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Norway takes Nordic Cup with 2-1 victory over United States.

STADSKANAAL, the Netherlands (Sunday, August 9, 1998) -- Linda Ormen and Dagny Mellgren provided a two-goal lead and Norway’s under-20 women held on for a 2-1 victory over the United States today to take the 1998 Nordic Cup, a reversal of last year’s final.

The Nordic Cup is the unofficial world championship for under-20 women and it was the U.S. that edged Norway 1-0 in 1997 in sudden death. This summer, however, the Americans could not find their finishing touch inside the penalty area. It was the first international loss for U.S. U-20 coach Lauren Gregg in her two years with the team.

"I have mixed emotions about the game," Gregg said. "We're very disappointed to lose, but I feel complete pride in the way we competed. We played great soccer and fought until the end."

The Americans out-shot Norway 14-9, but saw numerous attacks fizzle in the final third of the field under the weight of a well-organized Norwegian defense.Norway was much more efficient in its attack, making U.S. goalkeeper Lakyesia Beene save seven of nine shots.

In the 14th minute, the U.S lost possession in back and Hedda Haugland chipped a pass into Ormen who finished from 10 yards out for a 1-0 advantage.

"The team felt we played well enough win," said U.S. captain Michelle French. "All tournament we went forward well, but we struggled in the final third and that's what happened today.I felt we had a stronger team this year, but in a championship game at this level, you only get a couple of quality chances. Norway finished, we didn't."

Norway took a 2-0 lead in the 53rd minute when Mellgren scored by firing a 22-yard rocket into the upper corner.

The U.S. cut its deficit to 2-1 in the 70th minute when Susan Bush took a ball on the right flank and ran diagonally at Norway's defense.She combined on a give-and-go with Jen Streiffer to get behind the defense, then drew goalkeeper Astrid Johannessen to near post before sending the ball on the ground to Cindy Parlow. At the far post, Parlow finished three yards into the left corner.

The Americans nearly pulled even in the 85th minute, but a header by Laurie Schwoy was tipped off the crossbar by Johannessen.

"Our goals are to win and prepare are players for the next level," said Gregg. "We fell a game short, but the players really grew . . . The evolution of this team and of several individual players this year was tremendous."

Germany beat Sweden 2-1 for third place. Denmark need overtime to defeat the Netherlands 4-3 for fifth place. Iceland took seventh 1-0 over Finland.

Norway 2, United States 1

Lineups: Norway- Astrid Johannessen, Hege Baeroe, Linda Engronningen (Kristin Bekkevold 46), Ann Bugge-Paulsen, Cecilie Berg-Hansen (Ane Stangeland 73), Linda Ormen (Elene Moseby 80), Hedda Haugland, Anita Rapp, Dagny Mellgren, Anne Birgitte Nesset (Ann Mari Skarn 84), Ingrid Fosse Saethre. United States - Lakeysia Beene, Jen Grubb, Ronnie Fair, Lorrie Fair, Michelle French, Rebekah McDowell (Laurie Schwoy, 46), Kristy Whelchel (Samantha Baggett 65), Tiffany Roberts (Robin Confer 18, Raven McDonald 57), Jenny Streiffer, Cindy Parlow, Mandy Clemens (Susan Bush 32).

Scoring: Norway - Ormen (Haugland) 14; Norway - Mellgren (unassisted) 53; Parlow (Bush) 70. Shots: Norway 9, United States 14. Saves: Norway 4, United States 7. Corner kicks: Norway 3, United States 3. Fouls: Norway 17, United States 10. Offside: Norway 1, United States 2.

Attendance: 250. Weather: Sunny, 82 degrees.

United States roster

Player Position Hgt Wgt Hometown\Team
Heather Aldama Defender 5-2 115 Redlands, Calif.\Santa Clara
Lakeysia Beene Goalkeeper 5-8 135 Sacramento, Calif.\Notre Dame
Jenni Branam Goalkeeper 5-7 155 Placentia, Calif.\So. California Blues
Susan Bush Forward 5-4 120 Houston\Houston Challenge
Mandy Clemens Forward 5-6 125 San Diego\Santa Clara
Robin Confer Midfielder 5-8 135 Clearwater, Fla.\North Carolina
Lorrie Fair Defender 5-3 125 Los Altos, Calif., North Carolina
Ronnie Fair Defender 5-3 125 Los Altos, Calif.\Stanford
Michelle French Midfielder 5-5 125 Kent, Wash.\Portland
Jenn Grubb Defender 5-7 140 Hoffman Estates, Ill.\Notre Dame
Raven McDonald Forward 5-7 125 Benton, N.C.\North Carolina
Rebekah McDowell Midfielder 5-8 135 Lakewood, Colo.\North Carolina
Cindy Parlow Forward 5-11 145 Memphis\North Carolina
Tiffany Roberts Midfielder 5-4 125 San Ramon, Calif.\North Carolina
Laurie Schwoy Midfielder 5-5 120 Baltimore\North Carolina
Jen Streiffer Forward 5-7 120 Baton Rouge, La.\Notre Dame
Kristy Whelchel Midfielder 5-6 130 Boca Raton, Fla.\Duke

Head coach: Lauren Gregg (Charlottesville, Va.)
Assistant coach: Tracey Leone (Clemson, S.C.)
Goalkeeper coach: Chris Ducar (Raleigh, N.C.)