July 19, 2010

In Goal, Henninger Aids USA in Swiss Shutout

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Santa Clara junior Bianca Henninger led the Stars and Stripes to a shutout in Saturday's 5-0 win over Switzerland at the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Dresden, Germany.  She had six shutouts this past year for Santa Clara as the sophomore goalie led the team to the NCAA Tournaments Sweet 16.

The USA heads into its final Group D match against the Korea Republic on July 21 in Bielefeld (9 am Pacific on ESPN2) needing a win or a tie to advance to the quarterfinals. A win would clinch the group title for the USA.

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.

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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.