USA qualifies for 2024 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup after 7-1 win over Haiti
TOLUCA, Mexico – The U.S. U-17 Women’s Youth National Team qualified for the 2024 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup with a dominant 7-1 victory against Haiti in the semifinals of the 2024 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship.
Four different players scored for the USA, including three goals in a seven-minute span at the end of the match for 16-year-old midfielder Kimmi Ascanio as the USA became third country to qualify for the World Cup, joining host Dominican Republic and New Zealand.
Having secured its spot in the World Cup, the USA now turns its attention to Sunday’s Championship Match (4 p.m. ET on FS2) where it will face the victor of the other semifinal between Group B runner-up Canada and host Mexico, the Group A winner. The U.S. will be seeking its third-straight Concacaf title at this age level and its sixth overall.
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) February 9, 2024
The semifinal victory carried extra meaning for the USA- with U-17 World Cup being held in the Concacaf region, only two berths instead of the usual three are available via the Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship. In qualifying tournaments for the two previous World Cups held within the Concacaf region, the USA lost in penalty kicks in the semifinals and failed to qualify.
Qualification was hardly in question this time around after a dominant showing from the young Americans in the first half and a five-goal outburst in the second. The USA outshot Haiti 31-7 and was in total control of the match despite a few counterattacking threats from the Caribbean side. Forward Mya Townes opened the scoring in the 24th minute and fellow attacker Kennedy Fuller tallied her seventh goal in the 40th to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead at the half.
Fuller completed her brace with a tournament-leading eighth goal in the 47th minute and Kansas City Current forward Alex Pfeiffer made it 4-0 with a strike in the 57th. Haiti pulled one back from the penalty spot after a highly questionable call, but the U.S. closed the game out with three goals in the final nine minutes. All of those were scored by Ascanio, who became the 22nd U.S. player to score three or more goals in a Concacaf U-17 qualifying match and the third to do so this tournament.
With only two berths from Concacaf to this fall’s U-17 World Cup, the USA wasted no time setting the tone and intensity in the all-important semifinal. The speedy Townes was played in on goal just 30 seconds into the match, but Haitian goalkeeper Kimberlie Prince did well to come off her line quickly and thwart the danger. It was the first of many fine plays by Prince, who did well to keep Haiti in the match and finished with 10 saves, many of the spectacular sort.
The high-pressing Americans created a flurry of chances in the opening 15 minutes, including two impressive attempts from distance by Pfieffer and Melanie Barcenas, the two professional players on the U.S. roster and first pros to ever represent the USA at this tournament. Barcenas, who scored a brilliant strike from distance in the group stage win vs. Canada, saw her shot go just over the bar while Pfieffer rocketed one on target from nearly 30 yards out only to be denied by Prince.
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) February 9, 2024
The U.S. dominated possession and dictated tempo throughout the match while also maintaining an organized defense. The USA did well to deny service to Haiti forward Lourdjina Etienne, who was tied with Fuller for most goals (six) in the group stage but was frustrated by the U.S. defense all afternoon before eventually scoring Haiti’s lone goal from the penalty spot.
After numerous opportunities to get on the board, the U.S. finally opened the scoring in the 24th minute. Townes got on the end of a perfectly-placed pass from Barcenas and powered one past Prince to give the USA a 1-0 lead.
Fuller doubled the U.S. advantage in the 40th minute, as Pfeiffer broke down the left flank and powered a pass back across the penalty area to the midfielder, who showed her patience and poise in front of goal as she deftly redirected the ball into the upper right corner.
Eager to put the game away against a Haitian squad built to strike on the counter, the U.S. brought the same energy and intensity to open the second half and was quickly rewarded as Fuller netted her second of the game in the 47th. Forward Carrie Helfrich won the ball off her defender deep in the attacking third and drove to the endline before slotting a pass back to Fuller. Waiting at the edge of the six-yard box, Fuller completed her brace with a one-timed finish with her right foot.
Ten minutes later, Pfeiffer broke through with a goal of her own, netting her fifth of the tournament with a powerful left-footed finish. Defender Katie Scott, who provided some first-half heroics when she cleared the ball off the USA’s goal line in the 29th to preserve a 1-0 lead, got into the attack and dribbled down the right wing before switching the point of attack to Pfeiffer on the left. Pfieffer did well to control the ball, bringing it down before unleashing a left-footed shot into the back of the net.
With a four-goal advantage, head coach Katie Schoepfer turned to her bench, bringing on fresh legs and more attacking prowess to maintain intensity throughout the 90 minutes.
