In the opening match of Group B at the 2012 CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship in Guatemala, the USA ended up cruising past the Bahamas 10:0, but the journey was far from smooth sailing.
And, it could have been worse. For both teams.
The United States scored early — within forty seconds of kick-off, plus another goal in the sixth minute — but had a drought of over thirty-two minutes where they did not score a goal. Several minutes before half-time, the match looked like it would end up being a relatively low-scoring affair. But, then Summer Green scored three goals within six minutes, giving the USA a 5:0 lead at the break.
For the Bahamas, they survived an onslaught of 30 shot on goal and 52 shots overall, thanks in part to their goalkeeper Cori Strachan making several key saves during a mixed performance in between the sticks.
Highlights (US Soccer):
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ROSTER AND FORMATION NOTES
Starting Line-Up and Formation: The only real surprise in the starting eleven was that Morgan Stanton did not start as the midfield included both Lauren Kaskie and Sarah Robinson as attacking midfielders. The starting eleven:
Basinger (RB) — Bauer (CB) — Freeman (CB) — G.Miranda
Robinson (AM) — Kaskie (AM)
Purce (RF) — Green (CF) — Bruder (LF)
Fig. 1: The USA’s Starting Line-Up
Up top, the outside forwards, Midge Purce and Emily Bruder, did switch sides at least once for a few minutes in the first half. Also, Green did play out on the right flank, with Purce in the middle for a brief spell in the first half.
The fullbacks, Brittany Basinger and Gabbi Miranda, did not switch flanks. Also, Robinson sometimes dropped back all the way even with the holding mid, Morgan Andrews, who usually stayed the deepest of the midfielders, but did get into the attack several times.
On the Bench: The seven substitutes were Morgan Stanton, Andi Sullivan, Toni Payne, Darian Jenkins, Joanna Boyles, Lizzy Raben, and goalkeeper Cassie Miller.
Which meant that forward Amber Munerlyn and fullback Morgan Reid were not rostered for this match.
Substitutes: At half-time, Montoya made two changes: Andi Sullivan for Emily Bruder and Morgan Stanton for Lauren Kaskie, which did not result in any major formation switch or any position swap. Sullivan played on the left wing, while Stanton generally played left of center. With about twenty minutes to go, the final change was made: Toni Payne came on for Summer Green in the 71st minute. Payne played on the left wing, with Sullivan switching to primarily the right wing and Purce moved to the center.
So, the final formation, graphically:
Fig 2: The USA’s Final Formation
(Substitutes are in red)
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GOAL SCORING SUMMARY
1. Midge Purce (1′, Gabbi Miranda): Within seconds of the Bahamas kicking off, the USA is pressuring the ball. Robinson intercepts a pass, which deflects to a Bahamian defender. The ball finds Kaskie who passes to Andrews. Basinger. Bauer. Freeman. Miranda. Miranda dribbles up the left flank and sends a long diagonal cross (apparently) toward Green, but the ball is over her head. However, right of center, Purce and Robinson are also running toward goal. Purce beats her defender and gets onto the ball. Purce left-foots a chip to the right of the goalkeeper. — 1:0 USA.
2. Summer Green (6′): Kaskie delivered a low, hard cross to the six-yard box, which went through the Bahamas’ goalkeeper’s hand and on toward Bruder, who gets off a shot, but the ball rebounds off a Bahamian defender. Green, who is a few yards left of the penalty spot, runs onto the ball and powers a shot into the back of the net. — 2:0 USA.
3. Summer Green (39′): Purce dribbles toward the penalty arc, right of center and passes to the left, too far ahead of Bruder. The Bahamian defender’s poor clearance lands at the feet of Green who is out on the right edge of the penalty box. Green dribbles around a defender toward goal and from a somewhat tight angle, hits a grounder to the right of the goalkeeper and into goal. — 3:0 USA.
4. Summer Green (40′, Morgan Andrews): Andrews is dribbling down the center. Up ahead of her, Green is making a run on the right. Andrews slots a pass up to Green who has a fairly easy run in on goal. — 4:0 USA.
5. Summer Green (44′): Robinson is dribbling right of center toward goal. She passes to Purce, who is on the right flank, but the ball goes right to a Bahamian defender and deflects perfectly to Green who is in the penalty arc, with her back toward goal. Green turns and dribbles a few steps before unleashing a relatively routine shot. — 5:0 USA.
6. Andi Sullivan (56′, Sarah Robinson): After a brief spell where neither side had consistent possession, Sullivan passes ahead to Robinson, who then passes back to Sullivan. Sullivan lines up a hard-hit shot from a few yards above the penalty arc, which the goalkeeper gets both hands on, but the momentum of the ball causes it to go over the ‘keeper’s head and across the goal-line. — 6:0 USA.
7. Summer Green (60′, Midge Purce): Right of center, a short goal kick lands at Purce’s feet. She dribbles toward the penalty arc and passes to Green, who turns and briefly dribbles before driving a shot left of the goalkeeper. (Purce was probably expecting a give-and-go.) — 7:0 USA.
