March 6, 2012
ANOTHER 6-0 WIN
U.S. U20 Women roll past Panama
PANAMA CITY, Panama---- Maya Hayes scored two goals for a second straight match and four other U.S. players found the back of the net as the United States Under-20 Women's National Team cruised to third straight 6-0 win in the CONCACAF U-20 Women's Championship on Tuesday, this time with a victory over host Panama at the Stadio Rommel Fernandez.
With the win, the U.S. won Group B and assured themselves of a spot in the semifinals against Mexico at 8 p.m. ET Friday, March 9, in Panama City.
"We struggled in the first 20 minutes to get a rhythm," said U.S. U-20 WNT head coach Steve Swanson. "I thought Panama was organized and they compete very hard. We have a lot of respect for the way the Panama team competed. It was hard for us early to break them down but I thought we had some good chances.
"The atmosphere here was terrific. We couldn't have asked for a better atmosphere. The fans were terrific and to get that much support all the way through the game says a lot about the country in general. From our standpoint, I think we have a great deal of respect and really appreciate the hospitality we've received so far."
Like its previous two matches - both 6-0 victories against Guatemala and Cuba - the USA dominated on the offensive side of the ball at the start of the match against Panama and got stronger as the game progressed. Defensively, the USA did not allow a single shot on goal.
Micaela Capelle netted her first goal of the tournament in the 28th minute, striking the ball from the right side while Panama goalkeeper Anyuri Montenegro misjudged the flight. The ball clipped the underbelly of the crossbar and went into the net for a 1-0 lead.
Vanessa DiBernardo who had her first start of the tournament, gave the USA a 2-0 cushion in the 45th minute with a shot that went throughout Panama goalkeeper Montenegro's legs.
Hayes entered off the bench after halftime to replace Lindsey Horan, and she wasted little time picking up where she left off during her two-goal effort against Cuba. In addition to her two second-half goals, Hayes assisted Julie Johnston's 53rd-minute tally, slipping the ball through the Panama defense, with Johnston putting some pace on her strike just to the right of Montenegro for a 3-0 advantage.
Hayes spun past Panama defender Astrid Diaz in the 59th minute and beat Montenegro at the near right post for a 4-0 lead, slipping the ball past the Panama goalkeeper who was caught cheating a little bit to her right instead of covering the near post.
Second-half sub Samantha Mewis contributed one of the more impressive scores of the match, volleying in a DiBernardo corner kick for a 5-0 lead in the 69th minute. DiBernardo delivered a perfect cross that rose over Montenegro's outstretched arm and found Mewis on the left side of the box as she calmly volleyed the ball into the net.
Capelle assisted Hayes' second tally with a through ball that could have been intercepted by the Panama defense, but had the legs to get through to Hayes for a routine goal and a 6-0 lead in the 78th minute.
U.S. goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin did not need to make a save en route to the clean sheet. The U.S. out-shot Panama 24-0 and had a 9-0 shots on goal advantage.