July 21, 2007
The United States Under-21 Women’s Soccer National Team – featuring Notre Dame players Amanda Cinalli and Michele Weissenhofer – is in position to qualify for the medal round at the annual Nordic Cup, following Wednesday’s game-one win (1-0) over Norway at Mosedal Stadium. The U.S. is in the midst of having three days off from competition but the Americans did watch Friday’s game in their group, a 2-0 win by Norway over Sweden. Team USA can clinch a spot in the medal round with a win or tie in their game on Sunday versus the Swedes (at Kaarle Stadium, in Vaasa).
(Notes – this release include the first Nordic Cup Diary entry from the Notre Dame players, plus a full game report – see below; also be sure to follow the tournament at www.ussoccer.com.)
Cinalli started the game versus Norway and played the first 71 minutes before being replace by former Virginia midfielder Sarah Huffman. Weissenhofer also was one of 16 U.S. players to appear in the opening game, logging the final nine minutes after coming on for UCLA forward Danesha Adams.
Santa Clara midfielder Kiki Bosio – who boasts an effective flip throw-in style that is similar to Weissenhofer’s – scored the only goal of the Norway game, in the 77th minute. Bosio scored on a skillful volley, following a clearance from Stanford defender Rachel Buehler (who, like Bosio, will play against the Irish this season at the SCU Classic).
The USA and Norway are in position to advance from Group B to the medal round while things are interesting in Group A, as the host country Finland and defending champion Germany will play a key game on Sunday. Finland already has a win in the tournament (4-1 over England) but Germany managed just a 2-2 tie with the English. Finland already has secured a spot in the medal round while Germany needs at least a tie on Sunday to clinch a medal-round spot.
The U.S. team struggled to find its rhythm at the beginning of the Norway match and failed to capitalize on numerous chances. Bosio entered the game in the 55th minute, replacing Portland’s Angie Woznuk. The winning sequence saw Buehler win a Norwegian free kick and send it back into the attacking third. The ball hit off the head of a Norwegian defender and bounced behind the defense. Goalkeeper Erika Skarbo was caught out of the net as Bosio let the ball bounce twice before hitting a low liner from 30 yards out, with the ball ripping into the right side of the goal.
Norway’s best chances came off a counter attack at the end of the first half (the USA was able to recover and clear the threat) and a free kick that skipped through the defense before being corralled by goalkeeper Cori Alexander. The former Portland `keeper did make one big save, punching away a deflection off the head of Virginia defender Nikki Krzysik midway through the first half. The USA had a flurry of chances at the end of the opening half but couldn’t find the net and went into break with a scoreless game.
Following Sunday’s games, the three placement games will be held on Tuesday to conclude the tournament.
The full game report follows at the end of this release, after the diary entry from Cinalli and Weissenhofer.
“Monday, July 16, 2007 – “Hello from Finland! Today we had a light training session in the morning to loosen up for our game this evening. All of the teams are finally here now and the tension is starting to build. We played F.C. Sport (THE women’s club team of Finland) tonight and won 5-0. We both had goals in the game. Cinalli’s came in the first half off a cross from Danesha Adams. Amanda chested the cross and volleyed it into the goal. Weissy’s goal came in the second half, after heading the ball beautifully into the back of the net off a cross from Ella Masar. We returned from the game for dinner and got to bed before the sun went down… Oh wait, it NEVER goes down!
Tuesday, July 17, 2007 – We had a recovery practice in the morning and worked on our set pieces in preparation for our first game on Wednesday against Norway. We had the afternoon off, so we walked to the `beach’ of the Baltic Sea and browsed around the Market Square.
Michele Weissenhofer (second from right) poses with teammates at a beach area in Findland (also pictured, from left, are Ella Masar, Nikki Kryszik, Steph Loggerman and Ali Kreiger).
Wednesday, July 18, 2007 – Game Day! We had a nice breakfast, after which we went for a little stroll and stretch. After some power naps and mental preparation, we left for our hour bus ride to our game against Norway. It was a fairly tough game and Norway proved to be a lot better than how Amanda found them in her previous Nordic Cup experience in Norway. We won 1-0, with Kiki Bosio scoring our only goal with about 20 minutes left in the game off of a great volley from a clearance by Rachel Buehler.
After our victory, we were summoned to the front of the field to receive a unique gift from a youth Finish team. We say this was a unique gift because the gift consisted of some tomatoes and one large cucumber. Yes, that is right…VEGETABLES! Yum. Despite this scrumptious gift, we drove an hour back to Vaasa where we then had dinner. Now it is time for bed.
Friday, July 20, 2007 – We had the day off today, after doing some shopping yesterday. Today we and today went to watch Norway play Sweden, because play Sweden on Sunday and wanted to scout them. We also had a chance to play some miniature golf (see the photo). Goodbye for now from Finland. Go USA and Go Irish!
– Amanda and Michele
U.S. UNDER-21 WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
(game-1; 2007 Under-23 Nordic Cup; Mosedal Stadium – Narpio, Finland)
July 18, 2007
USA 0 1 – 1 NOR 0 0 – 0
USA 1. – Kiki Bosio (-) 77th minute.
USA Lineup: 1-Cori Alexander; 10-Rachel Buehler – Capt., 4-Nikki Krzysik, 16-Stephanie Logterman, 13-Manya Makoski; 3-Tina DiMartino (23-Becky Sauerbrunn, 89), 11-Ali Krieger, 6-Angie Woznuk (7-Kiki Bosio, 55); 9-Danesha Adams (19-Michele Weissenhofer, 81), 5-Kelsey Carpenter (8-Ella Masar, 55), 15-Amanda Cinalli (14-Sarah Huffman, 71). … subs not used: Kelsey Davis and Kendall Fletcher.
Norway Lineup: – 1-Erika SkarbÃƒÂ¸; 2-Camilla Ãƒâ€¦seng; 4-Runa Vikestad; 5-Nora Berger, 6-Anneli Giske (7-Nasra Abdulla, 32); 8-Lisa-Marie Woods (3-Kine Bjerk, 62), 9-Guro Knutsen (16-Reidun Nilsen, 78), 14-Siri Nordeide GrÃƒÂ¸nli, 17-Gry Tofte Ims; 13-Gunilla Forseth (15-Stine SannÃƒÂ¦ss, 62), 11-June Pedersen (18-Ingrid Schjelderup, 78). … subs not used: 10-Bettina L Jevne; 12-Lill-Yvonne Karsrud.
Shots USA 14, NOR 7
Saves: USA 6, NOR 6
Corner Kicks: USA 6, NOR 4
Fouls: USA 7, NOR 10
Offside: USA 3 , NOR 0
Officials: referee: Anja Kunick (Germany), referee assistant Petra Pohjonen (Finland) and Jenny Kaarnasaari (Finland)