8. Midge Purce (75′,Toni Payne): Payne takes a short corner kick from the right, which she delivers to Robinson, who passes the ball back to her. Payne dribbles laterally toward goal and cuts to the goal-line. She then crosses to in front of the goal where Purce redirects the ball into the goal. The Bahamian defense barely moved during the play, while the USA had four players in front of goal with two of them wide-open: Purce and Sullivan. — 8:0 USA.
9. Toni Payne (76′, Sarah Robinson): Andrews feeds a diagonal through-ball to Purce, who runs onto it at the right edge of the penalty box, a couple yards ahead of the goal-line. Purce crosses in front of goal, but does not get a clean pass off. The ball slips through the goalkeeper’s hands to Robinson, whose weak shot rolls in front of a nearby Payne, who finishes the job. (Also, see the Odds & Ends section.) — 9:0 USA.
10. Midge Purce (83′, Morgan Andrews): Purce receives the ball from Andrews and dribbles down the center past defenders who barely make any effort to stop her. Once in the box, she easily slides a grounder to the left of the goalkeeper. After the goal, it appears she may have been in some pain, but seemed to be okay later. — 10:0 USA.
Fig. 3: Map of Goals Scored
(Numbers refer to the order in which scored)
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PLAYER PERFORMANCE SUMMARIES
Jane Campbell (#1, goalkeeper): Campbell only had to make one true save, which was a routine grab of a long and weak free kick. She also pounced on a cross from the left flank, which was headed to in front of goal. She also came out of her box a couple times in a sweeper/’keeper role.
Maddie Bauer (#5, centerback): Bauer did not have much to do defensively. She did venture up field a couple times with the ball, but those plays fizzled out. She also had one shot on goal: a rushed rebound volley that was high (56th minute, after Basinger’s shot from a corner kick play).
Mandy Freeman (#16, centerback): Freeman was barely tested during the match, but did make one important defensive challenge. She mostly made short passes, which were accurate, but rarely challenged, so there is not much to talk about, performance-wise.
Brittany Basinger (#3, right fullback): Basinger covered the entire right flank, from goal-line to goal-line, during the match. She got forward often and worked the corner. Basinger had a shot on goal which was saved just enough to have it rebound off a goalpost.
Gabbi Miranda (#6, left fullback): Miranda did give up field a lot, but not as frequently or as far up as Basinger. Miranda’s biggest strength was her long passing, as evident in the first goal.
Morgan Andrews (#10, holding midfielder): Andrews mostly stayed deep in the midfield, but did push up toward goal several times, including a dribble into the box. She had a few shots at goal, including a 35-yard shot that curved left and bounced off the left goalpost, and another effort from distance that was off the crossbar. She also had a few shots over the crossbar, including a 25-yard free kick attempt. Passing was mostly accurate, and she set-up at least three goals (Green’s third goal, plus the final two goals of the match).
Sarah Robinson (#17, attacking midfielder): Although Robinson covered a lot of ground, her passes were not always accurate and sometimes too speculative. She did make some nice moves, including a dragback and spin to get the ball away from two defenders.
Lauren Kaskie (#14, attacking midfielder): Kaskie only played in the first half and was not that involved in the match. Her shots were mostly from well outside the penalty box and either not on target or directly at the ‘keeper.
Midge Purce (#15, forward): Scored three goals. Can attack from the flank and down the middle. More than willing to go one-v-one with a defender where she tends to be patient and waits to out-smart a defender rather than to just fly past the defender.
Summer Green (#8, forward): Scored five goals. Although generally lethal from inside the penalty box, Green did have a couple shots over the crossbar during the USA’s drought in the first half. Not the flashiest player, but one of the more dynamic, especially off the ball.
Emily Bruder (#9, forward): Only played the first half. Seemed to “go it alone” too much when attacking the goal. Needs to look for her teammates more and be more willing to pull back and reset play.
Morgan Stanton (#11, attacking midfielder): Only played the second half. Used the deep left flank more than Kaskie. Also got into the box. Had at least one shot (on goal). Nimble on the ball. She wore a soft brace on her left knee. (Not sure if that is for an old injury or something more recent.)
Andi Sullivan (#7, forward): Only played the second half. Had a goal from distance. She was involved in the match, but was not that noticeable.
Toni Payne (#19, forward): Only in the match for the final twenty minutes, but did get an assist and a goal.
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ODDS & ENDS
Corner Kicks: On the left flank, Summer Green was the primary taker. After he was subbed out, Toni Payne took the only left corner. For corners from the right side, Lauren Kaskie took all of theose during the first half. After Kaskie was subbed out, Gabbi Miranda took the right corners. Late in the match, Andi Sullivan did take the last right corner, but that was more due to being closer to the ball than a designed play.
Was Toni Payne Offside On Her Goal? Payne appeared not to be, as she looked to be behind the last two defenders: A defender who was deep on the right flank, and the goalkeeper, thanks to her legs being sprawled out. The smarter play for Payne would have been to let Robinson to finish the goal, as (1) no other defenders were an immediate threat, and (2) to avoid the possibility of an incorrect offside call by the assistant referee.
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US Soccer Post-Match Interviews: