NH duo lift USA to Cup berth
Morgan Andrews of Milford knew her USA team was good enough to beat anyone in the 2014 CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship. She just never thought it would be to the tune of 29-0.
"It just means we're not going to be an easy team to beat," said Andrews after the U.S. Under-20 Women's National Soccer Team clinched a World Cup berth to Canada.
Andrews left the Cayman Islands Monday and returned back to the University of Notre Dame to continue her studies. "It's cold here," she said while talking on her cell phone walking across campus to her dorm.
Her team was anything but cold in George Town. The USA team posted five shutout wins at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.
Goals from Andi Sullivan, Savannah Jordan and Margaret Purce powered the United States to a 4-0 victory Sunday against Mexico in the championship game.
The United States team, which outscored its five opponents in the tournament 29-0, will now prepare for the 2014 U-20 Women's World Cup beginning on Aug. 5. The U-20 Women's World Cup will be staged in four Canadian cities from Aug. 5-24.
"We accomplished our main goal of earning a berth to the World Cup," said Andrews. "Once we did that, our next goal was to win the tournament championship. Like I said before, we wanted to send a message to all the international teams and we did that by dominating the tournament. We didn't enter the tournament thinking we were going to shut out every team. But we knew going in that we were confident in our ability as a team and the results showed it."
Morgan said her teammates are not going to enter the World Cup overconfident. "We know it's not going to be that easy," she said.
Rachel Hill, of Rollinsford, who returned to the University of Connecticut Monday, and Andrews each made an impact for USA during the tournament.
In a 10-0 win over Guatemala, Hill was named Woman of the Match by ussoccer.com and Andrews was named Player of the Match by CONCACAF's Technical Study Group. Andrews had an assist in that game and Hill collected a goal and four assists.
Andrews praised Hill and called Hill "a great teammate and player who contributed so much to the team." Andrews said she'll meet up with Hill next month when the team gathers to prepare for the World Cup games.
"I think we're in a good spot right now," said Andrews, who served as captain of the 2012 United States CONCACAF U-17 Championship and FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup teams. "I know people were scouting us and we didn't provide them with a simple answer as to how to beat us. They can't shut us down because they know we have a number of players who are capable of scoring goals and defending our net."
Andrews earned Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Year honors last fall, earning 19 points for the Fighting Irish.
As a high school student, Andrews was the first two-time winner of Gatorade's National Player of the Year Award in girls' soccer. She also was a two-time winner of the New Hampshire Union Leader's Player of the Year award for girls' soccer and last year received the newspaper's Red Rolfe Award as the state's top amateur female athlete.
Hill, a graduate of Somersworth High, is a freshman at UConn. She set the state girls' soccer scoring record in high school and, like Andrews, was a two-time Union Leader All-State selection.
She enjoyed a successful freshman season at UConn, leading the Huskies in almost every offensive category, including goals (13), assists (5) and shooting percentage (.153).
She earned first-team all-league honors from the American Athletic Conference.
The USA and Mexico had already qualified for the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup after Friday's semifinal win. Costa Rica earned CONCACAF's third and final berth with a 7-3 win over Trinidad & Tobago.