World Cup Champions Play Victory Tour Game in Charlotte
This past July, I wandered into Summit Outpost on the Davidson College campus on a Sunday afternoon. Students hadn’t returned to campus, but there wasn’t an empty seat in the house. Summit Outpost was packed with fans watching the U.S. Women’s World Cup Soccer Championship game among friends and fellow soccer fans. Davidson fans whooped and yelled when U.S. defeated the Netherlands 2-0. Chants of USA – USA – USA echoed inside and out of Summit. [read our story about it]
With that in mind, as the News of Davidson Sports Editor, I reached out to USA Soccer when it was announced that the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) would be playing a match in Charlotte. The game against Korea Republic was part of the team’s “Victory Tour.”
Early last week, I got the great news that our request for a photo credential had been approved. I had already purchased tickets as a backup, but the press credential would afford the opportunity to take a “big” camera to Bank of America stadium.
The atmosphere at the stadium was electric. More than 30,000 fans were on hand to see the World Champions. It was the largest crowd for a USWNT game in the state of North Carolina.
The teams walked out of the tunnel, hand-in-hand with youth players from various soccer leagues around the region. The ear-to-ear grins were contagious.
Prior to the start of the game, Ali Krieger (#11) was honored with her 100thcap – recognition of her 100 appearances with the USWNT. Only 37 other women have played in 100 or more games for the team. While Krieger didn’t play in the game due to a knee injury, her family was on hand for the pre-game ceremony. Krieger also had the honor of carrying out the World Cup trophy in the pre-game procession. The “hardware” was placed on a pedestal for the pre-game festivities.
The crowd was also excited that Megan Rapinoe (#15) would be starting for the team. The forward had missed the first three games of the Victory Tour due to injury. Rapinoe was recently named the FIFA Best Women’s Player of 2019. She was the recipient of the “Golden Ball” as the top player at the World Cup and the “Golden Boot” as the top scorer.
The game was scoreless for much of the first half, in fact some fans missed the first USA goal when they left their seats as the clock reached the 45-minute mark. The game entered into stoppage time, and Megan Rapinoe drilled a free kick to a perfect spot. Allie Long (#20) kept her eye on the ball and kicked a mid-air shot passed Korea’s goalie. Long’s goal was her second of 2019, and the ninth of her career. Team USA took a 1-0 lead to the locker room at halftime.
The USA kept the pressure up in the second half, with numerous shots on goal that couldn’t find the net. However, 76 minutes in Team USA scored goal number two. Megan Rapinoe took a corner kick, and placed it right where Mallory Pugh (#2) headed it past Korea’s goalie. The goal was the 18thof her career, and the sixth in 2019.
Those two goals would suffice, as Korea was unable to score on any of their shots on the USA goal. USA Keeper Ashlyn Harris saved all three shots.
The team’s win also made history for head coach Jill Ellis. With the victory, she became the winningest coach in the history of the USWNT – with 106 victories. It was also Ellis’ second to last game as head coach, having previously announced that she would step down at the end of the Victory Tour. (Her final game was Sunday October 6 – and team USA was held to a 1-1 tie vs. Korea Republic.)
I took so many photos, I had to create two photo galleries for our News of Davidson.photos website.
– U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –
(taken from the USWNT post-game press release)
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Korea Republic
Date: October 3, 2019
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Bank of America Stadium; Charlotte, N.C.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Weather: 81 degrees; clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
KOR 0 0 0
USA – Allie Long (Megan Rapinoe) 45+3 minute
USA – Mallory Pugh (Megan Rapinoe) 76
U.S. Soccer Woman of the Match: Julie Ertz
USA:18-Ashlyn Harris (capt.); 14-Emily Sonnett, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Crystal Dunn (12-Tierna Davidson, 46); 8-Julie Ertz, 20-Allie Long (23-Christen Press, 46), 16-Rose Lavelle (25-Andi Sullivan, 66); 2-Mallory Pugh, 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe (22-Jessica McDonald, 78)
Substitutes not used: 1-Alyssa Naeher, 21-Adrianna Franch
Not available: 3-Samantha Mewis, 5-Kelley O’Hara, 6-Morgan Brian, 11-Ali Krieger, 13-Alex Morgan, 17-Tobin Heath
Head coach: Jill Ellis
KOR:18-Kim Minjung; 2-Ha Eunhye (12-Kim Soeun, 80), 5-Kim Hyeyeong, 6-Lim Seonjoo, 8-Cho So Hyun (14-Lee Sodam, 75), 9-Jang Selgi, 10-Ji Soyun (16-Park Yeeun, 90+2), 11-Moon Mira (15-Jang Chang, 87), 17-Lee Seaeun (7-Lee Youngju, 65), 20-Kim Hyeri (capt.), 23-Kang Chaerim (22-Son Hwayeon, 76)
Substitutes not used: 1-Kang Gaae, 21-Min Yukyeong, 3-Hong Hyeji, 4-Eo Hee Jin, 19-Lee Hyokyeong, 24-Kim Jinhui
Head coach: Hwang Insun
Stats Summary: USA / KOR
Shots: 19 / 6
Shots on Goal: 7 / 3
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 7 / 12
Offside: 4 / 1