Ellis Guides U.S. Under-21s to Nordic Cup Title

Aug. 5, 2000

WEISMAIN, Germany (Thursday, Aug. 3, 2000) - UCLA women's soccer head coach Jillian Ellis guided the U.S. Under-21 Women's National Team to its third Nordic Cup title in the last four years, and fourth overall, Thursday with an intense 1-0 victory over Germany in the championship game.

Held annually in Northern Europe, the eight-team Nordic Cup brings together the world's best under-21 women's national teams for the most important women's youth tournament in this age group. The USA defeated Norway in the championship game in 1997 and 1999, both on golden goals in sudden death overtime.

The Americans would not need extra time this year as midfielder Jena Kluegel (Mahtomedi, Minn./UNC) provided the lone goal with a bending drive from just outside the penalty box in the 63rd minute. The match was a physical battle for 90 minutes as each 50/50 ball was contested with rock-hard tackles from both sides, but USA finally got its deserved goal midway through the second half.

"I'm so proud of this team," said Ellis following the victory. "They overcame tremendous adversity in this tournament and showed exceptional mental toughness to play four draining games in seven days. The final today was the kind of match that prepares our players to step into the full national team environment."

Ellis returned to the U.S. on Friday in preparation for UCLA's season opener on Aug. 25 in Clemson, South Carolina against No. 6 Clemson.

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