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MacMillan, Milbrett score in hard-fought 2-2 draw with Canada.

TORONTO (Saturday, June 30, 2001) -- The United States women had little difficulty in their first 21meetings with Canada, winning every time almost always decisively.

Things have changed for the Americans whose rivalry with their northern neighbor has suddenly intensified. Since winning those 21 outings by a combined 97-10, the U.S. has come up empty, going 0-2-2, including tonightís hard-fought 2-2 draw before 9,023 at Varsity Stadium.

The two nations play again Tuesday at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn., a 1 p.m. (ET) match which will be televised by ESPN.

On a hot and humid evening, the largest crowd ever to witness a woman's soccer match in Canada assembled. The Canadians were playing their 29th match under Norwegian coach Even Pellerud, but strangely, their first on Canadian soil. The near capacity crowd saw one of the final soccer games at 81-year-old Varsity Stadium, a relic which is scheduled for demolition in the fall.

The U.S., fielding a veteran lineup for the first time in 2001, received goals from former University of Portland teammates Shannon MacMillan and Tiffeny Milbrett, the top two scorers in the new Womenís United Soccer Association. U.S. captain Julie Foudy played in her 200th career match, joining Americans Mia Hamm (217) and Kristine Lilly (226) as the only two players in the history of international soccer, man or woman, to reach that milestone.

"Regardless of what cap it is, you always want to win," Foudy said. "But you have to credit to Canada. They played a good game and finished their opportunities."

In the opener of tonightís doubleheader, Mary Boland found net off an assist from Alison Graham in the 47th minute, two minutes after entering, to give the U.S. under-19 women a 1-0 decision over their Canadian counterparts.

Though the U.S. had the better of play in the opening minutes, Canada took a 1-0 lead after Kristina Kiss sent a free kick from the left wing into the U.S. penalty area for Andrea Neil to strike a solid header. American goalkeeper Jaime Pagliarulo made a great reaction save, but she could do nothing to Canada's all-time leading scorer Charmaine Hooper from slamming the rebound home from two yards in the 15th minute.

"You really have to tip your hat to Canada," said U.S. coach April Heinrichs. "They have two world-class strikers and enough speed all over the field, particularly at the back, to make it tough for us to get behind them. They really are believing in themselves."

Canada was dealt a harsh blow in the eighth minute when its captain Amy Walsh when down with a possible broken leg. She came in a half-second late on a full-throttle tackle on her Atlanta Beat teammate Cindy Parlow and needed to be carried from the field.

Mia Hammís quick free kick led to the U.S. tying the score at 1-1 in the 28th minute. After Hamm was fouled it the midfield, she promptly sent the restart to MacMillan who cut inside from the left, beating a defender, and then hitting a hard shot on the ground that took a nasty hop and skipped over the shoulder of 20-year-old Canadian keeper Taryn Swiatek into the net.

MacMillan almost struck again three minutes later, putting the ball through the legs of Neil in the midfield before unleashing a vicious 30-yard blast that drew a brilliant save from Swiatek who flew to push the shot just wide of the the right post.

Milbrett, who replaced Hamm for the second half, almost scored in the 47th minute, getting around Swiatek to the left, but pushing the ball to far to the outside allowing Sharolta Nonen to recover and clear.

There was no stopping Milbrett, however, from netting her 84th international goal in the 57th minute Parlow freed her behind the Canadian defense where Milbrett caught Swiatek off her line and drilled a 32-yard dipping shot into the top right corner for the 2-1 advantage.

That lead lasted one minute with 18-year-old Christine Sinclair answering. The U.S. allowed a high looping ball to drop inside the penalty area and Pagliarulo couldn't fight through traffic to punch it way, barely getting a fist on the ball. Sinclair pounced on the bouncing ball, pound her eight-yard shot into the upper right for the 2-2 tie.

