CARSON, California – The U.S. U17 Women’s National Team didn’t have to look far to find a worthy scrimmage opponent. In fact, they didn’t even have to look beyond their own camp.
The U17s faced off against their joint campmates, the U18 squad, on Wednesday night during a scrimmage that tested their chemistry and physical strength.
And though the bigger and stronger U18 squad clearly used their advantages at times, their younger counterparts showed signs of life during a mixed bag of performances.
Lauren Kaskie (white) pulled out of camp due to an injury.
Splitting the match into three 30-minute halves, the first U17 unit performed the best but got the worst result – the latest example of soccer’s often cruel irony. That group consisted of: goalkeeper Jane Campbell, defenders Morgan Reid, Morgan Andrews, Elizabeth Raben and Gabbi Miranda; midfielders Morgan Stanton, Toni Payne
, Andi Sullivan, Amber Munerlyn, Summer Green and forward Emily Bruder.
The U17s started off the third playing great possession soccer and connecting well. The backline, in particular, did a great job of keeping the ball moving. Elizabeth Raben is a player with good size who did well to seal off opposing U18 players while Gabbi Miranda is an athletic left-footed player who looked good in tight spaces.
Offensively, Summer Green continued to look dynamic and made a couple great runs – including a 1v1 move on the left wing that allowed her to send a cross in to the athletic Toni Payne
who nearly made a leaping volley for a score.
That missed opportunity seemed to change the momentum of the match as the 18s dominated the final 10 minutes or so.
U18 attacker Lindsay Horan, who, if she wasn’t the best player on the field was certainly the most comfortable, took over the final stages of the third.
She created a U18 goal with a great run out wide right before sending it into the box for Florida State recruit Anna McClung to volley in.
She then scored a second goal after taking a long ball and slipping past a U17 defender – who fell down – before calmly beating goalkeeper Campbell.
Horan has played in so many big matches for the U.S. program and at this stage she approaches camps like she’s playing in her backyard.
From there both teams brought in new lineups and the matchup swung in favor of the U18s.
Joanna Boyles, Zoey Goralski, Madeline Bauer, Miranda Freeman and the rest of the crew all made appearances on the U17 side.
Ryan Walker, Kodi Lavrusky, Cari Roccaro and Reilly Parker were a few of the noticeable U18 players along with goalkeeper Abby Smith, who started.
The U17s found some chemistry by mixing up their lineup in the final third where the always dependable Andrews looked good alongside Green, Sarah Robinson, Goralski and particularly Sullivan.
A tall, active player, Sullivan made some great runs and really mixed things up in the last few minutes where the U17s earned a few decent chances.
The synergy between the lineups is something U17 coach Albertin Montoya is paying extra close attention to as he finalizes his CONCACAF Qualifying roster for the 2012 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup.
The U17 team is firmly aware of what they’re playing for this week but is trying to keep perspective.
“We’re fighting for positions but we still love each other. We’re a team that has a lot of chemistry and has really bonded over the years,” Boyles said.
“I thought we held our own (tonight). We did a good job of keeping possession, but unfortunately we didn’t finish our chances. But I thought we played well and it was a big step.”
U.S. U17 WNT Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Concorde Fire South; Kennesaw, Ga.), Carissa Miller (Sereno FC; Cave Creek, Ariz.), Morgan Stearns (McLean Power; San Antonio, Texas)
DEFENDERS (6): Morgan Andrews (FC Stars of Mass.; Milford, N.H.), Madeline Bauer (Slammers FC; Newport Beach, Calif.), Gabby Byorth (Ohio Premier Eagles; Dublin, Ohio), Zoey Goralski (Chicago Botafogo; Naperville, Ill.), Elizabeth Raben (Colorado Rush; Greenwood, Colo.), Morgan Reid (Chelsea Ladies; Cary, N.C.), Claire Wagner (Chelsea Ladies; Cary, N.C.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Joanna Boyles (Chelsea Ladies; Raleigh, N.C), Miranda Freeman (Lady Renegades SC; Royal Palm Beach, Fla.), Summer Green (Michigan Hawks; Milford, Mich.), Gabbi Miranda (Colorado Rush; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Sarah Robinson (MVLA Lightning; Los Altos, Calif.), Arielle Ship (Real So Cal; Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Morgan Stanton (Colorado Rush; Lakewood, Colo.), Andi Sullivan (Bethesda SC; Lorton, Va.)
Emily Bruder (Utah Avalanche; Sandy, Utah), Danica Evans (Colorado Rush; Lakewood, Colo.), Darian Jenkins (Sparta; Riverton, Utah), Gabrielle Matulich (MVLA Lightning; Los Gatos, Calif.), Amber Munerlyn (So Cal Blues; Corona, Calif.), Toni Payne
(Concorde Fire; Birmingham, Ala.)
U.S. U18 WNT Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS (4): Caroline Casey (Virginia Rush; Chesapeake, Va.), Bryane Heaberlin (Clearwater Chargers; Tampa, Fla.), Abby Smith (Dallas Texans; Dallas, Texas), Andi Tostanoski (Pride Predator; Colorado Springs, Colo.)
DEFENDERS (9): Stephanie Amack (Mustang Blast; Pleasanton, Calif.), Yulie Lopez (Coral Springs United; Wellington, Fla.), Katie Naughton (Sockers FC; Arlington Heights, Ill.), Carly Jo Olszewski (Real So Cal; Upland, Calif.), Cari Roccaro (Albertson Fury; East Islip, N.Y.), Alexis Shaffer (CASL; Cary, N.C.), Brittany Von Rueden (FC Milwaukee Nationals; Mequon, Wis.), Ryan Walker (Mustang Blast; Oakland, Calif.), Alexandra Wong (McLean Power; Rockville, Md.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Riley Barger (Freestate Soccer Alliance; Baldwin, Md.), Kate Bettinger (Marin SC; Belvedere, Calif.), Caroline Lindquist (Spartan Elite; Raleigh, N.C.), Ashley Meier (Cleveland Whitecaps; Strongsville, Ohio), Reilly Parker (Mustang Blast; Danville, Calif.), Taylor Smith (Solar Chelsea; Dallas, Tex.), Emily Sonnett (NASA, Marietta, Ga.), Allison Wetherington (Concorde Fre SC; Acworth Ga.)
Makenzy Doniak (Slammers FC; Chino Hills, Calif.), Sophie Groff (Dallas Texans; Grapevine, Texas), Sarah Hardison
(FC Virginia; Hamilton, Va.), Lindsey Horan (Colorado Rush; Golden, Colo.), Devlyn Jeter (FC Elk Grove; Sacramento, Calif.), Kristiana Konkol-Mroczokowski (Real So Cal; Malibu, Calif.), Kodi Lavrusky (Legends FC; Yucaipa, Calif.), Anna McClung (GSA Phoenix; Gate City, Va.), Jenna Roering (Minnesota Thunder Academy; Lino Lakes, Minn.)