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Bush scores as U.S. opens Nordic defense beating Finland 1-0.

RODEN, Holland (Monday, August 3, 1998) -- The United States under-20 women received a 65th minute goal from 17-year old forward Susan Bush to defeat Finland 1-0 tonight as the Americans began defense of their Nordic Cup title.

The annual Nordic Cup is considered by many the U-20 world championship. The U.S. won in 1997 with a 1-0 sudden-death decision over Norway in the final in Denmark.

Bush came in at halftime for Tiffany Roberts and 20 minutes later, bagged the winning game’s only goal.The play started when forward Mandy Clemens fed Bush behind the defense on the left flank. Bush cut toward goal, and from a steep angle, toe-poked the ball at the net. The ball bounced off the Finish goalkeeper Satu Kunnas and rolled into the lower left corner.

"This game was a good early test for the U.S.," said U.S. coach Lauren Gregg. "Finland is a very combative, well-organized team. We worked hard for our goal and the win."

"Cindy Parlow and Mandy Clemens gave us relentless mobility on the forward line. Overall, our team defense was strong and crucial to this win."

The U.S. starting lineup featured three players with extensive experience with the full national team. Lorrie Fair, Roberts and Parlow joined the U-20s after helping the Americans win the gold medal at the Goodwill Games in Uniondale, N.Y.

In the 75th minute, Robin Confer hit the crossbar off a cross from Parlow. U.S. goalkeeper Lakeysia Beene, who was also the starter on last year's Nordic Cup champions, needed to make just two saves.

"Our bench was important in this victory," added Gregg, who used all five of her allowed substitutes."I was excited to see our young star, Susan Bush, come in and score the game winner."

At the end of round-robin play within the groups, the group-winners will meet for the Nordic Cup title Sunday.

The U.S. team will next face host Holland on Wednesday in its second Group B game. In other Group B action, Sweden defeated Holland, 2-0.

In Group A, Norway hammered Denmark 7-1 and Germany routed Iceland 5-1. Norway plays Germany Wednesday in a crucial Group A contest.

United States 1, Finland 0

Lineups: United States- Lakeysia Beene, Jen Grubb, Ronnie Fair (Samantha Baggett 66), Lorrie Fair, Tiffany Roberts (Susan Bush 46), Kristy Whelchel (Raven McDonald 52, Heather Aldama 87), Rebekah McDowell, Robin Confer, Mandy Clemens, Cindy Parlow, Jenny Streiffer (Laurie Schwoy 65). Finland - Satu Kunnas, Kaisa Mustonen, Jessica Julin (Jenni Sibelius 78), Maria Lind (Elisa Simonen 76), Sanna Rasanen, Rose Lappi-Seppala (Riika Savonen 73), Susanna Heikari (Anna Virolainen 60), Laura Kalmari, Julia Uusmalmi, Salla Ranta, Sanna Volkonen.

Scoring: Bush (Clemens) 65. Shots: United States 9, Finland 2. Saves: United States 2, Finland 5. Corner kicks: United States 10, Finland 1. Fouls: United States 17, Finland 7. Offside: United States 5, Finland 1.

Referee: K. Kramer. Assistant referee: P. van Beelen, A.J. Walters. Attendance: 100. Weather: Overcast, 70 degrees.