"It's commonplace for a team to score a goal and take a collective sigh of relief and it's a dangerous moment in the game," added Heinrichs. "We were the ones that took that relief and it's disappointing that we would talk so often about that situation and have it happen again to us."

Canada almost went ahead in the 64th minute as Hooper hit the inside of the right post off a free kick from 23 yards out in front of the goal. Four minutes after that, Hooper lifted a ball over the U.S. defense to Christine Latham in the left side of the box, but her blistering volley scooted wide right by inches as Pagliarulo scrambled to cover.

After that, the best Canadian chance was a 30-yard drive by Kiss which Pagliarulo tipped over the crossbar. In the 73rd minute, the Americans had golden opportunity when Foudy split the Canadian defense with a perfect pass to Milbrett, but she shot high from 16 yards.

The final 15 minutes were played in a dusky glow with the ancient lights of Varsity Stadium failing to provide adequate illumination.

"I'm fairly pleased with the way we played," Heinrichs said. "We made wholesale substitutions and we were going to make them regardless of the score or the situation. I was pleased with some individual play, but we always want to find ways to win."

United States 2, Canada 2

Lineups: Canada - 22-Taryn Swiatek, 3-Breanna Boyd, 6-Sharolta Nonen (Randee Hermus 74), Isabelle Morneau, Amy Walsh (Kristina Kiss 13), Anderea Neil, Isabelle Harvey, Silvana Burtini, Christine Sinclair, Charmaine Hooper (Clare Rustad 74), Christine Latham. United States - Jaime Pagliarulo, Christie Pearce (Keri Raygor 46), Catherine Reddick, Kate Sobrero, Brandi Chastain (Jena Kluegel 71), Julie Foudy, Lorrie Fair (Nikki Serlenga 46), Aleisha Cramer, Shannon MacMillan (Kristine Lilly 46), Cindy Parlow, Mia Hamm (Tiffeny Milbrett 46).

Scoring:
Canada - Hooper (Neil) 15.
United States - MacMillan (Hamm) 28.
United States - Milbrett (Parlow) 57.
Canada - Christine Sinclair (unassisted) 58.

Shots: Canada 10, United States 16. Shots on goal: Canada 6, United States 6. Saves: Canada 4, United States 4. Corner kicks: Canada 5, United States 6. Fouls: Canada 12, United States 8. Offside: Canada 0, United States 5. Yellow card cautions: Canada - Neil 48; United States - Sobrero 14.

Referee: Sonia Denoncourt (Canada) Assistant referees: Mike Lambert (Canada), Denise Robinson (Canada). Attendance: 9,023 at Varsity Stadium in Toronto. Weather: Hot, muggy, 75 degrees


United States (under-19) 1, Canada (under-19) 0

Lineups: Canada - Erin McLeod, Sasha Andrews, Heather Smith, Katie Arnott, Lisa Backman, Melanie Booth, Carla Dolomont (Kara Lang 68), Sarah Kozey, Carmelina Moscato (Erin McCallum 43), Amy Vermuelen, Candace Chapman. United States - Ashlyn Harris, Jessica Ballweg (Stephanie Ebner 46, Leslie Osborne 82), Keeley Dowling, Amy Steadman, Sara Randolph (Haley Hunt 46), Jill Oaks, Alison Graham, Lori Chalupny, Lindsay Tarpley, Kristin Weiss (Mary Boland 46), Kelly Wilson (Megan Kakadelas 58).

Scoring:
United States - Boland (Graham) 47

Shots: Canada 2, United States 10. Shots on goal: Canada 1, United States 6. Saves: Canada 5, United States 1. Corner kicks: Canada 0, United States 5. Fouls: Canada 13, United States 12. Offside: Canada 0, United States 6. Yellow card caution: Canada - McCallum 74.

Referee: Jill Fedirchuk (Canada). Assistant referees: Siliviu Petrescu (Canada), Dominic Rossetto (Canada). Attendance: 5,000 at Varsity Stadium in Toronto. Weather: Hot, muggy, 80 degrees.

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