Ascanio, the roster’s youngest player who just recently turned 16, came on for Fuller and made the most of her opportunity, scoring in the 81st, 86th and 87th minutes to net her first goals – and first hat trick – at the U-17 international level.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
USA – Mya Townes (Melanie Barcenas), 24th minute: Just outside the top of the arc, Barcenas showed off her ability on the ball, creating some space with a dribble before slipping a perfectly-weighted pass behind the defense. Townes timed her run well across the top of the 18 to stay onside and met the ball in stride to finish with a hard strike across the goalkeeper into the left corner for her fourth goal of the tournament. USA 1, HAI 0
USA – Kennedy Fuller (Alex Pfeiffer), 40th minute: After forcing Haiti into a turnover deep in its defensive third, Barcenas found Pfeiffer on the left wing. The Kansas City Current attacker drove into the box and cut the ball back across the penalty area to a wide open Fuller, who calmly redirected it into the upper right corner for her seventh goal of the tournament. USA 2, HAI 0
USA – Kennedy Fuller (Carrie Helfrich), 47th minute: Helfrich blocked an attempted clearance by Haiti in its own penalty box, collected the ball and drove to the endline before firing a pass across to Fuller. Fuller coolly finished with her right foot from the edge of the six-yard box for her second goal of the game. USA 3, HAI 0
USA – Alex Pfeiffer (Katie Scott), 57th minute: Scott sparked the attack with a darting run out of the back, crossing the ball into the penalty box from the right wing. Pfeiffer chested the pass down and cut past a defender, setting herself up well for a left-footed blast, which she buried high into the net for her fifth goal of the tournament. USA 4, HAI 0
HAI – Lourdjina Etienne, 78th minute: Awarded a penalty kick after forward Dwerline Saindate collided with U.S. goalkeeper Molly Vapensky in the penalty area, Etienne stepped up to the spot and buried her attempt for her seventh goal of the tournament. USA 4, HAI 1
USA – Kimmi Ascanio, 81st minute: The U.S. responded immediately to giving up a penalty, quickly getting into the attack. Ascanio darted through the Haitian defense with a strong individual effort and tucked her shot into the bottom right corner for her first career U-17 goal. USA 5, HAI 1
USA – Kimmi Ascanio (Katie Scott), 86th minute: Scott was active once again on the attack, this time finding Ascanio in the penalty area, where she danced through defenders to free herself for the finish. USA 6, HAI 1
USA – Kimmi Ascanio, 87th minute: Riley Cross attempted a shot from distance that careened off the bottom right post. Ascanio pounced on the rebound and cut into the middle of the box where she finished from close range to complete her hat trick. USA 7, HAI 1
- The U.S. improves to 3-0-0 all-time against Haiti at the Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship. The previous two meetings between the teams came in 2010 and 2018.
- Kennedy Fuller leads the team and all scorers at the tournament with eight goals.
- Carrie Helfrich and Alex Pfieffer are tied for the team lead with three assists each this tournament. Katie Scott has two assists, both registered in the win against Haiti.
- Defender Jocelyn Travers’ yellow card at the end of the first half was the USA’s first of the tournament.
–U.S. UNDER-17 WOMEN’S YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT–
Match: United States Under-17 Women’s Youth National Team vs. Haiti
Date: Feb. 9, 2024
Competition: Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championship
Venue: Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación, A.C. – Field 1; Toluca, Mexico
Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET (Noon CT)
Weather: 71 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 5 7
HAI 0 1 1
USA – Mya Townes (Melanie Barcenas) 24th minute
USA – Kennedy Fuller (Alex Pfeiffer) 40
USA — Kennedy Fuller (Carrie Helfrich) 47
USA – Alex Pfeiffer (Katie Scott) 57
HAI — Lourdjina Etienne (Penalty Kick) 78
USA – Kimmi Ascanio 81
USA – Kimmi Ascanio (Katie Scott) 86
USA – Kimmi Ascanio 87
USA: 1-Molly Vapensky; 13-Katie Scott, 2-Jordyn Hardeman, 4-Trinity Armstrong (3-Lexi Coughlin, 85), 16-Jocelyn Travers; 6-Ainsley McCammon (Capt.), 10-Kennedy Fuller (7-Kimmi Ascanio, 58), 11-Melanie Barcenas (19-Y-Lan Nguyen, 62); 9-Carrie Helfrich, 20-Mya Townes (8-Riley Cross, 85), 17-Alex Pfeiffer (18-Rylee McLanahan, 62)
Substitutes not used: 5-Kiara Gilmore, 12-Franky Dunlap, 14-Leena Powell, 15-Daya King, 21-Kennedy Zorn
Head Coach: Katie Schoepfer
HAI: 1-Kimberlie Prince; 17-Yvena Murat, 13-Aslie Laguerre, 7-Neissa Francois, 3-Djoulissa Pierre; 6-Dalanchy Pierre, 8-Chesnaida Nicolas (14-Derine Saindate, 65); 10-Pierreline Nazon (Capt.) (16-Wood-China Semetus, 87); 20-Desert Dominque (15-Ella Etinenne, 74), 9-Lourdjina Etienne, 19-Anabella Fleuriot (11-Nehemie Sainvilus, 46)
Substitutes not used: 2-Djoulandie Gay, 4-Rosalanka Metellus, 5-Esther Valeus, , 12-Kemberly Cadet, 18-Yolande Louis, 21-Daphca Marc
Head coach: Marc Oge
Stats Summary: USA / HAI
Shots: 31 / 7
Shots on Goal: 17 / 5
Saves: 4 / 10
Corner Kicks: 5 / 0
Fouls: 5 / 10
Offside: 6 / 1
USA – Jocelyn Travers (Caution) 45+3rd minute
Referee: Neresa Goldson (Jamaica)
1st Assistant Referee: Shireen Alleyne (Jamaica)
2nd Assistant Referee: Mojollee Gayle (Jamaica)
4th Official: Kedeen Foster (Cayman Island)