 90 minutes of wonderful, rhythmical attacking soccer that had theSwedes chasing the ball all over the field. Outside backs Jena Kluegel(Mahtomedi, Minn./UNC) and Ally Marquand (Irvine, Calif./Stanford) were onceagain a big part of the U.S. attack as lightning quick passes through themidfield freed them to run at Sweden on the flanks all match.

The Americans scored early goals in three out of the four Nordic Cupmatches and tallied just five minutes into the championship game. Cramerdarted to the sidelines to receive a throw-in from Marquand on the rightflank. She then beat her defender down the line with a nifty stutter-stepand rode the tackle until she broke free in the penalty area. Cramer floateda perfect cross to the far post and over the head of Swedish goalkeeper SofiaLundgren to Morrell, who nodded the ball into the net from close range.

Just three minutes later, the Americans worked the ball down the fieldwith some beautiful possession play and the ball ended up on the foot of JillOakes (West Hills, Calif./Santa Anita Strikers) about 25 yards out on theright side. She sent a delicate chip into the penalty area to Schott, whochest the ball down and took a touch past her defender before being choppeddown. Norwegian referee Tonje Nordby immediately point to the penalty spotand Cramer stepped up to tuck her shot into the left corner past thewrong-footed Lundgren.

'In absence of Wambach and Barnes, two of our regular starters, AnneMorrell, Laura Schott and converted defender Danielle Borgman gave usterrific performances in their starts up front,' added Smith. 'Lori Chalupnyand Jill Oakes played well beyond their years and put in great performancesthroughout the entire tournament. They both played exceptionally well in thefinal and their experience here will benefit them greatly as they help ourUnder-19s attempt to win world championship next year in Canada.'

Smith gave Oakes her first start in midfield and the 17-year-old rewardedhim with outstanding play on both sides of the ball. It was Oakes' goalagainst Germany in the final group game that gave the USA a tie and berth inthe final. Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo./JB Marine) came off the bench in the62nd minute and scored the final goal.

Sweden did pull a goal back in the 15th minute as Salina Olsson bustedthrough several soft tackles and curled her shot around U.S. goalkeeper HopeSolo (Richland, Wash./Washington). It would be the last highlight for Swedenas the U.S. answered back one minute later. Schott received a pass at thetop of the penalty area with her back to the goal and played a pass back toCramer, who took a touch to her left and cracked a 25-yard shot that struckthe head of a Swedish defender and flew into the upper left corner past thestunned Lundgren.

Morrell scored her second goal just seconds before halftime, courtesy ofSchott, who got the ball on the right flank and powered her way past adefender to the end line. Schott turned the corner and dribbled straighttoward the goal before chipping a perfect pass to Morrell, who snapped herheader into the lower left corner and the Americans went into halftime with a4-1 lead.

The win was especially sweet for both Cramer and Morrell, whose youthclub teams won national championships last Sunday without them, as theMorrell's Michigan Hawks took the U-18 title and Cramer's Colorado Rush wonthe U-19 championship.

Sweden made four changes at halftime, perhaps in concession or perhaps inan attempt to get back into the match, but the American domination continued. Morrell got her third goal in the 66th minute as Cramer beat a defender deepon the right flank and sent a long cross to the far post where Morrell headedthe ball home from almost right on the goal line.

'I didn't get to play much in the first three games, so when I got thechance today, I really wanted to help the team win,' said Morrell. 'Aleishaand Laura gave me great crosses and all I had to do was get my headers onframe. It was a total team performance.'

The USA added a sixth goal in 89th minute as Marquand sent a long passdown the right flank to the streaking Chalupny, who with three Swedishdefenders in tow, sprinted in on goal and bent her shot into the left cornerwith the outside of her right foot from five yards out. It was the secondgoal of the tournament for Chalupny.

'It was awesome to get a chance to play in this tournament with theU-21s,' said Chalupny. 'Our midfielders are great players and I learned alot in the last two weeks.'

