Riley Assists In Kiwi Draw; U.S. Falls To Norway 2-0 In Olympic Soccer Action
Aug. 6, 2008
QINHUANGDAO, China - The 2008 Olympic Games got underway early Wednesday morning on the West Coast, as three current and former Stanford women's soccer standouts were in uniform as the women's soccer tournament kicked off at the Qinhuangdao Olympic Sports Center. On the first day of group play, New Zealand, with current Stanford junior Ali Riley in the lineup and providing a key assist that got the Kiwi offense rolling, surprised by playing Japan to a 2-2 draw. The United States, meanwhile, featuring Nicole Barnhart `05 and Rachel Buehler `07, fell to Norway, 2-0, as the Norwegians jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the match's opening five minutes, and made it hold the rest of the way.
Riley started and played the full 90 minutes in New Zealand's gutsy effort in the draw against Japan, assisting on the Football Ferns' opening goal of the contest in the 37th minute.
The sequence started with Riley taking a pass from teammate Amber Hearne along the right flank of the attacking zone, and advancing ahead looking to turn the corner. At the right edge of the penalty area, Riley got around her defender and sent a low cross through the box that skipped past a pair of Japanese defenders and to the right foot of fellow Kiwi Kirsty Yallop at the far post. Yallop finished the sequence with a one-timer from five yards out to give New Zealand the 1-0 lead.
New Zealand will now face Norway at 4:45 a.m. PT Friday morning in Qinhuangdao.
Barnhart and Buehler did not see action Wednesday against Norway, as the U.S. now prepares for its next Group G match, against Japan, set for 2 a.m. PT Friday.