In a match that was delayed one hour due to rain, lightning and hail, the U.S. got a 90th minute game-winning goal from midfielder Toni Payne to win its only match of the year against a senior women’s national team.
The USA outshot Slovenia 14-8 during the match, but the game remained scoreless until the 62nd minute when defender Brittany Basinger got the U.S. on the scoreboard.
Defender Gabbi Miranda delivered a left-footed, in-swinging corner kick from the right side and forward Andi Sullivan headed it across the six-yard box to Basinger, who scored from closed range.
Slovenia drew level with a goal from Kaja Jerina off a direct free kick in the 84th minute. The Slovenian substitute, who entered the match just nine minutes earlier, struck her shot over U.S. goalkeeper Cassie Miller and into the upper left corner.
Six minutes later, however, the USA scored the game-winning goal. It came when midfielder Lauren Kaskie played a ball down the left touchline to Arielle Ship. Ship dribbled to the left side of the 18-yard box and crossed the ball on the ground to Payne who took a touch and finished low to the far post. It was Payne’s seventh career goal in 11 U-17 international matches.
The match against Slovenia was the fourth game of the USA’s tour after playing three women’s professional club sides – all champions of their domestic leagues – in three previous matches. On July 23, the USA defeated Hungarian champions FC Viktoria by an 8-0 score in a game played in Ludbreg, Croatia. The USA benefited from two own goals in the first half sandwiched around a score from forward Summer Green to take a 3-0 into the break. Payne scored just one minute into the second half to make it 4-0, followed by a score from Darian Jenkins in the 63rd minute. Amber Munerlyn then registered a hat trick in a 13-minute span to finish the scoring.
On July 25, the USA traveled to Graz, Austria to take on Luv Graz, the Austrian champions, and emerged with a 2-1 victory. The USA got an own goal in the 21st minute, gave up an equalizer in the 62nd and then Basinger notched what would be the first of her two goals on the tour for the game-winner in the 64th minute.
On July 23, the U-17s took on Slovenian champions ZNK Pomurje and rolled to a 4-1 victory. Emily Bruder scored the USA’s first two goals – in the 20th and 38th minutes – and Kaskie tallied the third goal in the 58th minute. The Slovenians pulled a goal back in the 77th minute, but Munerlyn put the game away with a goal two minutes from time.
The USA played without starting goalkeeper Jane Campbell during the tour as she missed the trip due to a minor injury. Cassie Miller got most of the minutes in the net over the four games and picked up the win against Slovenia.
The U.S. team is currently preparing for the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup being held in Azerbaijan from Sept. 22-Oct. 13 and will have two more international games before the tournament, both against China PR at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., in late August.
The Republic of Azerbaijan, which is slightly smaller than the state of Maine and has a population of almost nine million, is located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe and is bound by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. Five of the tournament's six venues are in Baku with one stadium located about 175 miles south in Lankaran.
The U.S. plays its first Group B match at Lankaran Stadium in Lankaran, opening its tournament on Sept. 22 against France (1 p.m. local / 4 a.m. ET) before facing Gambia on Sept. 25 (5 p.m. local / 8 a.m. ET) at Dalga Arena in Baku. The USA will finish group play on Sept. 29 against Korea DPR (5 p.m. local / 8 a.m. ET) at Bayil Stadium in Baku. Lankaran Stadium features a grass field, but both Dalga Arena and Bayil Stadium have artificial turf surfaces.
-- U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team Match Report --
Match: U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team vs. Slovenian Women’s National Team
Date: July 29, 2012
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Slovenska Bistrica, Slovenia
Weather: 65 degrees, thunderstorms
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 2 2
SVN 0 1 1
USA -- Brittany Basinger (Andi Sullivan) 62nd minute
SVN -- Kaja Jerina 84
USA -- Toni Payne (Arielle Ship) 90
USA: 1-Cassie Miller; 2-Gabbi Miranda, 3-Mandy Freeman, 4-Maddie Bauer (20-Claire Wagner, 84), 5-Brittany Basinger; 6-Morgan Andrews, 7-Andi-Sullivan (17-Toni Payne, 69), 8-Morgan Stanton; 9-Darian Jenkins (13-Emily Bruder, 69) 10-Amber Munerlyn (19-Arielle Ship, 69), 11-Margaret Purce (14-Lauren Kaskie, 84)
Subs Not Used: 12-Summer Green, 15-Morgan Reid, 16-Lizzy Raben, 18-Morgan Stearns
Head Coach: Albertin Montoya
SVN: 1-Lucija Mori; 18-Tjasa Tibaut, 9-Manja Benak, 6-Anisa Rola, 7-Andreja Nikl (5-Lucija Grad, 45); 17-Urska Zganec (11-Vanja Siljak, 77), 10-Fata Salkunic (15-Tanja Vrabel, 59), 14-Anja Milenkovic, 3-Dominika Conc (4-Pamela Begic, 45); 8-Mateja Zver (13-Anja Levacic, 84), 16-Kaja Erzen (2-Kaja Jerina, 74)
Subs Not Used: 12-Ana Kosi
Head Coach: Damir Ro
Stats Summary: USA / SVN
Shots: 14 / 8
Shots on Goal: 8 / 4
Saves: 2 / 6
Corner Kicks: 7 / 8
Fouls: 10 / 10
Offside: 5 / 0
SVN -- Andreja Nikl (caution) 30th minute
USA -- Morgan Andrews (caution) 31
-- ussoccer.com --