July 17, 2010
Story courtesy of U.S. Soccer
DRESDEN, Germany (July 17, 2010) - The U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team defeated Switzerland 5-0 in its second Group D match at the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup as forward Sydney Leroux scored three times while Kristie Mewis and Zakiya Bywaters also added goals.
Leroux's hat trick was just the fourth in Women's World Cup history for the USA and first in a youth World Cup since Kelly Wilson scored three times against Denmark during a 6-0 quarterfinal victory at the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women's World Cup. The other hat tricks came in the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup when Michelle Akers scored five times in a 7-0 win against Chinese Taipei and Carin Gabarra famously notched three goals in a 5-2 semifinal victory against Germany. The right-footed Leroux scored all three goals with her left foot.
Against the Swiss in front of a crowd of 17,234 vocal fans, the USA scored three times in the first 25 minutes, including a fourth-minute goal from Mewis and then adding two more in a three-minute span from Leroux and Bywaters to head into halftime with a commanding 3-0 lead.
The USA heads into its final Group D match against the Korea Republic on July 21 in Bielefeld (12 p.m. ET on ESPN2) needing a win or a tie to advance to the quarterfinals. A win would clinch the group title for the USA.
The Americans sit second in the group with four points from two games behind the Koreans, who have six points after two wins. The USA could possibly advance even with a loss as the Americans hold a commanding goal difference lead over Ghana, which has just one point after falling 4-2 to the Koreans in the first Group D match of the day. The Swiss, who face Ghana in Bochum on July 21, have zero points and have been eliminated from the tournament.
The USA currently has a goal difference of plus five while Ghana sits at minus two. The Ghanaians would have to hope for a big Korean victory against the USA and win their match by a large margin against Switzerland in order to tie the USA on points and make up the seven goal difference that separates the teams in the first tie-breaker.
After dodging an early bullet when a header from Swiss forward Ana Crnogorcevic flew just wide of the right post, the Americans went at the Europeans and scored less than four minutes into the game.
Against Ghana it was the USA who gave up an early goal but it was the Americans who raced ahead this time though a marvelous strike from Mewis. Leroux won a header at the top of the penalty area and the ball fell to Mewis who took a touch to the left and cranked her shot off the bottom of the crossbar. Switzerland goalkeeper Nathalie Schwery a got flicker of a hand on the shot, but not enough to push it over the top and the ball bounced down just over the goal line. After a few seconds of confusion as to whether the ball has indeed crossed the line the goal was rightfully given and the Americans had a 1-0 lead.
Leroux would start her hat trick in the 23rd minute as Amber Brooks won a header that sent the ball looping into Maya Hayes who had her back to the goal at the top of the penalty area. Hayes deftly touched the ball down to Leroux, who took a touch to her left and blasted a shot from 20 yards into the upper left corner of the net.
It was Hayes' second assist of the tournament after also setting up Leroux's goal against Ghana. Hayes, who came off the bench in the USA's first match, earned the start today and went 78 minutes before being replaced by Meg Morris.
The USA finished the first-half scoring two minutes after Leroux's goal and it was Mewis that sliced open the Swiss defense with a perfectly slipped pass behind two defenders into the left side of the penalty area to the streaking Bywaters. The speedy flank midfielder got a step on her defender and then skillfully rolled a left-footed shot into the lower right corner from six yards out.
The USA had three other great chances to score in the first half. The first came in the eighth minute as Swiss goalkeeper Nathalie Schwery came off her line to stuff a Leroux shot after the U.S. forward had powered through the defense. Then in the 17th minute another great pass from Mewis to Bywaters looked to have gotten her in, but as Bywaters tried to touch the ball past Schewry, the Swiss `keeper made great play to smother the ball at her feet. In the 36th minute, Bywaters turned the corner in the left side of the penalty area and laid a pass back into the path of Hayes who had a great look at goal, but she couldn't get a good strike on the ball.
The U.S. defense did a great job of keeping Swiss star Ramona Bachmann out of dangerous areas. The Atlanta Beat forward had several intriguing dribbling runs, but she always found multiple U.S. defenders in her way.
