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July 21, 2008
U.S. blanks Germany to take cup

BORLANGE, Sweden – The U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team defeated Germany, 3-0, to win the 2008 Nordic Cup championship as the young U.S. team posted its fourth consecutive shutout of the tournament.

Forward India Trotter opened the scoring in the 25th minute and Ella Massar added goals in the 34th and 63rd minutes as the USA won its second consecutive Nordic Cup title and 10th in the last 12 years at this event which serves as the top competition in the world for U-23 women.

Like in the USA’s first three matches in group play, the Americans dominated the proceedings, this time outshooting Germany 15-7 and allowing the Europeans just two shots on goal. Val Henderson picked up yet another shutout in goal for the U.S. team that did not allow a score over 360 minutes against Switzerland, England, Norway and Germany. The U.S. back line of Meghan Schnur, Becky Sauerbrunn, Nikki Krzysik and Katherine Reynolds played almost every minute in the tournament.

The first goal was created by midfielder Yael Averbuch, who lifted a great ball over the German defense on the right side. Trotter beats the defense with her speed and capitalized on her one-v-one chance, slotting the ball past the ‘keeper into the right corner for her second goal of the tournament.

Massar put the game away with her second and third goals of the tournament, the first coming 11 minutes before halftime. Reynolds started the sequence with a dribble down the right wing and sent a cross into the middle. Massar had time to settle the ball and rifle her shot into the right side of the net from 12 yards out.

The University of Illinois striker clinched the game 18 minutes into the second half, running onto a perfect through ball from Kiki Bosio. Massar outran two defenders and coolly finished on the ground for the final score line.

“We played well in the first 15 or 20 minutes of the game and we created numerous chances,” said U.S. head coach Bill Irwin. “We put one away early and the second goal came off the tactics that we have been working on. All three goals were great goals and our defense played very well once again. At the beginning of the second half, they came at us and we handled it well. It is a credit to our defense that we came through the Nordic Cup with a clean slate.”

In the other placement matches, Sweden defeated Norway, 2-0, to take third place, Finland edged England, 1-0, to take fifth and Switzerland pounded Scotland, 5-0, to take seventh.

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