U-17 USWNT's Hard Fought Comeback Falls Short Against U-16 Germany

April 19, 2019, 4:18 p.m. (ET)

COLOGNE, Germany - April 19, 2019 - In their second game in less than 24 hours, the U.S. U-17 Women's National Team fought to a 3-4 loss against Germany's U-16 team. Despite a defeat just yesterday to the same team, USA came out with a renewed focus and desire to put together a strong performance.

Prior to the game in a briefing the team got a message from U-17 USWNT Assistant Coach Allan Law, "performance comes first, and the outcomes will follow." It was apparent the athletes resonated with it in their performance today. 

The first quarter began with consistent back and forth action between the teams. Both sides saw a number of circle penetrations go unsuccessful. It was Germany who broke through first, sending a drag flick top left to go up 0-1. Not much later Die Danas were back in USA’s circle and finished a rebound to go up two goals. USA responded before the break by earning their first penalty corner of the match. A perfectly placed drag by Beth Yeager (Rye, N.Y.) was redirected past the Germany goalkeeper by Hannah Maxwell (Forty Fort, Pa.) to cut the deficit in half, 1-2.

The second and third quarters were not the cleanest for the USA as a couple missed assignments and unfortunate calls against them resulted in a 1-4 scoreline in Germany’s favor.

Never out of a fight, USA ramped up the defensive pressure in the final quarter and really put Germany on their heels. A clever defensive play by forward Ashley Sessa (Schwenksville, Pa.) led to an opportunity in the circle for Ryleigh Heck (Berlin, N.J.). Heck received the ball near the stroke mark, pulled the goalkeeper out of the goal and calmly slipped the ball into the corner to make it 2-4. Determination was apparent and Heck wasn't finished. Just two minutes later, Hope Rose (Dauphin, Pa.) and Claudia Thomas (Louisville, Ky.) worked together to get the ball in front of the net. Heck wasted no time collecting the loose ball and finishing with authority from 2 yards out. The energy coming from the swing of momentum was palpable. Down one goal with 2 minutes left, the comeback attempt eventually fell short, but it was a valiant effort nonetheless. The final score finished 3-4 to Germany.

The U.S. U-17 Women's National Team has their final match of their Germany tour tomorrow, Saturday, April 20 9:00 a.m. ET against Belgium's U-16 team. For more information U-17 USWNT Tour event page by clicking here.