Her strike partner Crnogorcevic had the more dangerous chances. Aside from the early header, she smoked a shot just past the right post in the first half and hit the crossbar, although U.S. goalkeeper Bianca Henninger did well to get a glove on the ball to force it off the woodwork.
The temperatures were much cooler than in the first round of Group D matches and the Americans slowed the match down a bit in the second half, but that did not stop Leroux from scoring on two breakaways.
She added her second goal in the 52nd after running onto a long ball from Toni Pressley that was sent almost from the top of her own penalty area. Leroux spun off her defender about 20 yards past midfield and raced in alone on Schwery. She faked a shot to freeze the Swiss `keeper, then took a touch around her to the left and tucked a left-footed shot into the net from a stiff angle as two sliding Swiss defenders were too late.
Leroux completed her hat trick in the 76th minute when she read a square pass from Swiss center back Rahel Kiwic and stepped in the passing lane to win it. The ball hit Leroux in the side and she raced in on the breakaway, showing the composure to slow as she approached Schwery, then threw a stutter-step to once again round the `keeper with ease and slot the ball into the open net.
The three scores gave Leroux four for the tournament and put her in second place behind South Korean JI So Yun, who has scored five of her team's eight goals so far.
U.S. center midfielders Brooks and Christine Nairn had a good day of clogging up the middle and helping run the U.S. attack. Brooks' ball-winning was particularly impressive and her headers led to two of the U.S. goals.
The Mewis sisters, Kristie (19) and Samantha (17) played in their second Women's World Cup together after the younger Mewis came on in the 81st minute for Leroux. They also played together at the 2008 U-17 Women's World Cup in New Zealand. Outside midfielder Mollie Pathman also saw her first World Cup action, coming on in the 70th minute for Bywaters.
On another note, the match was played with two different center referees as fourth official Alexandra Ihringova of England relieved Etsuko Fukano of Japan at halftime after she suffered a calf injury.
U.S. U-20 Women's National Team Match Report
Match: U.S. U-20 Women's National Team vs. Switzerland U-20 Women's National Team
Date: July 17, 2010
Competition: 2010 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup
Venue: Rudolf-Harbig Stadium; Dresden, Germany
Kickoff: 6 p.m. Local (12 p.m. ET)
Weather: 77 degrees; Humid, light breeze
USA - Kristie Mewis (Sydney Leroux) 4th minute
USA - Sydney Leroux (Maya Hayes) 23
USA - Zakiya Bywaters (Kristie Mewis) 25
USA - Sydney Leroux (Toni Pressley) 52
USA - Sydney Leroux (unassisted) 76
USA: 1-Bianca Henninger; 3-Rachel Quon, 2-Toni Pressley, 4-Crystal Dunn, 5-Kendall Johnson; 16-Maya Hayes (14-Meg Morris, 78), 20-Amber Brooks, 11-Christine Nairn (capt.), 12-Zakiya Bywaters (13-Mollie Pathman, 70); 9-Kristie Mewis, 19-Sydney Leroux (capt.) (8-Samantha Mewis, 81)
Subs not used: 6-Vicki DiMartino, 7-Courtney Verloo, 10-Teresa Noyola, 15-Jenna Richmond, 17-Casey Short, 18-Adrianna Franch, 21-Bryane Heaberlin
Head Coach: Jillian Ellis
SUI: 1-Nathalie Schwery; 3-Sarah Steinmann, 4-Muriel Bouakaz (19-Rahel Kiwic, 46), 5-Danique Stein (capt.), 6-Selina Kuster, 7-Lara Keller, 8-Chantal Fimian, 15-Lia Waelti, 17-Jehona Mehmeti (14-Cinzia Joerg, 46); 9-Ana Crnogorcevic, 10-Ramona Bachmann (16-Cora Canetta, 74)
Subs not used: 2-Carolyn Mallaun, 11-Samira Susuri, 12-Pascale Kueffer, 13-Michelle Probst, 18-Vanessa Pittet, 20-Nadine Baker, 21-Stefanie Kaderli
Head Coach: Yannick Schwery
Statistical Summary: USA / SUI
Shots: 14 / 14
Shots on Goal: 8 / 3
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 3 / 2
Fouls: 6 / 7
Offside: 1 / 1
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