U.S. confirms place in semifinals on Saturday

Oct. 04, 2012, 12:11 p.m. (ET)

DUBLIN - The U.S. Women's National Team confirmed their place in the semi-finals of Champions Challenge 1 with a powerful performance and convincing win over Wales this morning. Torrie Albini (Escondido, Cali.), Lauren Pfeiffer (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) and Shannon Taylor (Midlothian, Va.) tallied two goals apiece en route to the 7-2 victory. The U.S. will face hosts Ireland again in the semis on Saturday.

"It is great to get the result that we did against Wales, but we know Ireland at home is always going to be a challenge," said Head Coach Lee Bodimeade. 

The U.S. took control of the match early and never looked back. Katie O'Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa) put the U.S. on the boards first, ten minutes into the game with a field goal. Albini and Taylor recorded their first goal of the match in the 19th and 24th minute, respectively. Wales knocked one past U.S. goalkeeper Jackie Kintzer (Robesonia, Pa) on a penalty corner, but the U.S. held a comfortable two goal lead entering halftime. 

The U.S. offense exploded in the second half, scoring four consecutive goals to blast past Wales. Pfeiffer scored back-to-back goals in the 46th and 49th minute and Albini finished off the U.S. scoring streak with a field goal in the 57th minute. 

"I was proud of everyone today," said Maren Langford. "Going into the match we were ranked No. 1 and they were ranked No. 4 but those numbers don't matter in a tournament like this. We needed to bring our "A" game and we did that and were able to score early goals and get on top of the other team." 

The U.S. is back in action on Saturday, October 6 against the winner of the upcoming Belgium vs Ireland match. The winner of Champions Challenge 1 will automatically qualify for Champions Trophy, which features the world’s top ranked teams.

Visit the Champions Challenge 1 event homepage for the latest news, results, photos and more.