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Championship Sunday

Jun 17, 2012, 7:21 PM EDT

Champions!!! The US U-23’s defeated Norway 4-1 today to win the Three Nations Tournament. Norway had defeated Sweden 4-2 earlier in the week, we tied Sweden 1-1, so the championship came down to today’s game. We played very well for most of 90 minutes and you can see that we are getting better each day we are together. Our tie against Sweden was the first time we had played this team of players together and we got better in the second half of that game. It continued on today and we look much more comfortable with each other today.

We went ahead 1-0 with a goal from Sarah Hagen who intercepted a pass out from the Norwegian goalkeeper. She did a great job of finishing it off and punishing them for that mistake. Norway came back a few minutes later to tie the score at 1-1 off of a counter attack when we turned the ball over in midfield. Then Amanda DaCosta put us ahead shortly after Norway had tied the game with a goal that came after several shots of ours was blocked by the goalkeeper and Norwegian defense. Then later before halftime Morgan Marlborough broke free down the flank and scored from a very difficult angle to put us up 3-1 at the half.

We played very well in the second half continuing to build on our performance and we were rewarded with a fourth goal late when Courtney Verloo tracked down a lose ball and beat the onrushing goalkeeper to the ball. She cut the ball back from the endline and found Stephanie Ochs who curled a left footed shot into the upper 90 from about 20 yds out. The rest of the game was managed very well by a team that had the look of a true professional team! Very proud of these young women…

We will train light in the morning and then go into the town of Trondheim where we will shop and have dinner out. Then on Tuesday we will play Norway again in a friendly game before we head home on Wednesday! I’m looking forward to an afternoon away from here and seeing a different part of Norway. I am hoping to go see the men’s professional team of Rosenborg train tomorrow while in Trondheim…I can do without the shopping!!!

But thank you to all of you that had us in your thoughts today, and for all the well wishes I received before the game! As I’ve always said, there are no better fans than those of the Irish Nation!!!!

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