THE USA Under 20 Women’s National Team rolled past Saint Lucia 6 – 0 to advance to the quarterfinal round of the 2020 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship.
In the quarterfinal, the USA will face Canada on Wednesday 4th March at 2.00 p.m. ET. at Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez stadium.
Canada beat Cuba 6 – 0 in its Round of 16 game to advance after finishing second in Group E, setting up an earlier-than-anticipated match-up with the USA.
In a quirk of this year’s new qualifying format, this was Saint Lucia’s first match of the tournament after advancing directly to the knockout round via a pre-qualifying competition.
After sweeping through Group C play with a 3-0-0 record and a plus-24 goal difference, U.S. head coach Laura Harvey continued to rotate her starting XI, but the Americans once again got on the board early. The U.S. took the lead in the eighth minute of play when Summer Yates found Mia Fishel inside the penalty area and the forward scored her seventh goal of the tournament.
The U.S. continued to find the back of the net down the stretch, and after a Saint Lucia own goal, Yates added her second assist of the game when she teed up Sierra Enge for a long-range strike in the 24th minute. Reigning U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year Brianna Pinto’s blast from 27 yards out in the 35th gave the U.S. a 4-0 lead at the break.
Some packed-in defending by Saint Lucia, which often had 10 players inside its own defensive third, made things difficult for the U.S. in the second half as the score remained 4-0 until the 70th minute. In the 71st, Harvey deployed Sophia Smith, the top pick of the 2020 NWSL College Draft, for her first appearance of the tournament. Moments later, the U.S. added to its lead as Fishel finished a through ball from Samantha Meza in the 76th for her eighth goal of the competition. Smith also had a number of chances to score before the final whistle.
In the 90th minute, Pinto capped the scoring off a direct free kick from just outside the penalty area for her second of the game. The goal was Pinto’s fifth of the tournament, the second-most on the team behind Fishel.
Saint Lucia: 1-Renala Francis, 16-Kenna Lionel, 3-Ketina Joseph, 17-Giana Hilton, 4-Racquel John, 7-Krysan St. Louis (Captain.), 9-Illana Lashley, 10-Tanika Bernard, 11-Britanya St. Prix, 12-Arnicka Louis, 2-Shaqelle Charlery, 13-Cassandra Shepherd, 14-Steffany Allain, 15-Tiffany Allain, 4-Xena Frederick, 6-Shakera Classe, 8-Janell Mathurin, 18-Geean Henry. Head Coach: Emmanuel Belase