April 16, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara senior Marian Dalmy earned her first cap with the U.S. Women's National Team this past Saturday, playing the final four minutes of the American side's 5-0 victory over Mexico in Foxborough, Mass. With the appearance, Dalmy becomes the 178th player to earn a cap with the full national team.
The U.S. Women's National Teamopened its 2007 domestic schedule with style, defeating Mexico, 5-0, ona chilly night at Gillette Stadium as Boston resident Kristine Lillyscored twice in front of her hometown crowd while Abby Wambach, LindsayTarpley and Lauren Cheney added single goals.
The win upped the USA's record in 2007 to 6-0-2 and stretched the team'sunbeaten streak to 40 games, 39 of those under head coach Greg Ryan.
The match was just the sixth-ever for the U.S. women on artificialsurface and while the turf was a bit slick, the Americans used the paceto their advantage, getting around the outside of the Mexican defensefrequently to pile up a 35-7 shot margin.
The teams last met on November 22, 2006, a 2-0 U.S. victory in thesemifinal of the CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup that sent the USA to the 2007FIFA Women's World Cup, but this match would not be as tight.
The USA started the match in a 3-4-3 formation with Lilly, Wambach andTarpley deployed on the forward line showing great chemistry whileputting intense pressure on the Mexican backs. Defender Cat Whitehillswept behind marking backs Heather Mitts and Christie Rampone as theU.S. defense kept the Mexican attack from getting anything significantstarted.
"We tried to throw a lot of numbers forward," said Ryan, who remainedundefeated at the helm of the U.S. Women's National Team. "We played asystem (3-4-3) that we don't normally play, but one we want to be ableto play as an alternative. The goal is to win the ball, pressure and getit forward and attack as relentlessly as we could. Over the course ofthe game it went well. We organized our defending a little bit betterwhich gave us more opportunities to get forward.
"I thought Abby, Lilly and Tarpley played some of the best soccer off ofone another that I have seen in a while; in terms of understanding whereeach player was. I was really pleased to see that kind of chemistry. I'mvery, very pleased with this team."
The USA's first goal came in 10th minute as Tarpley leapt in the airwhile bringing down a long ball that she touched to Wambach down theleft flank. The U.S. forward toasted Mexican defender Elizabeth Gomez tothe outside, cut back inside to lose Rubi Sandoval and drilled herright-footed shot into the right corner side netting for her 69th careergoal in just 89 games.
Tarpley added the second in the 33rd minute, her 14th career goal, butit was created by Lilly who blazed down the right side before bending across into the middle on the ground. Tarpley's first-time shot waskick-saved by Mexican goalkeeper Sophia Perez, but she dug out therebound from two Mexican defenders and knocked her second shot in fromthree yards out to make it 2-0 going into halftime.
The USA added a third goal, and effectively sealed the match, just fiveminutes into the second half as Lilly scored her first goal, delightingthe boisterous crowd. The goal came from the middle of the field as sheran onto a bouncing ball that seemed to take forever to settle on theartificial surface, then blasted a half-volley with her trademark leftfoot that soared over Mexican goalkeeper Sophia Perez and just under thecrossbar from 32 yards away.
Lilly added her second goal of the game, and 121st of her legendarycareer in the 70th minute as Abby Wambach did the heavy lifting, plowinginto the left side of the penalty area before rolling a cross to thepenalty spot. Lilly eluded a defender, squared up on Perez and calmlyslotted the ball into the left corner.
The USA added a final goal just two minutes from time and it was amemorable one for the 19-year-old Cheney, who was playing in just hersecond career match for the full National Team. Ryan inserted the formerU-20 international into the game with eight minutes left, and sixminutes after that, she had her first international score.
Substitute Heather O'Reilly got the assist, streaking down the leftflank before crossing to Cheney, who scored from 17 yards out, drillingher shot into the left corner from straight away in front of the net.
Perez had a solid game for Mexico, holding several crosses well andmaking several fine saves, but she was powerless to do anything with onthe five goals as the American athleticism overwhelmed their southernneighbors.
Mexico had some decent possession at times, but most of their shots werefrom distance and did not trouble U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo. Mexico'slone dangerous chance came from Monica Ocampo in the first half as sheforced Solo into a dive to her left to palm away a shot that skipped offthe turf.
Marian Dalmy, a 22-year-old defender out of Santa Clara University,earned her first-ever cap in the match, coming on for the last fourminutes in place of Wambach.
The U.S. women, who are currently involved in a four-month ResidencyTraining Camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., return to thefield on May 12 in Frisco, Texas with a match against Canada that willbe televised live on Fox Soccer Channel at 4:30 p.m. PT. The USA will wear pink uniforms in that match to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness, the first time ever that the U.S. women have worn a special limited edition jersey. The USA will then embark on a six-game 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup Send-Off Series, starting against China on June 16 in Cleveland and continuing against Brazil on June 23 in East Rutherford, N.J. in a re-match of the 2004 Olympic gold medal game.