U.S. women win Nordic Cup again
KARLSKOGA, Sweden -- The United States won its seventh consecutive Nordic Cup when the Under-21 women's national team rolled over archrival Norway 4-1 Tuesday.
Lauren Cheney scored her second goal of the tournament, Carli Lloyd got her third, Heather O'Reilly connected for her fourth and midfielder Lori Chalupny added her first of the competition.
The U.S. team has won eight of the last nine Nordic Cup tournaments dating back to 1997. The event is held every summer in northern Europe, and is the world's premier competition for under-21 women.
``The tournament was just a lot of fun,'' said Cheney, 17. ``Soccerwise, the atmosphere was just great. To be able to play with Carli, Tarp (Lindsay Tarpley) and Heather, all these awesome players, was just so fun.
``As the youngest player on the team, it's been neat how they carried me along and helped me out. They were always talking to me and encouraging me and letting me know what I can do better.''
O'Reilly led the United States in scoring with her four goals in four games.
``The cohesiveness of this team was really good,'' she said. ``After the big win against Germany (in the final group match) we didn't let down and we knew we had to finish it off.
``I felt that we had each other's backs in this tournament. The success is a testament to the hard work by the players and staff.''
The Americans scored 15 minutes into the game. The goal was created by left midfielder Chalupny, who dribbled down the left flank, beat a defender and sent a cross on the ground to the near goalpost. A charging Cheney won the race to the ball and side-footed it into the net from 6 yards.
It became 2-0 early in the second half. Lloyd fed the ball to O'Reilly, who took four touches, made a stutter-step move at the top of the penalty area to lose another defender and drove her left-footed shot into the right side from 12 yards.
The Americans' third goal came in the 65th minute off a throw-in from the left side to Cheney, who then fed Lloyd for a short shot. Chalupny made it 4-0 in the 73rd minute.
Norway scored its lone goal with five minutes left on a fluke play. A long ball bounced off the head of Norwegian forward Lindy Wiik, over substitute goalkeeper Erika Bohn, and into the net.