Welsh nets three goals, Pearce adds pair in 8-0 pummeling of Iceland.
DAVIDSON, N.C. (Wednesday, April 5, 2000) - Tiffeny Milbrett set up fellow striker Christie Welsh for all three of her goals as a young United States women’s side, featuring a starting lineup with an average age of just over 20 years, crushed Iceland 8-0 in a closed door match here at Davidson College.
Defender Christie Pearce produced her first two-goal game for the Americans.
U.S. coach April Heinrichs rested most of her veteran players, many of whom will see action when the two teams meet again Saturday at Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. at 7:30 p.m. (ET), in a match shown via tape delay at 9 pm.
"I'm very pleased with style with which they played and they really stepped up their competitiveness after halftime," said Heinrichs, whose team scored six second half goals. "Tentativeness and indecision will not help you in terms of confidence. If you want to get confidence and comfortable out there representing the U.S. women's national team, then compete. And I think that was the biggest difference in the second half. I told a few players at halftime that I don't care if you make mistakes, I want to know if you will compete for us for 90 minutes. And I think we learned a few things today."
The match was dominated by the U.S. with a 24-6 edge in shots and 15-2 preponderance in corner kicks. But the Americans did not manage a real scoring chance until Aly Wagner released Cindy Parlow on a breakaway in the 23rd minute, but the U.S. forward touched her shot just outside the right post from 16 yards.
Milbrett replaced Parlow in the 31st minute and added an immediate spark to the U.S. attack, setting up two goals for Welsh in the last eight minutes of the first half.
In the 37th minute, Milbrett penetrated straight through the middle of the Iceland defense and dished to Welsh on the right side. The 19-year-old had her hard shot blocked by a sliding defender, but the ball rolled past goalkeeper Thora Helgadottir, who had moved in the wrong direction, and into the right corner.
In the 43rd minute, Milbrett received a pass off a short corner kick and played a cross into the middle to Welsh, who redirected the ball into the net from six yards.
Helgadottir had done well to save a Welsh header in the 34th minute and punch away a Jenna Kluegel shot away for a corner kick in the 36th.
The U.S. could have easily been down a goal in the 35th minute former University of North Carolina striker Rakel Ogmundsdottir (nee Karvelsson) popped free behind U.S. defense for Iceland and lifted ball over goalkeeper Hope Solo, but the ball bounced wide right past the open net.
Shortly after intermission, Milbrett drew a diving save from Helgadottir in the 48th minute and Wagner hit the crossbar on a volley in the 52nd. A minute later, however, Wagner stroked a 30-yard shot into the upper right corner from the left side of the penalty arc to make it 3-0.
Then, after one more minute, the U.S. advantage grew to 4-0 after Pearce picked off a pass on the run and streaked through the teeth of the Iceland defense to finish her one-on-one chance by slotting her shot under Helgadottir.
Milbrett set up Welsh for her first career hat trick in the 69th minute, deftly unlocking the Iceland defense with a short through ball to up the lead to 5-0. Helgadottir got her hand to Welsh's drive, but not enough to keep the ball out of the net as it settled into the left corner. The three goals gave Welsh five scores for her career in just seven international matches.
"There are a lot of great young players out here and we all know that we have to try to improve every game," said Welsh. "In soccer, some days you are on and some days you can't pay for a goal. I just got really good service from Tiffeny today and was able to finish my chances."
Veterans Mia Hamm and Kristine Lilly entered the game in the 70th minute and both wasted little time putting their mark on the match. in the 71st, Lilly's hard cross from the left side was pushed by the diving Helgadottir straight to Hamm, who slammed her shot into the net from eight yards out for a 6-0 margin.
Lilly got a goal of her own in the 77th, hitting a long cross from an extremely sharp angle on the left flank that swerved over Helgadottir and smacked into the side netting at the far post for her 83rd career goal.
The goal for Hamm on her first touch of the game was her world record 117th. Lilly played in her 197th career game as she closes in on an unprecedented 200 caps.
"We still have a lot to prove," said Hamm. "Just because we've won Olympics and World Cups doesn't mean that we don't challenge ourselves every day. We feel that we have another level that we can reach and with all these young players there, is no doubt that we will get there."
Pearce finished the scoring and made it the first multiple goal game of her career as she added her second goal in the 84th minute, finishing a Danielle Slaton cross from close range.
The 18-year-old Solo, a key member of the American under-18 Pan American Games gold medal squad, recorded a shutout, making two saves in her first international appearance.
United States 8, Iceland 0Lineups: United States - Hope Solo, Christie Pearce, Michelle French, Nandi Pryce, Danielle Slaton, Jenna Kluegel, Nikki Serlenga, Aly Wagner, Sara Whalen (Kristine Lily 70), Christy Welsh, Cindy Parlow (Tiffeny Milbrett 31, Mia Hamm 70). Iceland - Thora Helgadottir, Edda Gardarsdottir, Iris Saemundsdottir, Gudrun Gunnarsdottir, Gudlaug Jonsdottir, Rakel Ogmundsdottir (Rakel Logadottir 83), Asthildur Helgadottir, Margret Olafsdottir (Hrefna Johannesdottir 87), Erla Hendriksdottir (Asdis Thorgilsdottir 80), Katrin Jonsdottir, Olga Faerseth (Asgerdur Ingibergsdottir 61).
Shots: United States 24, Iceland 6. Saves: United States 2, Iceland 7. Corner kicks: United States 15, Iceland 2. Fouls: United States 6, Iceland 6. Offside: United States 3, Iceland 2.
Referee: John Wilson (United States) Referee assistants: John Frey (United States), Alex Almaguer (United States) Attendance: closed-door match at Davidson (N.C.) College Weather: Clear, breezy, 68 degrees.