August 4, 1997

Notre Dame Defense Leads U.S. to Nordic Cup Win

RINGSTED, Denmark -- The United States under-20 women's national team used strong defense by three Notre Dame players for a 3-0 opening-game win over Sweden in the five-day, eight-country Nordic Cup. After a scoreless first half, the U.S. scored two goals in the first five minutes of the second half and used the strong defense to hold on for the win. The U.S. will play Iceland on Tuesday in Naestved, Denmark, in its second game of the tournament.

The eight competing teams are divided into two groups of four, with first-round play consisting of matches within the group. The group winners will then play for the championship, the second-place teams will play for third place, the third-place finishers for fifth and the fourth-place teams for seventh.

Notre Dame sophomore goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene (Gold River, Calif.) shut out the Swedes, making five saves while starting and playing in the entire game. Sweden was held to just nine shots, thanks to Notre Dame defenders Jen Grubb (Hoffman Estates, Ill.) and Kate Sobrero (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.). U.S. head coach Lauren Gregg praised the defense that "neutralized their attack and really helped us find a rhythm and maintain possession."

Notre Dame sophomore forward Jenny Streiffer (Baton Rouge, La.) freshman forward Meotis Erikson (Kennewick, Wash.) also contributed to the win with their second-half play.

Nordic Cup Standings

Group A
            W   L   T   Pts.
Norway      1   0   0   3
Germany     1   0   0   3
Finland     0   1   0   0
Netherlands 0   1   0   0
Group B  
            W   L   T   Pts.
USA         1   0   0   3
Denmark     1   0   0   3
Sweden      0   1   0   0
Netherlands 0   1   0   0

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