The US Under-23 Women’s National Team opened its year with a 1-0 win against Japan at the Six Nations Tournament with a lone goal from Kealia in the 56th minute off a pass from Katie Stengel. This marked the first international match for the U-23 WNT since the last Six Nations Tournament held around the same time last year.
Unfortunately no highlights or photos have been posted from the match. No livestreams have been provided either.
The U-23 #USWNT defeated Japan 1-0 today at the Six Nations Tournament in La Manga, Spain. 56th min goal from Houston Dash’s Kealia Ohai.
— U.S. Soccer YNT (@ussoccer_ynt) March 1, 2014
Press release from US Soccer:
The U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team won its first match at the Six Nations Tournament in La Manga, Spain, defeating Japan 1-0 on a 56th-minute goal from Kealia Ohai, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 NWSL College Draft by the Houston Dash.
In a match that saw a skillful Japan squad dominate possession, the U.S. defense and goalkeeper Abby Smith of the University of Texas held strong to earn the shut-out, while Ohai, who scored the game-winning goal in the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup Final against Germany, did so again 11 minutes into the second half.
The goal was set up by former Wake Forest star forward Katie Stengel when she dribbled to the right side of the six-yard box, drawing the Japanese goalkeeper out, before squaring to Ohai who scored into the empty net.
The U.S. roster featured six players from the U.S. team that won the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan, which was coached by current U-23 WNT head coach Steve Swanson. Three more U-23 age-eligible 2012 world champions – midfielders Samantha Mewis and Sarah Killion of UCLA and Morgan Brian of Virginia – are with the full U.S. WNT at the Algarve Cup in Portugal.
Swanson’s starting 11 featured seven players who will be playing in the NWSL next season – four 2014 College Draft picks and three one-year veterans – including Meleana Shim of the inaugural-season champion Portland Thorns FC. 2013 NWSL Rookie of the Year Erika Tymrak came on at halftime for Stanford’s Chioma Ugobagu.
The USA will continue the competition with matches against the Under-23 teams of Sweden on March 3 and Norway on March 5.
- Kealia scored off of a pass from Katie Stengel in the 56th minute. This was the only goal in the match.
- The US U-23 WNT’s last international game was at the Six Nations Tournament which Kealia did not participate in.
- The match marked the first cap and goal for Kealia with the Under-23 WNT and the first international match since her run with the Under-20 WNT.
- Last int’l appearance was during the 2012 U-20 Women’s World Cup final against Germany where she scored the only goal in the match.
- This is the first overall game in 4 months for Kealia. The last time Kealia was on the field was with UNC during its devastating loss against UCLA in the NCAA quarterfinals.