Stanford's Rachel Quon, Teresa Noyola and Courtney Verloo all saw action for the U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team as it opened play in the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup with a 1-1 deadlock with Ghana on Wednesday in Dresden, Germany.
This is the first time the USA has tied an opening match of a U-19/U-20 FIFA Women's World Cup after winning four straight openers since the inaugural tournament in 2002.
Team USA forward Sydney Leroux scored in the 70th minute to answer an early goal from the Africans. Leroux's goal came after Noyola stripped a Ghana player in midfield and sent a through ball to Maya Hayes on a long break-away into the right side of the penalty area. Hayes raced at the 'keeper and then slipped a pass square to Leroux, who slid to knock the ball into the open net from just inside the six-yard box.
It was Leroux's sixth goal in her U-20 Women's World Cup career after scoring five during the 2008 tournament.
Quon started for the USA with Noyola and Verloo subbing in. The United States is now tied with Ghana for second place in Group D behind the Korea Republic, which trounced Switzerland 4-0 in the other group.
The USA will play Switzerland on Saturday at Rudolf-Harbig Stadium. The match will be broadcast live on ESPNU at 9 a.m. (PT). Fans also can follow along on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.
The USA-Ghana match was played in stifling heat that reached almost 90 degrees, despite the 6 p.m. local kickoff. Even though seven players in the starting lineup had previous FIFA Women's World Cup experience at the U-17 or U-20 levels, the young Americans suffered from some early jitters when surrendering an early goal off a give-away in midfield in the seventh minute.
After the goal by Ghana, the U.S. totaled five corner kicks to Ghana's none and at nine shots to Ghana's one before halftime. Some tough defense by Ghana, however, kept the Americans off the board. The teams combined for 40 shots during the match, with the U.S. putting just seven of their 25 on goal.
U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made one change at halftime, sending on the speedy Hayes for Vicki DiMartino, and then making another change early in the second half, sending on Noyola for Christine Nairn in the 54th. Those changes led to the tying goal.
The USA had several excellent chances to win the game, one coming in the 80th minute after working the ball off a short corner kick to Verloo at the top of the penalty area, but she lashed her shot over the top.
The USA had two chances to win the game in the five minutes of extra time, most of it given due to numerous stoppages for injured Ghanaians. Noyola had a shot from the top of the penalty area that flew straight into the hands of the goalkeeper. She was making her World Cup debut.
In Omaha, Neb., Stanford grads Nicole Barnhart, Rachel Buehler and Kelley O'Hara all started for the U.S. Women's National Team during its 1-1 deadlock with Sweden in an international friendly soccer match on a hot, muggy Tuesday night in front of 6,493 fans. The two-match series with Sweden concludes Saturday with a showdown in East Hartford, Conn.