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U.S. U-21 women's player pool

Nordic Cup

Orlandos golden goal gives U.S. 2-1 title triumph over Norway.

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (Sunday, August 8, 1999) -- Lauren Orlandos scored six minutes in to sudden death to give the United States under-21 women a 2-1 victory over Norway and the Nordic Cup title today.

The 18-year-old defenderís tally completed a comeback that started when Jenny Streiffer scored in the 85th minute to tie the score at 1.

The winning goal came from a short corner kick taken by Michelle French (Kent, Wash.), who then received a return pass from Susan Bush (Houston) and then got it back. French then drilled a cross with her left foot into a crowd of players inside the penalty area. The 5-foot-10 Orlandos (Lake Forest, Calif.) won the battle, getting her foot on the ball to knock it into the net from close range, ending the game and igniting a massive celebration from the U.S. players.

"It was an awesome moment and the end of a great experience, especially because I am one of the younger players." said Orlandos, who will be a freshman at Portland this fall. "We have so many great players that contributed to winning this tournament and I'm still a little shocked that I got the golden goal."

The triumph avenges a loss to Norway in last year's Nordic Cup title match and made it two out of three years that the Americans have claimed this premier event for under-21s, after using a sudden-death tally from Streiffer in the 100th minute for a 2-1 victory in 1997 in Denmark.

"Our objectives were met, which is always very satisfying because they are so high," said U.S. coach Lauren Gregg. "There are many players who have developed in this program who will be part of our full national team for the years to come. And they have learned what it means to be part of this program, to be champions. I'm extremely proud of this team."

Like most U.S.-Norway clashes, the match was combative and hard fought from the outset. End-to-end play producing chances for both teams.

Norway hit the crossbar twice in the first half, including once at the stroke of halftime. Just eight minutes into the game, a sliding Streiffer (Baton Rouge, La.) narrowly missed knocking home a cross by Meredith Florance (Dallas) cross into an open net.

Norway drew first blood in the 75th minute when a cross from the left side bounced around in front of the net and substitute Randi Bjorkestrand scored from five yards out. U.S. goalkeeper Siri Mullinix (Greensboro, N.C.) was able to get a hand on the ball but could not keep it out of the net.

It was the first goal allowed by the Americans in the tournament, but they rallied to equalize 10 minutes later. A cross by 17-year old Aleisha Cramer (Lakewood, Colo.) was cleared poorly by Norway and Streiffer got her head on the ball to poke it home, her third goal of the four-match tournament.

The U.S. (4-0 here) has lost just one match in its age group in international competition since Gregg took over the program three years ago. "Jen Streiffer and Aly Wagner did a great job holding the ball for us," Gregg said. "It is difficult to get a rhythm against the Norwegians. Those two were instrumental in our win. But the defense of French, Slaton, Orlandos, Fair and Mullinix again had an outstanding game. Norway was very dangerous and we held them to our lone goal for the tournament."

In the other games, Sweden beat Finland 1-0 for third place; Denmark edged Iceland 4-3 for fifth place and Germany blanked Australia 4-0 for seventh.

United States 2, Norway 1 (OT)

Line-ups: United States: Siri Mullinix, Ronnie Fair, Michelle French, Lauren Orlandos, Danielle Slaton, Aly Wagner, Jen Grubb (Kalli Kamholz 74), Jenny Streiffer, Aleisha Cramer, Meredith Florance, Raven McDonald (Susan Bush 36); Norway: Astrid Johannessen, Trine Setsaas, Kristin Bekkevold, Ane Bugge Paulsen, Cecile Berg-Hansen, Heidi Pedersen, Anita Rapp, Ann Mari Skarn, Kristin Lie, Ingrid Camila Fosse Saetre (Annette S. Nybo), Elene Moseby (Randi Bjorkestrand).

Norway - Bjorkestrand 75;
United States - Streiffer (Cramer) 85;
United States - Orlandos (French) 96.

Shots: United States 9, Norway 11. Saves: United States 7, Norway 6. Corner kicks: United States 3, Norway 2. Fouls: United States 10, Norway 9. Offside: United States 2, Norway 2. Yellow card caution: United States - none; Norway - Rapp.

Referee: Anri Hanninen (Finland). Assistant referees: Eyjolfur Finnsson (Iceland), Gunnar Gylfason (Iceland). Attendance: 300 in Reykjavik, Iceland. Weather: 66 degrees, sunny.

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