Oct. 23, 2005
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Former Santa Clara star Aly Wagner registered an assist as the U.S. Women's National Team rolled over a talented but physically overmatched Mexican Women's National Team 3-0 in the final match of 2005 for the reigning Olympic champions.
The USA finished 2005 with a record of 8-0-1 and did not allow a goal during the calendar year. Abby Wambach scored twice against Mexico, upping her career total to 49 goals in 62 games, while U.S. captain Kristine Lilly opened the scoring with her 105th career goal, tying Michelle Akers for second on the all-time U.S. scoring list.
The U.S. peppered the Mexican goal with 28 shots, scoring three times in the first half, but could not find the net in the second. Mexico played some excellent possession soccer, but could not solve a U.S. defense that has also shut out Germany, Canada and France this year.
"We're happy they didn't score any goals on us," said U.S. head coach Greg Ryan. "For us, that is a big thing; shutting teams down, not allowing any chances. We gave Mexico a good chance in the first half and we were a little lucky to keep that record going. I'm very happy to get eight wins and no losses with a very young team."
The USA opened the scoring in the ninth minute when right back Cat Reddick hit a very high cross into the penalty area from deep on the right flank. Forward Christie Welsh ran under the ball at the far post and attempted to one-touch a pass back into the middle. The ball deflected off the shin of a Mexican defender and rolled right into the path of the crashing Lilly, who pounded the ball into the net from eight yards out as she was upended by a Mexican defender.
The USA had to wait 25 minutes for its next goal, which was created by 20-year-old forward Heather O'Reilly. The University of North Carolina junior, who now returns to the Tar Heels for the stretch run of her college season, sent a delicate chip into the middle of the penalty area from the left flank. Wambach out-muscled Elizabeth Gomez to head on the ball into a vacated net as charging Mexican goalkeeper Sophia Perez was late to the ball with her punch attempt.
Wambach's head also provided the third goal just six minutes later as she jumped over Rubi Sandoval about seven yards from the net to power home Aly Wagner's corner kick from the left side.
Wambach had a handful of good chances to record her hat trick, but couldn't find a way past Perez the rest of the game.
For the second match in a row, Ryan started Amy LePeilbet in the center of the defense alongside Kate Markgraf, with Reddick on the right and Heather Mitts on the left. Aside from some flair from Mexican forward Monica Ocampo, the U.S. defense kept the Tricolores in front of them the entire afternoon.
It was the feisty play and shifty dribbling of Ocampo, by far Mexico's most effective player, which created most of the Mexican attack. She fired four of Mexico's eight shots and actually had one of the best scoring opportunities of any player against the USA this year. In the 29th minute Mexico burst forward on a counter-attack leading to Ocampo getting behind the U.S. defense. She found herself in a one-on-one with U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo, only to fire just wide right of the net from about eight yards out.
Second half substitutes Carli Lloyd and Shannon MacMillan had quality scoring chances late in the game. In the 87th minute, Lloyd sprung MacMillan free in the right side of the penalty with a short pass, but her shot was kick-saved for a corner kick by Perez.
One minute later, Lloyd had two chances of her own, shooting as she drove into the right side of the penalty area. Her first shot was saved as she was shouldered to the ground, but almost scored a spectacular goal when she hit the rebound first time after quickly popping up, only to have that shot saved as well.
Ryan used all six of his allowed substitutes, and at the end of the match, there were only two players on the field who had played in the 2004 Olympic gold medal match -- Lilly and Markgraf.
Solo picked up her seventh shutout of the year to run her personal shutout streak to 639 minutes. She made five saves while smoothly handling several driven crosses from the Mexicans.
Lloyd was injured just seconds before the final whistle as she fell on her left wrist while firing a shot over the Mexican goal and had to leave the match.
Mexican head coach Leo Cuellar gave 22 minutes of play to 14-year-old forward Veronica Corral, who played in the middle of the second half before coming out. She is believed to be the youngest player ever to play against the full U.S. Women's National Team.
U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
Match-up:USA vs. Mexico
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston, S.C.
Date: October 23, 2005; Kickoff - 1 p.m. ET
Weather:Cool, cloudy - 72 degrees
1 2 F
USA 3 0 3
MEX 0 0 0
USA - Kristine Lilly (unassisted)9th minute.
USA - Abby Wambach (Heather O'Reilly)34.
USA - Abby Wambach (Aly Wagner)40.
USA: 18-Hope Solo; 4-Cat Reddick (23-Tina Frimpong, 46), 14-Amy LePeilbet, 15-Kate Markgraf, 2-Heather Mitts; 7-Shannon Boxx (12-Leslie Osborne, 71), 10-Aly Wagner (5-Carli Lloyd, 46), 13-Kristine Lilly (Capt.); 19-Christie Welsh (8-Shannon MacMillan, 46), 9-Heather O'Reilly (16-Tiffeny Milbrett, 66), 20-Abby Wambach (6-Danielle Fotopoulos, 76).
Subs not used: 1-Jenni Branam.
Head Coach: Greg Ryan
MEX: 12-Sophia Perez; 2-Elizabeth Gomez, 3-Rubi Sandoval, 4-Monica Gonzales, 5-Jessica Romero (14-Isabel Mendoza, 69); 11-Luz Saucedo, 13-Nancy Gutierrez (18-Veronica Corral, 57, 16-Connie Villapando, 79), 6-Monica Vergara, 8-Rebecca Juarez (7-Evelyn Lopez, 46); 9-Guadalupe Worbis, 21-Monica Ocampo.
Subs not used: 1-Pamela Tajonar, 15-Lulu Gordillo, 19-Tania Morales.
Head Coach: Leo Cuellar
USA / MEX
Shots: 28 / 8
Shots on Goal: 16 / 5
Saves: 5 / 8
Corner Kicks: 10 / 1
Fouls: 8 / 7
Offside: 0 / 1
Referee: Rachel Woo (USA)
AR 1: Kim Oberle (USA)
AR 2: Karalee Sutton (USA)
4th Official: Jeffrey Muschik (USA)
ussoccer.com Woman of the Match: Abby Wambach