Fifteen year old Mallory Pugh, in just her second game (and in her first camp) with the U-20s after being called up from the U-17s, scored the third and fourth goals for the US. The first was unassisted, in the 56th minute; Pugh stripped the ball off a center-back at the top of the box and struck it into the upper right corner from 15 yards out. Then in the 71st minute, she got an assist from Summer Green, who slipped a ball in from the left flank; Pugh ran onto it, beat a defender and put it into the lower left corner.
Six minutes later, a Chinese defender would score an own goal while attempting to clear a low cross, to make it 5-1.
Pugh continues her goal-production streak: from her first game with the U-17s in early 2013, she was had at least one goal in all but two of the 14 games she’s appeared in, and in the two she did not score in, she did claim an assist.
This match was significantly more active than the last: the US had 12 shots to China’s 4, with 11 shots on goal to China’s 3.
The match featured quite a few more changes from the last one than did that one compared to the end of qualifying. Two players got their first starts with the team: Mallory Weber (who subbed into three WCQ matches, but did not play the prior game), and Mallory Pugh, her first start in her second ever match with the team. In addition, there was a goalkeeper switch at half time, allowing Jane Campbell to play the final 45 minutes, her first minutes since playing just one full match in WCQ. And Maddie Bauer subbed in as center-back – she played two halves in WCQ, starting the first.
Cari Roccaro has now played 14 straight full matches with the U-20s, every one this current cycle has played. Her assist in this last match was her first. Katie Naughton is close; while she’s played all 14 matches, she’s started just eleven of them, and was subbed out of four of those, including this last one. Both Rose Lavelle and Andi Sullivan were rested in the third group match of CONCACAF qualifying, their one blemish on their attendance records. Even so, Sullivan is second in total minutes and Lavelle is third, both ahead of Naughton.
The U-20s next camp will be in Chula Vista, CA in mid-April as they gear up for the U-20 Women’s World Cup in August in Canada.