Goals Galore as U.S. U17 Book Final Berth

Goals Galore as U.S. U17 Book Final Berth
by Victor Olorunfemi
February 9, 2024
Players featured in this article:
D | FC Dallas
MF | Weston FC
MF | San Diego Surf
D | Legends FC
Riley Cross |  2025
MF | PDA
MF | Solar SC
D | Solar SC
F | McLean Youth Soccer
MF | Solar SC
MF | FC Dallas
MF | VDA
F | KC Current
Katie Scott |  2024
F | Internat'ls (OH)
Mya Townes |  2025
F | FC Virginia
D | Bay Area Surf
GK | FC United (IL)

It was business as usual as the U.S. ran out 7-1 victors versus Haiti to qualify for the U17 World Cup and move on to the final of the Concacaf championship. The story of the day was Florida native Kimmi Ascanio, who came off the bench to score a six-minute hattrick. 

From the kick-off, it was clear the game had high-scoring potential for the U.S. as Haiti opted not to utilize a low block. And 24 minutes in, a clever reverse pass from Melanie Barcenas found Mya Townes for the opener. But before the dust settled, the American backline was called into action in the 26th minute as Katie Scott was in the right place at the right time to make a goal-line clearance following a scramble in the eighteen.

Despite numerous chances to increase the lead, it wasn’t until the 40th minute that the U.S. would break through again. Who else but Kennedy Fuller, as she finished a cutback pass from Alexandra Pfeiffer to score her tournament-leading seventh goal. 

And just three minutes into the second half, Fuller would score her eight on a nearly identical goal, this time with Carrie Helfrich providing the assist. Pfieffer would step to the plate in the 59th minute, chesting down a Scott cross, faking past the defender, and smashing her shot past the keeper. 

At 4-0 with the game out of reach, a handful of substitutions from both teams slowed the momentum until Haiti was awarded a penalty in the 80th minute following a 50/50 challenge with American keeper Molly Vapensky. Lourdjina Etienne converted to make it her seventh goal of the tournament.  

The penalty refocused the U.S., particularly Ascanio, who came on for Helfrich in the 69th minute. The Weston FC and Florida United star scored three between the 81st and 87th minute to give her the record for the fastest hattrick between the first and third goal in Concacaf U17 history.  

The U.S. will now regroup and prepare to face either Mexico or Canada in Sunday’s championship game.

U.S. Lineup: Molly Vapensky; Jordyn Hardeman, Trinity Armstrong (Alexis Coughlin), Jocelyn Travers; Katie Scott, Melanie Barcenas (Y-Lan Nguyen), Kennedy Fuller, Ainsley McCammon; Carrie Helfrich (Kimmi Ascanio), Mya Townes (Riley Cross), Alexandra Pfeiffer (Rylee McLanahan)

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