The draw with Germany that put the USA in the final thwarted Germany'squest for a rare 'quadruple' as they had already won European championshipsat the Under-17, Under-18 and full women's national team levels.

Germany could not regroup after being relegated to the third place matchand were upset by Finland, 3-2. Canada crushed Iceland, 6-2, to take fifthplace and Denmark defeated Norway in penalty kicks after a 2-2 tie to takeseventh place.

'My two biggest responsibilities as the Under-21 coach are to prepare ourplayers to play someday for the full national team and to win the NordicCup,' added Smith. 'The players became better through this experience andhave a better understanding of what it takes to win in major competitions atthe international level while abroad.'

Participants: United States vs. Sweden
Competition: 2001 Nordic Cup Championships - Match for 1st Place
Venue: Gjovik Stadium - Gjovik, Norway
Date: July 31, 2001 - 7:00 p.m. local (1:00 p.m. ET)
Attendance: 100
Weather: Chilly, light showers - 62 degrees

Scoring Summary:    1st 2nd Final
USA 4 2 6
SWE 1 0 1

USA - Anne Morrell (Aleisha Cramer) 5th minute.
USA - Aleisha Cramer (Penalty Kick) 8.
SWE - Salina Olsson (Unassisted) 15.
USA - Aleisha Cramer (Laura Schott) 16.
USA - Anne Morrell (Laura Schott) 44.
USA - Anne Morrell (Aleisha Cramer) 66.
USA - Lori Chalupny (Ally Marquand) 89.

USA - 18-Hope Solo (1-Emily Oleksiuk, 70th), 5-Ally Marquand, 4-CatherineReddick - Capt., 3-Anna Kraus (6-Casey Zimny, 72nd), 2-Jena Kluegel,17-Aleisha Cramer, 23-Devvyn Hawkins (9-Erin Misaki, 56th), 11-Jill Oakes,15-Danielle Borgman (14-Lori Lindsey, 72nd), 20-Anne Morrell, 10-Laura Schott(7-Lori Chalupny, 62nd).

SWE - 1-Sofia Lundgren, 2-Josephine Ovesson, 3-Karolina Rinman, 4-JosefinChirstensen, 5-Nadja Gyllander (14-Therese Brogarde, 46th), 6-LottaRunessson, 7-Therese Jonsson (9-Frida Nordin, 46th), 8-Marlene Sjoberg(16-Katarina Soderberg, 46th), 11-Salina Olsson, 15-Carolin Hagberg, 17-EmmaLindquist (10-Marit Bjorstedt, 46th).

Statistical Summary:         USA    SWE
Shots........................ 22 8
Shots on goal................ 15 4
Saves......................... 3 9
Corner Kicks.................. 2 1
Fouls......................... 4 12
Offside....................... 3 1

Misconduct Summary: None.

Referee: Tonje Nordby (Norway)
Asst. Referees: Frank Andas (Norway), Jan Randen (Norway)


Group A

Team W L T Pts GF GA
USA 2 0 1 7 8 1
Germany 2 0 1 7 7 2
Iceland 1 2 0 3 4 6
Denmark 0 3 0 0 0 10

July 25
USA 3, Iceland 0
Germany 3, Denmark 0

July 27
Germany 3, Iceland 1
USA 4, Denmark 0

July 29
USA 1, Germany 1
Iceland 3, Denmark 0

Group B

Team W L T Pts GF GA
Sweden 1 1 1 4 6 5
Finland 1 1 1 4 3 3
Canada 1 1 1 4 4 5
Norway 0 0 3 3 3 3

July 25
Finland 2, Sweden 1
Norway 1, Canada 1

July 27
Sweden 3, Canada 1
Finland 0, Norway 0

July 29
Canada 2, Finland 1
Sweden 2, Norway 2

Placement Games
July 31 Teams
1st Place USA 6, Sweden 1
3rd Place Finland 3, Germany 2
5th Place Canada 6, Iceland 2
7th Place Denmark 2, Norway 2 (Denmark wins in 3-1 in PKs)

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