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SheBelieves Soccer Match Kicks off at Nissan Stadium

Travelers, to article in The Mid-South Tribune print edition (MST sports 1 and continued on MST sports 5)

Ashley Braun

By Ashley Braun, Sports Correspondent

for

The Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway

 

NASHVILLE, TN - On Sunday, March 6th, 17-year old Mallory Pugh proved to the record-breaking crowd that she deserves to be on the Women’s National Team. The 25,363 fans, who broke the record for attendance at a women’s soccer game in Tennessee, began chanting “Pugh-S-A” early and often during the SheBelieves Cup match between the U.S. and France, and she did not disappoint.

            In stoppage time, Pugh beat a member of the French National Team for control of a bouncing ball. While advancing past midfield, Pugh made a beautiful to Alex Morgan who was sprinting towards the goal. While Pugh made it look easy, the skill involved to land the pass directly on the feet of a moving forward was apparent to everyone watching. Morgan was able to out-speed her defender on the left side and put the ball in the lower right corner of the net as she entered the penalty box, scoring her 63rd international goal.

            Though the scoreboard read 0-0 for 90 full minutes, the game was not without excitement. U.S. goaltender Hope Solo made several game-saving stops including one early in the match on a U.S. mishap. Solo punched a shot attempt on a free kick over the goal giving France a corner kick on her left side. The U.S. defense cleared the corner kick but France regained possession and quickly attempted another shot from just outside the penalty box. Midfielder Carli Lloyd deflected the shot causing Solo to dive in attempt to save an own goal by the U.S. The shot deflected off of the far post bouncing directly to a Marie-Laure Delie who quickly one-timed the ball back to the goal, causing Solo to make another diving save. If that weren’t enough, Eugenie Le Sommer was able to attempt another shot seconds later off of Solo’s deflection, this time kicking the ball just wide of the goal.

            Because of Solo’s hard work, she was able to notch her 97th career shutout, putting her closer than ever to becoming the first U.S. goalkeeper to reach 100 shutouts.

            Defensive player Becky Sauerbrunn wore the captain’s armband for the match as a tribute to becoming the 35th woman on to play 100 games for the Women’s National Team. She hit the milestone while playing in the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship Final last month.

            The team will travel to Boca Raton, Florida to face Germany on March, 9th in the finale of the SheBelieves Cup, which opened in Tampa, Florida on March 3rd.  The four-team international tournament was created to continue the #SheBelieves campaign created by the Women’s National Team to encourage and inspire young girls to accomplish their goals. The tournament also gives the top-ranked U.S. team a chance to face the other top-four ranked teams, England, France, and Germany. Currently, Germany and the United States lead the tournament with 6 points each, making the final match between the two a true battle for first place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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