Saturday, August 25, 2007
USWNT Running blog
The WARP tour is still going on in the parking lot of the HDC, so soccer moms are leading their kids into the stadium past the tattoed punk kids with mohawks and black bras, combat boots and lip piercings. It's funny to watch the groups eye each other as they pass.
U.S.: Hope Solo, Christie Rampone, Cat Whitehill, Kate Markgraf, Steph Lopez, Shannon Boxx, Lori Chalupny, Heather O'Reilly, Lindsay Tarpley, Abby Wambach, Kristine Lilly
Finns: Tinja-Rikka Korpela, Petra Vaelma, Tiina Salmen, Miia Neimi, Susanna Lehtinen, Jessica Julin, Sanna Valkonen, Katri Nokso-Koivisto, Leena Puranen, Annica Sjolund, Sanna Talonen
And they kick off!
2 - the Finns are not New Zealand - they're taking it to the States early.
4 First US advance, Wambach dribbles out for GK
6 - Lilly with good work in box, sends cross that misses crashing HAO and Wambach
8- US seems over early jitters and looks lively, attacking hard. Corner for U.S. finally gets knocked out for GK.
11 - Finn free kick - cleared out. Finns finding some space at times, but the U.S. defense looked dialed in, much more so than in the early going
13 - Kristine Lilly shanks a shot, and then mutters to herself. Happens to even the greats, but they bounce back - Lilly slams another shot, forcing a diving save from Korpela.
18 - O'Reilly with a shot - could've done better with that.
20 - It's plain to see how the U.S. women win so many games. They steamroll weaker teams, obviously. If they meet teams that can hang with them, even a little, they don't let up. They keep running, they keep coming, they try different things to beat their rivals. They try one shot, if it doesn't work, they try another. Oppenents used to refining their offense are forced to play crazy defense all the time. It's like putting out fires constantly. The Finn players are pretty good, but they are starting to get that overwhelmed look.
24 - Chalupney with a shot - blocked. Lilly, same. U.S. recovers, then Chalupney sends in nice pass to Wambach for a header that Korpela saves.
27 - Wambach is limping after a shot. Maybe she can run it off, but she is doing the run hop of the "I really don't want to put weight on this" people.
28 - Wambach is subbed off Carli Lloyd comes in. Lloyd is pretty awesome, but the Finns probably feel they caught a break, because Wambach is lethal in front of goal, best WNT strike rate ever. Yes, even better than Mighty Mia Hamm.
30 - Boxx scores for the hometown fans! She lives in Torrance. Lilly sends in the corner, Boxx gets a head on it and it loops up, spinning slightly, completely fooling Korpela, who can't figure it out and it drops behind her and into the net.
33 Tarp earns FK, Lloyd takes it - eek, sends it way over the bar.
35 - Finns on attack, ball in box kicked out by Solo.
37 - U.S. back in control - Finns looking worn out and it's not even halftime - wow, Chalup into the box, beats her defender and jukes goalkeeper with a pass to a wide open Granma - oops, Lilly. Goal #126
39 - Chalup to Lilly again, but Lilly is a little too careful with this one. She puts it right to the goalkeeper when she could have gone for broke on the far post.
40 - Lights out. No really, the lights in the stadium have just gone out. They keep playing, becaus night hasn't fully hit yet.
42 - This happened once before, during an InterLiga game. It took them fifteen minutes to get the power back - but that game was played at night, so the players had to just stand around and wait.
44 - Corner for Finland - cleared.
45 - They're going to try to fix the lights at halftime, I guess.
45 + US corner, cleared. 2 minutes of extra time. Rampone's free throw gets cleared out, she sends a cross back in, but Tarpley's header goes over the bar.