USA captures Concacaf U-15 Girls’ Championship title with 4-1 win over Canada
TAMPA, Florida – The U.S. Under-15 Women’s Youth National Team put on a dominating performance to defeat Canada 4-1 in the title game of the 2022 Concacaf U-15 Girls’ Championship.
Forward Kennedy Fuller was awarded the Golden Ball as the top player in the tournament after scoring a team-leading nine goals over the five games. Fuller scored in every match and the USA outscored its opponents by a 34-1 margin over the five games. The USA also won the tournament’s Fair Play Award.
With the victory, the USA earned its third Concacaf title in as many tries at this age level after also winning the tournament in 2016 and 2018.
The USA had defeated Canada, 1-0, in group play, but equaled that goal total after just seven minutes of the championship game. Forward Carrie Helfrich picked up a poor clearance by a Canadian defender just outside the penalty arc and lifted a pass into the left side of the box. Forward Alex Pfeiffer ran onto the bouncing ball and absolutely smashed a half-volley with her left foot from just outside the corner of the six-yard box that flew between the goalkeeper and the left post to stake the Americans to an early 1-0 lead.
The USA made it 2-0 just four minutes later and Helfrich was once again the catalyst. She rumbled past her defender into the right side of penalty area, turned the corner toward the net and then saw her cross blocked by the arm of Canadian defender Bianca Hanisch. The referee immediately pointed to the penalty spot and then Fuller calmly converted.
Canadian midfielder Isabelle Chukwu pulled a goal back in the 26th minute on an excellent finish just a few minutes after coming into the game, but it would be Canada’s only shot during the entire 70-minute match. Canada also only had one shot in the USA’s group game victory.
The USA put the match to sleep with two goals in the final three minutes plus stoppage time and they both came from fantastic build-ups.
With just two minutes left in regulation, midfielder Ashlyn Puerta played a nifty give-and-go with Fuller at the top of the penalty box. Puerta then smoothly nutmegged Canadian defender Emily Wong and the ball rolled to forward Abby Ballek who was making a run into the penalty area. Ballek took two touches to get herself to the penalty spot before she nutmegged Canadian goalkeeper Noelle Henning. Henning played an excellent match for the Maple Leafs, making several big saves in each half to keep the score down.
The goal for Ballek was her seventh of the tournament, which put her second on the team behind Fuller.
The final goal came a minute into stoppage time when Ballek beat her defender on the right flank, dribbled to the end line and a passed into the seam for Puerta, who finished with class with a flick behind her leg from close range to account for the final score line. Puerta scored five goals over the five games.
Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2007, are age-eligible this tournament. U.S. head coach Katie Schoepfer selected 17 players born in 2007 and one born in 2008. This was the first official international tournament for each player on the U.S. roster.
— U.S. UNDER-15 WOMEN’S YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT –
Match: United States U-15 Women’s National Team vs. Canada U-15 Women’s National Team
Date: August 7, 2022
Competition: CONCACAF U-15 Girls’ Championship – Final
Venue: Tournament Sportsplex of Tampa Bay, Florida – Field #1
Weather: 90 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 2 4
CAN 1 0 0
USA — Alex Pfeiffer (Carrie Helfrich) 7th minute
USA — Kennedy Fuller (Penalty Kick) 11
CAN — Isabelle Chuckwu (Nikolina Istocki) 26
USA — Abby Ballek (Ashlyn Puerta) 68
USA — Ashlyn Puerta (Abby Ballek) 70+1
USA: 1-Molly Vapensky; 6-Daya King, 7-Kimmi Ascanio, (17-Ashyln Puerta, 48), 8-Jordyn Hardeman, 9-Alexandra Pfeiffer (4-Abby Ballek, 36), 10-Kennedy Fuller (Capt.), 13-Mya Brandon, 14-Kai Price, 15-Caroline Helfrich (3-Ava Harrison, 61), 16-Ayva Jordan (11-Katie Scott, 36), 18-Ainsley McCammon
Subs not used: 12-Kennedy Zorn, 2-Maddie Costello, 5-Alexis Coughlin
Head Coach: Katie Schoepfer
CAN: 1-Noelle Henning; 2-Sadie Brisbin (3-Mya Angus, 42), 4-Emily Wong, 5-Yasmine Decombe, 6-Juliette Perreault (15-Maree-anne Van Doesburg, 42), 7-Nikolina Istocki (17-Keelyn Stewart, 58), 9-Anabelle Chukwu, 11-Sandrine Brault, 13-Bianca Hanisch, 14-Keira Martin (12-Isabelle Chukwu, 23), 16-Liana Tarasco (8-Teagan Stewart, 58)
Subs not used: 18-Sierra Gallant, 10-Shaden Al-asad
Head Coach: Jasmine Mander
Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 12 / 1
Shots on Goal: 7 / 1
Saves: 0 / 3
Corner Kicks: 7 / 1
Fouls: 1 / 6
Offside: 3 / 0
CAN — Bianca Hanisch (Caution) 11th minute
Referee: Neressa Goldson (JAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Aranza Quero (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Krystal Delancy-evans (BAH)
Fourth Official: Itzel Hernandez (MEX)